The implications of working from home are multidimensional. Sjolie, Francisco, Mahon, Kaukko, and Kemmis (study published in Journal of Praxis in Higher Education) report that they “collected data from students and academic staff. . . . working from a home office, or as a distributed team, provides significantly increased flexibility for the work situation, it could provide less flexibility in carrying out the work, both in terms of meeting colleagues, collaborating and teaching.
Peeters, Smolders, and de Kort report on variations in lighting experiences among people working in the same office. The researchers report that when they “tracked office workers’ personal exposure during two three-week field intervention studies, one in winter, one in late spring. . . . the person-based data revealed large differences between - and within - participants in terms of light received at the eye. . . . When designing the lighting plan for a space, the location and placement of light fixtures is a factor that should be considered.
Sadik and Kamardeen researched the professional implications of experiencing indoor nature (for example, inside plants, window views, pre-recorded nature sounds) and outdoor nature. They determined via a literature review that “indoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to social sustainability through its impact on workers' health and motivation while outdoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to economic, environmental and social sustainability through its impact on workers' restoration, stress reduction and stress coping.
Performance improves in healthier spaces
Body-Brain tie probed
Divett assessed how being in either an activity-based flexible or open plan workplace influenced employee perceptions of performance. Data were collected at 3 offices in Australia during a period 3 to 12 months before workplace transitions and at least 3 months after beginning to work in the new spaces. Divett found that “Team members were more satisfied and felt more productive within the activity-based working (ABW) environment compared to the open plan workplace. Leaders were more satisfied and felt team productivity improved, yet individual productivity for leaders remained the same.
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).
Effects on job satisfaction
Home insights for onsite
Reasons for options