Non-assigned private rooms for concentrated work: an effective stress management solution?

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Abstract

Purpose – In many organizations, a major part of the daily activities is perceived as concentrated work (53% in this study). Hence, a lack of privacy at the workplace may be considered as a serious environmental stressor. Activity-based work environments usually provide non-assigned private rooms, to be used on an as-need basis. Is this an effective stress management solution?

Design/Methodology – Repeated measurements were collected, using a mobile application. Respondents provided data about their activities, the workplaces they used, and the degree of job strain they experienced. They also filled out a questionnaire regarding psychological and job characteristics.

Results – A total of 3480 measurements was provided by 114 respondents, working at a Dutch public service organisation. The availability of private rooms did not seem to provide an effective stress management solution. Only 17% of the concentrated work was indeed performed in these rooms. When other types of workplaces were used, this caused (strong) dissatisfaction in 40% of the occasions. This dissatisfaction correlated with individual differences regarding need for privacy (p = .026).

Limitations – Because only one specific organization and work environment is studied, further research is needed to test the generalizability of our findings.
Research/Practical Implications – When performing concentrated work, people often choose not to use a private room, despite their dissatisfaction. Further research should focus on explaining and possibly influencing this behaviour.

Originality/Value – Repeatedly measuring activity type together with workplace type and workplace satisfaction, provides a solid basis to analyse behavioural patterns and environmental stressors within activity-based work environments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
EventEuropean Association of Work and Organizational Behaviour (EAWOP) Congress 2015 - Oslo Congress Center and Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 21 May 201523 May 2015
https://www.eawop2015.org/

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Association of Work and Organizational Behaviour (EAWOP) Congress 2015
Abbreviated titleEAWOP2015
CountryNorway
CityOslo
Period21/05/1523/05/15
Internet address

Keywords

  • facility management
  • work environment
  • stress

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    Hoendervanger, J. G. (2015). Non-assigned private rooms for concentrated work: an effective stress management solution?. Poster session presented at European Association of Work and Organizational Behaviour (EAWOP) Congress 2015, Oslo, Norway.