Eres : Digital Library : Works

Paper eres2017_93:
Towards Needs-Based Work Environments;Optimising Person-Environment Fit and Task-Environment Fit in Activity-Based Work Environments

id eres2017_93
authors Hoendervanger, Jan Gerard; Nico W. Van Yperen, Mark P. Mobach, Casper J. Albers
year 2017
title Towards Needs-Based Work Environments;Optimising Person-Environment Fit and Task-Environment Fit in Activity-Based Work Environments
source 24th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Delft, Netherlands
summary Activity-Based Working (ABW) is supported by work environments that combine hot-desking with a variety of settings, designed for different types of activities. While the advantages of these work environments in terms of space and cost efficiency are undisputed, their effectiveness with respect to job performance and satisfaction is still under debate. Empirical findings have shown that satisfaction with ABW environments often falls short of expectations, with frequent complaints about concentration, privacy, and the loss of an assigned workstation. Optimising satisfaction with the work environment is important for organisations, since it has been found to influence job satisfaction, commitment, intent to leave, and absenteeism. Hence, the purpose of the current research project is to analyse antecedents of dissatisfaction with ABW environments.Our first study, based on survey data (N = 3,189), showed that workers’ switching behaviour was related to their satisfaction with the ABW environment. The small minority that switched multiple times during the day, was significantly more satisfied. Switching behaviours was associated with several job characteristics, psychosocial factors, and practical aspects. In our second study, based on a different set of survey data (N = 581), we identified several job characteristics (i.e., job autonomy, social interaction, internal mobility) and personal characteristics (i.e., need for privacy, length of service, age) that influence satisfaction with ABW environments. Our third study, based on experience sampling and survey data (N = 92; 1,356 measurements), showed that discrepancies between intended and actual use of activity settings (i.e., performing concentration-requiring activities in open plan areas) substantially lowered satisfaction. This was particularly true for workers high in need for privacy.These findings support the basic idea underlying the ABW concept, i.e. that a variety of settings may support a variety of activities. However, the needs that should be fulfilled by the work environment in order to optimise satisfaction are not fully determined by activities; major needs also stem from personal characteristics. In order to move from activity-based towards needs-based work environments, both Task-Environment fit and Person-Environment fit needs to be optimised. As task-related needs may conflict with person-related needs, this holds a complicated challenge for both researchers and practitioners.
keywords work environment; task-environment fit; activity-based working; workplace; person-environment fit
series ERES:conference
type paper session
discussion No discussions. Post discussion ...
ratings
session Workplace research
last changed 2017/11/18 16:20
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