Moving to an ABW (08-05-20)

Wijk, Bergsten, and Hallman evaluated the experiences of a group of Swedish government employees at a single office site moving into activity-based workplaces (ABWs) from private offices (32% of participants), shared rooms with 2-3 people working in them (11% of participants), open-plan offices with 4 to 24 people working in them (41% of participants), and unspecified places (16% of participants). The researchers found via surveys administered before and 3 and 9 months after relocation and focus groups before and after changes were made that  “Health and well-being were unchanged when compared to their levels before and after the relocation to an ABW. We found that physical and psychosocial work satisfaction decreased. . . . The results indicate that organizations implementing ABWs should promote perceived meaningfulness in the process to mitigate [lessen] possible declines in satisfaction with the physical and psychosocial work environment.. . .our recommendation is to ensure that meaningfulness and comprehensibility regarding change are high when launching an intervention. Meaningfulness might be promoted by preparatory activities, such as workshops and seminars, which provide meaning and understanding for the change.”

Katarinaa Wijk, Eva Bergsten, and David Hallman. 2020 “Sense of Coherence, Health, Well-Being, and Work Satisfaction Before and After Implementing Activity-Based Workplaces.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 14, 5250,