Activity-based working: Qualitative analysis of working conditions and health-related outcomes

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BACKGROUND: The changing of work, driven by digitization, leads to the demand of large, open spaces in which the employees can work alone or in teams, can hold meetings or even find corners to relax. OBJECTIVE: This study empirically analyzed job demands and resources that can be found in innovative office concepts, like so called 'activity-based working concepts'. METHODS: 16 semi-structured face-to-face interviews were performed with employees working in activity-based offices. Content of the interviews included questions on their working conditions and health-related outcomes. RESULTS: The results show that work autonomy, the flexibility to decide where and when to work, and an improved communication and collaboration between different departments had a perceived positive effect on well-being, performance and motivation. Job demands, like missing territoriality on individual and team level, limited privacy and distractions in form of noise and interruptions describe consequences in form of perceived strain. CONCLUSION: The study results contribute to the expansion of knowledge in the subject area of flexible work arrangements in open work spaces. They can serve to design future working environments and thus increase the well-being and job performance of employees. It needs additional research to investigate the effects of office designs on the health of employees in the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)625-639
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2020

    Research areas

  • Health sciences - flexibility, health, office concept, organization, working conditions