Flexibility in use: switching behaviour and satisfaction in activity-based work environments

Jan Gerard Hoendervanger, Iris de Been, Nico Van Yperen, Mark P. Mobach, Casper Albers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
Despite their growing popularity among organisations, satisfaction with activity-based work (ABW) environments is found to be below expectations. Research also suggests that workers typically do not switch frequently, or not at all, between different activity settings. Hence, the purpose of this study is to answer two main questions: Is switching behaviour related to satisfaction with ABW environments? Which factors may explain switching behaviour?

Design/methodology/approach
Questionnaire data provided by users of ABW environments (n = 3,189) were used to carry out ANOVA and logistic regression analyses.

Findings
Satisfaction ratings of the 4 per cent of the respondents who switched several times a day appeared to be significantly above average. Switching frequency was found to be positively related to heterogeneity of the activity profile, share of communication work and external mobility.

Practical implications
Our findings suggest that satisfaction with ABW environments might be enhanced by stimulating workers to switch more frequently. However, as strong objections against switching were observed and switching frequently does not seem to be compatible with all work patterns, this will presumably not work for everyone. Many workers are likely to be more satisfied if provided with an assigned (multifunctional) workstation.

Originality/value
In a large representative sample, clear evidence was found for relationships between behavioural aspects and appreciation of ABW environments that had not been studied previously.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-62
JournalJournal of corporate real estate
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • work environment
  • satisfaction
  • activity-based working
  • switching behaviour

Cite this

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title = "Flexibility in use: switching behaviour and satisfaction in activity-based work environments",
abstract = "PurposeDespite their growing popularity among organisations, satisfaction with activity-based work (ABW) environments is found to be below expectations. Research also suggests that workers typically do not switch frequently, or not at all, between different activity settings. Hence, the purpose of this study is to answer two main questions: Is switching behaviour related to satisfaction with ABW environments? Which factors may explain switching behaviour?Design/methodology/approachQuestionnaire data provided by users of ABW environments (n = 3,189) were used to carry out ANOVA and logistic regression analyses.FindingsSatisfaction ratings of the 4 per cent of the respondents who switched several times a day appeared to be significantly above average. Switching frequency was found to be positively related to heterogeneity of the activity profile, share of communication work and external mobility.Practical implicationsOur findings suggest that satisfaction with ABW environments might be enhanced by stimulating workers to switch more frequently. However, as strong objections against switching were observed and switching frequently does not seem to be compatible with all work patterns, this will presumably not work for everyone. Many workers are likely to be more satisfied if provided with an assigned (multifunctional) workstation.Originality/valueIn a large representative sample, clear evidence was found for relationships between behavioural aspects and appreciation of ABW environments that had not been studied previously.",
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Flexibility in use : switching behaviour and satisfaction in activity-based work environments. / Hoendervanger, Jan Gerard; de Been, Iris; Van Yperen, Nico; Mobach, Mark P.; Albers, Casper.

In: Journal of corporate real estate, Vol. 18, No. 1, 19.02.2016, p. 48-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T2 - switching behaviour and satisfaction in activity-based work environments

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AU - de Been, Iris

AU - Van Yperen, Nico

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AU - Albers, Casper

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AB - PurposeDespite their growing popularity among organisations, satisfaction with activity-based work (ABW) environments is found to be below expectations. Research also suggests that workers typically do not switch frequently, or not at all, between different activity settings. Hence, the purpose of this study is to answer two main questions: Is switching behaviour related to satisfaction with ABW environments? Which factors may explain switching behaviour?Design/methodology/approachQuestionnaire data provided by users of ABW environments (n = 3,189) were used to carry out ANOVA and logistic regression analyses.FindingsSatisfaction ratings of the 4 per cent of the respondents who switched several times a day appeared to be significantly above average. Switching frequency was found to be positively related to heterogeneity of the activity profile, share of communication work and external mobility.Practical implicationsOur findings suggest that satisfaction with ABW environments might be enhanced by stimulating workers to switch more frequently. However, as strong objections against switching were observed and switching frequently does not seem to be compatible with all work patterns, this will presumably not work for everyone. Many workers are likely to be more satisfied if provided with an assigned (multifunctional) workstation.Originality/valueIn a large representative sample, clear evidence was found for relationships between behavioural aspects and appreciation of ABW environments that had not been studied previously.

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