Moving to Activity-Based Workplaces (03-30-21)

Hodzic and colleagues studied the implications of moving into an activity-based workplace (which the researchers refer to as “activity-based flexible offices”).  The researchers determined that “moving to the A-FO had negative effects on distraction, work engagement, job satisfaction, and fatigue. The negative effects of distraction were more pronounced in situations of increased time pressure and unpredictability. . . . . the results highlight the importance of having quiet zones for concentrated work to avoid distractions.”  Important information on the older and newer workplaces: “employees moved from the old office to a new flexible ‘activity-based’ office with desk sharing. In the new ‘activity-based’ office the employees had meeting rooms and telephone booths but no special zones for concentrated work were provided. The old office was a mix between the small open office and small to medium conventional offices where employees shared the office with 2–3 people. In the old office, some employees (mostly leaders) had their own room, and some of them kept their own offices even after this transition. Therefore, we focused solely on employees without leadership positions.”

Sabina Hodzic, Bettina Kubicek, Lars Uhlig and Christian Korunka. 2021.  “Activity-Based Flexible Offices:  Effects on Work-Related Outcomes in a Longitudinal Study.”  Ergonomics, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 455-473, https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2020.1850882