Article

The origins of new ways of working: Office concepts in the 1970s

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Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe the origins of today's new office concepts, focusing on the emergence of mobile and flexible working practices in the 1960s and 1970s. Thereby it intends to add a sense of historical awareness to the ongoing debate about the work environment. Design/methodology/approach - The historical description is based on literature study, looking at research reports, design handbooks and depictions of office life in popular culture such as movies and advertisements. Findings - The paper demonstrates that today's "new ways of working" are by no means new. It shows that the concepts of mobile offices, paperless offices, videoconferencing and flexible workplaces all originate from the end of the 1960s and the early 1970s. It also shows that these concepts were far from mainstream, standing in stark contrast to the rigidity and conservatism of everyday office life at the time. Research limitations/implications - This paper is the first result of a larger historical analysis of the recent history of the work environment. Further historical research will add to the presented insight in the evolution of office concepts. Practical implications - The paper's insight into the historical development of office concepts can help workplace strategists to make better, more careful forecasts of future workplace trends. Originality/value - Whereas most literature on the office concept tends to look at novel ideas and future developments, this paper looks back at the recent past. It discusses early workplace experiments that have been largely ignored, or remained unidentified, in much of the discourse on new ways of working.

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... As noted by Juriaan van Meel (2011) for research done through the Technical University of Denmark, newer 21 st century-based ways of working such as mobile/paperless offices, videoconferencing and flexible workspaces themselves "are by no means new", dating back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, while also being anomalies for once conservative workplace cultures (p. 357). ...
... This 1973 study focused on work context and quality enhancement, and was designed to "improve and increase the sharing of problems and experience" within the IBM team by allowing employees to pick from an assortment of desks, work benches, and quiet working areas while having to give up their personal workspace (Allen & Gerstberger, 1973). With the year-long study being successful, as employees' feelings towards the new space shifted favorably after move-in, and communication amongst the team improved, this research would become a significant stepping-stone towards advancing desk sharing (Meel, 2011). However, it was not the only effort studying detaching the worker from their desk at the time, with other efforts principally being based on technology. ...
... Simultaneously, a highly lauded team of scientists at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) were already envisioning their office of the future, while conceiving the "paperless office" concept through a series of inventions, including the graphical user interface (GUI) and the computer mouse -inventions that would later change the technological world as we know it (Humphrey, 2014). Yet long before Xerox, AT&T had developed its first "picture phone", debuting it at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City (Meel, 2011). While that particular invention ended up being a commercial bust, by the late 1970s and early 1980s, organizations like the British Post Office in the UK began rolling out videoconferencing technologies called "confravision" used for long-distance meetings (Meel, 2011). ...
Article
The concept of alternative work arrangements (AWAs) represents a growing trend within many organizations to shift once-common models of working to newer paradigms. Among many options, this includes models where employees may work from somewhere other than a primary physical office space (remote work), or no longer possess a personal desk at their office (desk sharing). Both remote work and desk sharing often require employees to adapt to a mode of “working” far different than they are accustomed to, yielding a range of conflicting opinions, pros and cons, and unique experiences along the way. The research question becomes: How do employees make sense of their organization’s shift towards alternative work arrangements? This capstone explores the transition from the perspective of a higher-education information technology organization (HEITO) in the midst of its journey in adopting and adapting to AWAs, initially presenting the historical circumstances that led to the organization’s current state. A literature review and secondary research is used to explore AWAs and several sub-topics related to the change, and a recent survey of HEITO’s employees is used to gather quantitative and qualitative data on the organization’s transition. This capstone concludes with an analysis of the research data, and thoughts pertaining to further studies on AWAs.
... The advances in information and communication technologies have made it possible to work anytime anywhere. The concept of new ways of working (NWW) makes reference to a work arrangement in which employees can control the timing and place of their work while being supported by information technology (laptop, smartphones, connected through wireless network out of thin air) (Demerouti et al., 2014;van Meel, 2011). This gave many companies the opportunity to rethink the utilisation of their office settings, and more specifically, their occupancy costs (Helms & Raiszadeh, 2002;Karia & Asaari, 2016;Parker, 2016). ...
... Even though teleworking or the virtual office is not a new phenomenon (van Meel, 2011), and in many situations triggered by occupancy cost reduction (Karia & Asaari, 2016), its past adoption has been restricted to a minority of workers and certain companies. In 2017, only 3% of French workers regularly teleworked. ...
... The reason for this relies on the fact that physical offices, besides their functional capabilities and physical resources, have an important social function. They are a place where work becomes meaningful through employee interaction, where friendship and networks are formed, where newcomers are integrated and where the acculturation process takes place (van Meel, 2011). ...
Book
“The anthology presents well-founded research and theoretical discussions and gives essential insights into the relationships between digitization, work and space in the 21st century.” —Andreas Boes, Adjunct Professor, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany “This edited book delivers much needed research and theory on how to critically investigate the hidden abodes of production in a future that is already present.Compulsory reading.” — Kendra Briken, Senior Lecturer, Strathclyde Business School, UK “This is an exciting collection that illustrates how technologies are being used to reinvent the spaces where we work, and how that changes how we relate to each other and to ourselves.” —Vili Lehdonvirta, Professor of Economic Sociology and Digital Social Research, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK “The well-balanced and diverse contributions in this anthology offer exciting insights into digitally-mediated work practices and the resultant challenges for individuals. The volume stimulates new and important questions about the organisation of work and learning processes.” —Anoush Margaryan, Professor in the Department of Digitalization, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark This book provides a unique contribution to the controversial discussion that surrounds the digitalisation and virtualisation of work. With a focus on the new formation of space and place, it critically discusses the idea that places in the context of work are increasingly losing their importance, and becoming more arbitrary with new technical possibilities. Chapter 1, 4 and 11 are available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer.com. Mascha Will-Zocholl is Professor at Hessian University of Police and Administration, Germany. Caroline Roth-Ebner is Associate Professor at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.
... The shift toward an increasingly globalized economy has forced organizations to be innovative, responsive, flexible, and more efficient and effective (Palvalin, 2017;Taskin, Ajzen, & Donis, 2017;Van Steenbergen et al., 2017). NWW can also positively address professional life challenges like women's labor market access, work-life balance and work well-being, and young workers' (millennials) new expectations (Brandl et al., 2019;van Meel, 2011). ...
... 1. three conceptual articles focused on retracing NWW terminology's origins (Brandl et al., 2019;Jemine et al., 2019;Van Meel, 2011); 2. three empirical studies with a case study approach (Blok et al., 2012;De Bruyne & Beijer, 2015;Kingma, 2019); 3. empirical research on NWW outcomes, further subdivided into three subcategories; ...
... Authors have also linked NWW practices to autonomy (Palvalin, 2017;Schmoll & Süß, 2019;Van der Voordt, 2003;Van Meel, 2011). For example, Ten Brummelhuis et al. (2012) stated that "it is important to emphasize that the overarching theme of NWW is providing employees autonomy by giving them control over their work content, time, location and communication" (p. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
A new research stream emerged in the 2000s dedicated to flexible work arrangements in public and private organizations, called “new ways of working” (NWW). This article aims to examine NWW from both a theoretical and empirical perspective, focusing on outcomes of this new concept and the debate between “mutual gains” vs. “conflicting outcomes.” Through a literature review, it examines this research field’s innovation and its rather vague theoretical foundations. Findings demonstrate that NWW definitions are diverse and somewhat imprecise, leading to fragmented research designs and findings; the research stream’s theoretical foundations should be better addressed. Findings also highlight the current lack of empirical data, which therefore does not allow any real conclusions on NWW’s effects on employees’ and organizations’ well-being and performance.
... In either case, the design implies that each employee holds a fixed place within the office that can be personalized to different degrees. However, the trend in contemporary office design is that employees no longer will have their own desks (Appel-Meulenbroek et al., 2011;Bodin Danielsson, 2010;Davis et al., 2011;van Meel, 2011). Instead, new evolving forms of office design aim to provide different spaces that offer different functionalities. ...
... The basic premise was that "people will not remain at the same work station, but will position themselves wherever they can work most effectively at a given time" (Allen and Gerstberger, 1971). By moving around, employees might more frequently see and meet each other, which consequently might result in better communication (van Meel, 2011). ...
Article
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The article focuses on a current trend in office design: Activity Based Work (ABW). This is an office solution that instead of providing employees with designated places, it provides them with a variety of spaces in the office that offer different functionalities. A case study is presented of the ongoing effort of a multinational technology company in the software industry to implement ABW at a local site in Sweden. Based on an analysis of the individual and focus group interviews of company employees, the article argues that the non-territorial foundation of ABW is seen as a threat to the work-related identity among certain groups within the company. The findings presented comprise specific insights into how the material aspects of organizational life interact with social identity construction.
... Gerards et al. (2018) beschreiben fünf Facetten dieses neuen Arbeitens: zeit-und ortsunabhängige Arbeit, Ergebnisorientierung als Maß für Arbeitsleistung (im Kontrast zur Arbeitszeitorientierung), Zugang zu umfangreichen Wissensquellen in der Organisation, Flexibilität in der Organisation der Arbeitsaufgaben sowie frei zugängliche, offene Arbeitsplätze, sogenannte "Open Offices" (Brunia et al. 2016, S. 31). Insbesondere hinsichtlich der letzten Facette, dem Arbeitsplatz für Wissensarbeiter, experimentieren Unternehmen seit vielen Jahren mit Raumkonzepten jenseits des klassischen Schreibtisches ( van Meel 2011), etwa offenen Büroflächen mit frei besetzbaren Arbeitsplätzen (Becker et al. 2019;Harris 2016), Zonenkonzepten für Einzelarbeit, Zusammenarbeit und informelle Kontakte (Peteri et al. 2021) sowie Co-Working (Kojo und Nenonen 2017;Pintarich 2019;Weijs-Perrée et al. 2019). ...
... Es kann davon ausgegangen werden, dass sich entlang wandelnder Marktanforderungen Arbeitsweisen ebenso wie Mitarbeiterbedürfnisse und Anforderungen an deren Arbeitsumgebung kontinuierlich weiterentwickeln werden (Joroff et al. 2003 Zukünftige Anforderungen an die Flexibilität von Arbeitsumgebungen könnten sich dabei auf drei Ebenen bewegen: Mitarbeiterflexibilität, wie beispielsweise aktuell die aufgabenorientierte Wahl des Arbeitsorts durch die Mitarbeitenden, Architektur-und Raumflexibilität im Sinne der Personenkapazität und infrastruktureller Gebäudeeigenschaften (Hassanain 2006), sowie Ausstattungsflexibilität von Flächen und Möbeln (z. B. Meetingräume mit mobilen Wänden) (van Meel et al. 2010). Den Nutzern die Möglichkeit zu bieten, ihre Arbeitsumgebung modular zu gestalten und sie regelmäßig hinsichtlich Komfort und Funktionalität zu befragen, ist hier sicherlich erst der Anfang. ...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Der vorliegende Beitrag in der Zeitschrift Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation (GIO) beschäftigt sich mit der Entstehung hybrider Arbeitsumgebungen für Wissensarbeiter. Durch die Covid19-Pandemie zeichnet sich zukünftig eine Koexistenz des Arbeitens im Büro und aus dem Homeoffice ab. Durch dieses hybride Arbeiten entstehen drei Herausforderungen für Unternehmen: eine veränderte Rolle des Bürogebäudes, veränderte Bedürfnisse der Nutzer des Büros und sich verändernde Arbeitsaktivitäten, die die kontinuierliche Anpassung von Arbeitsumgebungen notwendig machen. Dieser Beitrag beschreibt die Gestaltung einer New Work-Arbeitsumgebung anhand eines Fallbeispiels, welches diesen drei Herausforderungen begegnet. Diese werden jeweils vor dem Hintergrund bestehender wissenschafticher Erkenntnisse diskutiert. Es zeichnet sich ab, dass physische Büroumgebungen für hybrid arbeitende Mitarbeitende als Ort für Interaktion, Kollaboration und Unternehmenskultur eine zentrale Rolle spielen. Weiterhin werden Gestaltungsoptionen für Nutzerzentrierung und Partizipation in der Entstehungsphase sowie für eine kontinuierliche Anpassung im Regelbetrieb der Büroräume beschrieben. Der vorliegende Beitrag bereichert die bestehenden Erkenntnisse zur Auswirkung von Arbeitsumgebungen um einen tieferen Blick auf den Entstehungsprozess als solchem und bietet Organisationen Impulse zur Gestaltung hybrider Arbeitsumgebungen.
... Employees (product engineers) work at large round tables, which are distributed through the office area, and may locate themselves any-where that they wish on any given day, or at different times during a day." The main objectives of the re-design of the working space was to facilitate better communication and exchange among employees (Meel 2011). A year-long investigation was undertaken to determine the impact of the non-territorial office on work-related behavior, communication and performance. ...
... Anyhow, it took over 30 years until such concepts found their way (back) in todays´ organisations and HR departments (Meel 2011), partially triggered by new information and communication technologies that facilitated new ways of communication within an organisation, thus locational flexibility. Locational flexibility comes along with the idea that employees search for a place to work according to their task, meaning that depending on the task a person is going to work on, one looks for the proper place in the office (Felstead et al., 2005). ...
Article
External pressures, such as technological change, increased global competition and the volatility of international markets demand more and more networked collaboration. Furthermore, employment models are changing towards more project-oriented work places, the blending of home and work life is increasing, as far as working independently from time and space. Concepts for a New Way of Working, such as network organisations challenge the organisations regarding their structures, organisational culture and IT infrastructure, but also managers and employees face several challenges: the former have to adapt their leadership style and the latter are requested to have a high degree of intrapreneurship spirit. As these concepts are also intended to increase cooperation and exchange and lessen silo and departmentalized thinking, they support companies to establish new ways of collaboration and self-organisation such as flexible and self-organising teams, namely Sociocracy or Holacracy. The purpose of this paper is to report the results of an Exploratory Factor Analysis to test a framework concerning the New Way of Working.
... NWW is seen as a viable answer to incompatibilities between people's professional and personal lives stemming from major societal issues, being boosted by current COVID-19 pandemic issues (Mitev et al. 2021). NWW can also positively address professional life challenges like women's labor market access, work-life balance and well-being at work, and young workers' (millennials) new expectations (Brandl et al. 2019;van Meel 2011). ...
... Authors have also linked NWW practices to autonomy (Palvalin 2017;Schmoll and Süß 2019;van der Voordt 2003;van Meel 2011). For example, ten Brummelhuis et al. (2012) stated that "it is important to emphasize that the overarching theme of NWW is providing employees autonomy by giving them control over their work content, time, location and communication" (p. ...
Article
Full-text available
A new research stream emerged in the 2000s dedicated to flexible work arrangements in public and private organizations, called “new ways of working” (NWW). This article aims to examine NWW from both a theoretical and empirical perspective, focusing on definitional issues as well as on HR outcomes of this new concept. Current definitions of NWW are manifold and based on rather vague theoretical foundations. As NWW outcomes may be both positive and/or negative, we mobilize the “mutual gains” vs. “conflicting outcomes” theoretical debate to discuss the results of our literature review. This review is based on 21 articles (out of 90 initially selected for eligibility) dealing with NWW as a concept or as a bundle of practices. Findings demonstrate that NWW definitions are diverse and somewhat imprecise, lacking theoretical foundations and leading to fragmented research designs and findings. Findings also highlight the current lack of empirical data, which therefore does not allow any real conclusions on NWW’s effects on employees’ and organizations’ well-being and performance.
... Working spaces have rapidly evolved to support new ways of working, for example, with the implementation of new office spaces. These spaces have arisen to support new mobile and flexible working habits (van Meel and Vos, 2001;van Meel, 2011). One of these is the co-working space. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Today, academic work includes increasingly informal and collaborative activities. This research attempts to determine whether stakeholders in the development of learning spaces in higher education could benefit from the principles of co-working space. This paper aims to determine whether a need exists for co-working space as a learning space solution from the viewpoint of academic space users. This determination will be made by examining the following research question: How does the co-working space concept meet user expectations regarding academic space? Design/methodology/approach The research question is answered by investigating users’ experiences of existing learning spaces in higher education in light of future workplace needs. Users’ requirements are examined by analysing user experience survey and interviews. The results are confirmed by focus group interviews and examined in the light of co-working space characteristics that are identified in the literature from the viewpoint of workplace management by searching for similarities between descriptions in the literature and the empirical data. Findings This research suggests that academic space users would appreciate it if the spaces they use would reflect some of the co-working space characteristics. These characteristics are community, multipurpose office, high accessibility and attractive workplace. A less applicable co-working space characteristic is space as service. Research limitations/implications The results of this study are based on one case, which limits the generalisability of the results. Practical implications The results provide suggestions for corporate real estate management and stakeholders in academic institutions to consider when renovating outdated spaces. Originality/value The paper expands the literature on learning spaces in higher education and related practices by linking it with co-working spaces, thereby contributing to a field that has not yet been explored in depth.
... Many papers have stated that how corporates use offices has indeed changed (Gibson and Luck, 2006;Inalhan, 2009;Van Meel, 2011;Harris and Cooke, 2014;Kojo and Nenonen 2015), but the supply of office space has not (Harris and Cooke, 2014). This mismatch between demand and supply is also highlighted by De Jonge et al., (2008) who developed a framework "designing an accommodation strategy" for corporations to deal with the mismatch. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose As corporations change their way of working, the importance of corporate real estate (CRE) management has increased. Hence, there is a need to structure the existing knowledge and to identify the latest developments in CRE research. This paper aims to identify the major developments and changed paradigms in CRE research in 2005-2015. Design/methodology/approach A systematic literature review is conducted, including papers from seven journals. In three sequential scans, papers were identified for the final analysis, keeping 99 of 1,667 papers. Findings Based on nine identified developments, two paradigm shifts were found. The shift from cost minimisation to value delivery was identified. Besides solving current problems, value delivery aims to capture the future value and prevent future problems. The second paradigm shift is from buildings to people. Before the shift, buildings refer to value delivery as a transaction, while the shift to people highlights the aim to provide value-in-use. Research limitations/implications This paper focusses on corporate offices, excluding retail, health care, education, publicly owned facilities, etc. This research is limited to CRE research. Therefore, the results are applicable to CRE research but do not cover the developments in practice. Practical implications For practitioners, this paper offers a possibility to develop their RE strategies by reflecting their current practices with the identified developments and paradigms in the CRE literature. This paper suggests to conduct a similar research in practice to compare the underlying paradigms. Originality/value This paper is based on a systematic literature study, and summarises developments in CRE research over the past 10 years.
... work process, or type of activity) in the workplace have become more diverse now that today's work paradigm requires more dynamic, volatile, and collaborative environments [34]. Innovative workplace concepts known as New Ways of Working (NewWoW) have thus been introduced in recent decades [67]. Although the definition of NewWoW varies from one context to another, the generally-accepted definition entails flexible working hours and flexible workplaces [10]. ...
Article
As work has come to require more dynamic and collaborative settings, activity-based work (ABW) environments have claimed increasing attention. However, without a clear understanding of office-workers’ activity patterns the rash adoption of ABW may entail a variety of adverse effects, such as work-station shortages and inappropriate work-station arrangements. In this regard, the automated recognition of office activities with an accelerometer can help architects to understand activity patterns, thereby enabling effective space planning for the ABW environment. To the best of our knowledge, however, static office tasks requiring mainly manual activities have not yet been recognized. The study thus aims to determine the feasibility of recognizing seven static and non-static office activities simultaneously using an accelerometer. An experimental investigation was carried out to collect acceleration data from the seven activities. The accuracy of five classifiers (i.e. k-Nearest Neighbor, Discriminant Analysis, Support Vector Machine, Decision Tree and Ensemble Classifier), was analyzed with different window sizes. The highest classification accuracy, at 96.1%, was achieved by Ensemble Classifier, with a window size of 4.0 s. In addition, all office activities showed recall and precision greater than 0.9, demonstrating high prediction reliability. These findings help architects to understand static and non-static office activity patterns more systematically and comprehensively.
... This room-level space usage data are not sufficient to analyze NWW space usage patterns. Because most of the NWW offices are based on open plan layout and its users work flexibly in various workstations even in a room [12], [15]. Considering these characteristics, to analyze NWW space usage patterns, specific space usage data such as user's location and their moves are required (i.e. ...
... The idea of working flexibly was not new at the time, and examples of flexible and innovative work arrangements can be found even in the 1970s and 1980s 1 . But it took some time for it to become a more mainstream practice, mainly thanks to the technological developments and to the change of management (Human Resources) paradigm (van Meel 2011). Initially, the central focus of the pioneers in flexible work was on office or workspace design and re-design, as part of the global trend of work 'flexibilization' in general (Kingma 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
A recent popular trend in office re-design is the activity-based flexible office (A-FO). Initially, assumptions about the effects of A-FOs were drawn from research into open-plan offices where lack of privacy, concentration opportunities, and an increase in distractions are identified as main downsides. These aspects have not been explored sufficiently in the context of A-FOs. Using a longitudinal within-subjects design with three measurement times, we focussed on analysing the change in distraction after moving to an A-FO, how distraction-affected important work-related outcomes, and what factors moderated these relationships. Results showed 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 obtained results highlight the harmful effects of the interaction of work stressors for employees’ motivation and well-being. Practitioner summary: The results of our research provide important insight into how moving to an activity-based flexible office impacts the employees. Besides having quiet zones for concentrated work to avoid distractions managers and leaders should also focus on taking care of work stressors to avoid fatigue and loss of motivation.
... (b) specific organizational configurations of work; (c) participative and collaborative management practices, drawing on the extended use of ICTs. Table 1 (2015))Insert Table 1 about hereA quick look at Table 1 reveals that many of the practices reported there are far from being 'new' (see also van Meel, 2011). Management by objectives and other participative management practices have been studied from the early 1950's: one of the first experience of self-management took place in 1944 in the Brun biscuit manufacturing plant , in France. ...
Chapter
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This chapter questions the relevance of the concept of smart power in organization studies and, specifically, in the study of new ways of working (NWOW) implementation. NWOW embrace a broad set of organizational practices, ranging from spatial and temporal flexibility to self-management. Beyond such set of (somehow traditional) work practices, the singularity of NWOW seems to lie in its governance epitome, valuing a peculiar philosophy of management, i.e., a more democratic way of managing organizations. The smart power approach could play a key role in the effective implementation of NWOW. However, drawing on existing studies, we report some paradoxes making NWOW a piece of what may be seen as old-fashioned management practices and organizational pattern that, far from constituting a promise for alternative modes of governance, also constitute new attempts to discipline employees. Claiming organizational rules need to be appropriated by actors in order to become effective, this chapter argues a smart power perspective is not relevant at the microlevel, where traditional approaches of power and agency are more complete. While considering innovative NWOW, smart power approach seems well relevant to analyze meso-regulations and, especially, governance issues.
... À tel point que les murs ne peuvent plus servir de support pour des décorations personnelles (Felstead et al., 2005) et que les travailleurs doivent occuper les espaces de travail disponibles lorsqu'ils débutent leur journée et libérer ces derniers lorsqu'ils partent en réunion, par exemple. En d'autres termes, cette pratique interdit l'occupation permanente et durable un emplacement de travail au sein de l'organisation (Elsbach, 2003 ;Léon, 2010 ;van Meel, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Les transformations des espaces de travail concernent un nombre croissant d’organisations, traduisant la recherche de réduction de coûts autant que de collaboration. Parmi ces transformations, cet article s’attache à l’étude de la mise en œuvre de bureaux partagés. L’espace de travail est dépersonnalisé : chaque travailleur est invité à s’installer où il le souhaite, au regard notamment de l’activité qu’il doit réaliser. Depuis les travaux séminaux d’Henri Lefebvre et les apports de Michel Lussault, la géographie sociale s’invite de plus en plus dans les sciences des organisations et de la gestion pour aider à comprendre des situations de changement qui touchent à l’espace de travail. Dans cet article, la mobilisation de la notion de territorialité nous permet d’envisager l’espace de travail comme l’incarnation d’un espace de résistance. Cette contribution théorique est ensuite illustrée par des éléments d’étude de cas qui montrent en quoi la territorialité et les processus de marquage qu’elle sous-tend cristallisent et incarnent des stratégies de résistance.
... The particular feature of these workspaces is that they dispossess workers of their personal space and effectively prohibit the appropriation and personalisation of the workplace (Bradley and Hood, 2003;Warren, 2006). In other words, this practice prohibits any enduring occupation of a workspace within the organisation (Elsbach, 2003;van Meel, 2011) to such an extent that any object and material trace of physical occupation are removed to make the workspace sterile and identity-less (Connellan, 2013). ...
Article
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Flexwork, i.e. the combination of shared offices and telework, is one of the major changes affecting the workplace these days. But how do employees react to these transformations of their work environment? In this paper, we investigate employees’ resistance to the introduction of flexwork in a large Belgian organization. We show employees resisting this workspace transformation through the use of personal objects as means to physically reconnect to the place, using objects to convey their claims and objectively occupy places. Though space has become a key analytic concept in the study of organizations, research still largely neglects the concrete role played by personal objects in the capacity of workers to resist change in the occupation of workspaces. We highlight the mutual constitution of objects and space in practices of resistance to workspace change. We show specifically how the politicality of these materials—referred to here as objectal resistance—comes from the meaning that people assign to objects when they place them in order to reestablish workers’ bodily presence at work—i.e., from acts of objects embodiment and emplacement. We contribute to studies of resistance in the workplace by showing that objectal resistance is a complex combination of overt and covert activities, which leads to see the classic opposition between recognition and post-recognition politics in a new light.
... The idea of designing offices with a range of workspaces dedicated to specific working activities has its origins in the 1960s and 1970s. At this time, these office configurations were not mainstream and were used only by innovators and early adopters (van Meel, 2011). Today, there are a variety of implementations that reach a broad population of workers. ...
Article
Combinations of concentrated work and interactions are facilitated by office environments such as activity-based flexible offices (A-FOs). A-FOs are characterized by activity-based workspaces, an open-plan layout, and desk sharing. Although there is a growing enthusiasm for replacing cellular offices with A-FOs, the effects of such changes on office workers are still unclear. Within this three-wave longitudinal study, we investigated the changes (time lag of 1 and 8 months after the redesign) in perceived need–supply fit, distraction, interaction across teams, and workspace satisfaction during relocation from a cellular office to an A-FO. Moreover, as previous case studies indicated individual differences in the use of A-FOs, we considered participants’ perceived need–supply fit as a moderator indicating an appropriate use of A-FO supplies. We found a linear increase of perceived need–supply fit, a decrease in distraction, and a significant interaction effect where workspace satisfaction and interaction across teams increased more strongly for participants reporting a better perceived need–supply fit.
... Although many more innovative technological discoveries were made prior to the late 1950s, technology became even more advanced during the Digital Revolution (between the late 1950s and the late 1970s), as the printing of money and the publication of information became almost instant (Germain, 2007). Moreover, this same technology hinted towards the possibility of printing and publishing in a virtual dispensation in the nearby future (Van Meel, 2011). As a result, predictions were made that the use of paper (particularly in working environments) would decrease closer to the start of the 1980s, realizing the vision of a paperless working environment (Bloomberg, 1975). ...
Article
Full-text available
Around the globe, more emphasis is being placed on environmental sustainability and, as such, many organisations have started to embrace the idea of a paperless working environment, although it is still largely regarded as an idealistic dream. For this research study, the influence of a paperless working environment at the Master of the High Court (Master’s Office), in Cape Town, was investigated through the introduction of its Paperless Estate Administration System (PEAS) and its Paperless Estate Administration System for Trusts (PEAST). The main objective of this research study was to determine the influence of the PEAS and the PEAST on the holistic sustainability of the Master’s Office. A mixed methods approach was followed whereby both quantitative data and qualitative data were collected through means of disseminating questionnaires to employees based at the Master’s Office in Cape Town. Based on the findings made, the PEAS and the PEAST had a positive influence on the sustainability of the Master’s Office in Cape Town as the time spent on and the expenditure incurred on administrative tasks decreased significantly. Notwithstanding the latter, it was found that the PEAS and the PEAST can still be further enhanced to optimise the sustainability of the Master’s Office in Cape Town.
... Although many more innovative technological discoveries were made prior to the late-1950s, technology became even more advanced during the Digital Revolution (between the late-1950s and the late-1970s), as the printing of money and the publication of information became almost instant (Germain, 2007). Moreover, this same technology hinted towards the possibility of printing and publishing in a virtual dispensation in the nearby future (Van Meel, 2011). As a result, predictions were made that the use of paper (particularly in working environments) would decrease closer to the start of the 1980s; realizing the vision of a paperless working environment (Bloomberg, 1975). ...
Article
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Around the globe, more emphasis is being placed on environmental sustainability and, as such, many organizations have started to embrace the idea of a paperless working environment, although it is still largely regarded as an idealistic dream. For this research study, the influence of a paperless working environment on the Master of the High Court (Master’s Office), in Cape Town, was investigated through the introduction of its Paperless Estate Administration System (PEAS) and its Paperless Estate Administration System for Trusts (PEAST). The main objective of this research study is to determine the influence of the PEAS and the PEAST on the holistic sustainability of the Master’s Office. A mixed methods approach was followed whereby both quantitative data and qualitative data were collected through means of disseminating questionnaires to employees based at the Master’s Office in Cape Town. Based on the findings made, the PEAS and the PEAST had a positive influence on the sustainability of the Master’s Office in Cape Town, as the time spent on and the expenditure incurred on administrative tasks decreased significantly. Notwithstanding the latter, it was found that the PEAS and the PEAST can still be further enhanced to optimize the sustainability of the Master’s Office in Cape Town. Keywords: paperless, work environment, high court, administration, office and management technology, Paperless Estate Administration System (PEAS), Paperless Estate Administration System for Trusts (PEAST). JEL Classification: M10
... De afhankelijkheid van het fysieke kantoorgebouw werd sindsdien kleiner. Dankzij de digitalisering van werk kon je nu op de best mogelijke werkplek werken, terwijl je altijd verbonden was met de organisatie via het digitale netwerk (Baane, 2010;Van Meel, 2011). Er werd meer nagedacht over concepten als tijd-en plaats-onafhankelijk werken, co-working spaces, flexwerken en nomadisch werken (Leclercq-Vandelannoitte & Isaac, 2016;Mark & Su, 2010). ...
... The ideas of mobile working, desk sharing, video conferencing and paperless, open offices originate from the 1970's or before. Meel (2011) gives an overview of these early ideas, but concludes that they were by no means common or widely adopted at that time. Possible explanations may be that the technologies at the time were not yet able to provide the speed, power and ease of use that people need for mobile and flexible work styles, and the corporate mindset. ...
Conference Paper
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Information and communication technologies are rapidly transforming the work environment, providing flexibility of when and where to work. The New Way of Working (NWOW) is a relatively new phenomenon that provides the context for these developments. In this case research three reviews were performed over a one-year timeframe, evaluating the attitude of managers and employees towards the New Way of Working. Special attention was given to the relationship between personality traits (the ‘Big Five’) and satisfaction with NWOW. The case results show that, in general, managers and employees are and remain positive towards NWOW, though the actual effects of the implementation of NWOW on work and the work environment are often limited or hard to quantify. The personality survey shows there is a significant positive relationship between conscientiousness, being (self)disciplined, and satisfaction with NWOW. There is a negative relationship for neuroticism; sensitive employees. This leads to the conclusion that the New Way of Working is not beneficial to all. Where (self)disciplined employees may thrive well in the new work environment,
Article
Purpose Measuring productivity in changing environment is a challenging task for most of the organizations. However, it is very important for managers to measure how the changes in work environment impact on knowledge work productivity. SmartWoW is proving to be a useful tool for this type of productivity measurement, and organizations are using it to make changes in the work environment. As organizations become more interested in its uses, studies with more accurate results are needed. The purpose of this paper is to validate and improve the use of the SmartWoW tool. Design/methodology/approach The SmartWoW tool was used in nine organizations, which formulates the research data. Convergent validity, divergent validity and reliability are tested with SPSS and AMOS. Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are applied. Findings The SmartWoW tool structure was found to be valid. It follows the structure described in previous literature, with slight changes in two dimensions. Four variables were added to increase tool consistency, and their wording was harmonized. Practical implications SmartWoW is useful for evaluating an organization’s current work environment and practices, as well as for measuring the effects of work environment changes. This study’s results also suggest SmartWoW would be useful for research by, for example, evaluating how dimensions affect each other. Originality/value This study provides a better understanding of the unique features and uses of SmartWoW. The findings not only validate through statistical analysis the tool’s structure but also improve it and offer a broader scope of its uses.
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Purpose The purpose of the paper is to explore the use of, and challenges associated with, spatial change management strategies. This is done through a discussion on how spatial environments may be utilised to effect organisational change. The intention is to provoke new thinking on physical change initiatives and to challenge the often highly deterministic view on the effects of contemporary workspace concepts. Design/methodology/approach The paper is structured as a case study-based literature review, drawing on literature from the fields of environmental psychology, organisational branding, corporate real estate and facility management, as well as organisational change management. Findings The study indicates that space management strategies may fail because of the lack of understanding of how organisational events and other contextually specific aspects correlate with the physical change initiative. Succeeding with the spatial strategy requires a strong focus on socio-material relationships and the employee meaning-making process during the spatial change process. Originality/value Contrary to the traditional and rational focus on functional space management strategies, the paper takes a socio-material approach suggesting that there is a need for more empirically based research into the employee meaning-making process and the role of human and organisational practices in the development of new workplace concepts. Focusing on how organisational members understand and “make use of” spatial environments may substantially improve organisations and building consultants’ abilities to strategically manage the physical change initiative and achieve the intended ends.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consolidate the state of extant academic research on workplace innovation (WI) by proposing a comprehensive conceptual framework and outlining research traditions on the phenomenon. Design/methodology/approach – This paper systematically reviewed the literature published over the past 20 years, basing on a predefined research protocol. The dimensions of WI were explored with the help of thematic synthesis, while the research perspectives were studied by means of textual narrative synthesis. Findings – The analysis suggests that there exist four research traditions on WI – built container, humanized landscape, socio-material macro-actor, and polyadic network – and each of them comprises its own set of assumptions, foci of study, and ontological bases. The findings suggest that WI is a heterogeneous process of renovation occurring in eight different dimensions, namely work system, workplace democracy, high-tech application, workplace boundaries, workspaces, people practices, workplace experience, and workplace culture. The analysis showed that over years the meaning of innovation within these dimensions changed, therefore it is argued that research should account for the variability of these categories. Practical implications – The paper includes implications for developing and implementing WI programs. Moreover, it discusses the role of HR in the WI process. Originality/value – This paper for the first time systematically reviews literature on the topic of WI, clarifies the concept and discusses directions and implications for the future research. Keywords - Qualitative, Workspace, Work practices, Workplace innovation, Workplace design, High-performance work systems (HPWS), Working life development Paper type Literature review
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This study offers a grounded theory of ‘new ways of working’ (NWW), an organizational design concept of Dutch origin with a global relevance. NWW concern business solutions for flexible workspaces enabled by digital network technologies. Theoretically, NWW are analysed with reference to Lefebvre’s theory on the ‘production of space’ and are defined along three dimensions: the spatiotemporal ‘flexibilization’ of work practices, the ‘virtualization’ of the technologically pre-defined organization, and the ‘interfacialization’ of meaning making in the lifeworld of workers. Empirically, NWW are explored in a case study of an insurance company which in 2007 radically implemented NWW. The case study consists of a longitudinal – before and after implementation – research based on ethnographic fieldwork, conducted in 2007 and 2010. The article contributes with a conceptual framework for the analysis and management of NWW, and highlights contradictions and ambiguities in the implementation and appropriation of this innovative organizational design.
Chapter
Given the current impacted state of the BMW Group, as well as its perpetual job growth, new working forms need to be implemented in order for the company to maintain its status as a leading competitor in the automotive industry. By implementing a flexible working environment, organizations are able to accommodate continuous job growth, while maintaining sufficient building space efficiency and reducing building costs. A new workplace concept will inevitably result in the emergence of new challenges regarding satisfaction with the working environment, as well as impose significant change that can be perceived as threatening to some individuals. Therefore, the following study examines the effects that mobility and flexibility in the workplace have on perceived employee satisfaction and well-being. Research was conducted on a targeted group of employees over a two-year time period at the BMW Group in Munich, Germany. Employee responses pertaining to perceptions of mobility work and desk sharing were analyzed via questionnaire analyses in order to determine the effects on satisfaction with the working environment at the BMW Group in a specified non-territorial working environment. Structural equation modeling and content analyses via open-ended responses were conducted in order to determine the effect that the independent variables, mobile work, and desk sharing have on working environment satisfaction and employee well-being. Results indicate that mobile work significantly predicts working environment satisfaction, and levels of satisfaction with the working environment increased over time. Furthermore, open-ended responses suggest that mobile work has a significantly positive influence on employee satisfaction. Desk sharing has a significant impact on hygiene levels and concentration abilities in the flexible working environment, influencing employee well-being. This study provides concrete evidence for the need to solve capacity issues in terms of job growth, as well as maintain a high level of employee satisfaction and well-being in today’s fast-paced society.
Presentation
Over the last decades, remote work arrangements (RWAs), such as teleworking, mobile working and virtual working, have acquired increasing relevance within the organizational landscape, in conjunction with the rise of new ICTs that enable their large- scale adoption in organizations. Although these work practices are largely intended to generate positive outcomes for organizations and their employees, these outcomes depend on the process of implementation of RWAs programs where a critical concern is represented by organizational control and supervisory practices. Embracing a post-Fordist vision, some authors (e.g. Lautsch et al., 2009; Wiensenfeld et al., 1999) predict that RWAs would led to a change in traditional organizational control mechanisms and practices, with a weakening of technocratic control and more emphasis on output control, self-control and remote workers' autonomy. To date, empirical research (e.g. Dimitrova, 2003; Taskin & Sewell, 2015) has not confirmed this (positive) change in all contexts and evidences still remain inconclusive about which changes RWAs produce on organizational control mechanisms and supervisory approaches. Contrary to mentioned work by e.g. Lautsch et al., 2009 and Wiensenfeld et al. 1999, and similarly to studies on "autonomy" (Barley & Kunda, 2004; Barker, 1993), Taskin and Sewell (2015) showed that after telework adoption both professional and nonprofessional workers perceived restrictions on their autonomy due to an intensification of technocratic control; however, they were willing to accept diminished autonomy and even contributed to reinforce socio-ideological control based on socialization practices, workplace norms (e.g. trust) and the image of the "ideal worker" (Putnam et al., 2014) constantly available to colleagues and connected to the organization (see also Mazmanian et al., 2013). Further research is needed to understand how RWAs adoption affects control and how perceptions of autonomy engender tensions to be managed across different contexts. In this regard, management literature on RWAs has privileged home-based teleworking, neglecting mobile teleworking, which "involves travel and/or spending time on customers' premises" with laptop computers and mobile phones supporting work execution (Hislop and Axtell, 2007), as well as new flexible and virtual work practices where the integration of ICTs enabled to access anytime and anywhere to information through tablets and smartphones (Messenger & Gschwind, 2016). More importantly, there is a paucity of empirical research addressing control and supervisory in mobile working and how these issues related to autonomy perceptions (e.g. Dambrin, 2004 Leclercq-Vandelannoitte et al., 2014; Limburg & Jackson, 2007). In this context, empirical results found that mobile teleworkers defend their autonomy and 90 resist new forms of control, or, on the contrary, accepted intrusive control (enabled by mobile technologies), in exchange of higher flexibility. In order to provide insights about the interplay between control and autonomy in the context of remote working, we conducted a longitudinal case study in an Italian subsidiary of a Dutch company manufacturing and selling pneumatic solutions. In PneumOne (a pseudonym) we conducted 21 semi-structured interviews lasting 90 minutes on average with all sales force and their sales manager in the transition from office-based mobile working, i.e. all salespeople had an assigned workstation in different local branch located all over the country, to home-based mobile teleworking. This was due to the dismiss of all Italian local branches with the exception of one located in Northern Italy, that became the only corporate headquarters for all Italian employees, both office-based and home-based. Interviews, carried on between December 2014 and November 2015, were related to two temporal stages, i.e. the passage from office-based mobile working to home-based mobile teleworking and six months after its implementation. The case was enlightening since RWA adoption was realized in conjunction with the transfer of the pneumatic business by a multi-business and multi- national company to an investment fund aimed at improving the operational efficiency and fostering the market growth of the new firm. Interviews were integrated with documents including organizational charts, presentations, brochures and main artifacts directly or indirectly used as tools of control for salespeople. Following Gioia et al. (2012), data analysis was based on an inductive process and realized through moving from first- order to second-order themes, cycling between existing concepts and categories in the relevant literature (e.g. "perceptions of control") and emerging data and themes (e.g. "striving for autonomy"). Our research found that remote work adoption in PneumOne reduced rather than intensified technocratic control, including behavioral and output control rules and procedures, making it less obtrusive. Notably, output control continues to be based on a historically-based practice of Management by Objectives, that materialized in an annual personnel review document, that pre- existed in the former multi-business firm and continued to be used in PneumOne to assign measureable objectives (i.e. annual revenue targets). Moreover, behavioral supervision and control - historically based on joint customer visits and telephone calls made by supervisor to salespeople - were reduced in frequency. Although the overall loosening of formal control was the result of a contingent situation (i.e. new firm with scant resources) rather than a corporate decision, the sales manager tended to justify control practices and his supervision style through the "rethoric of autonomy" used to describe professional salespeople' work. In response to enhanced autonomy, remote workers, however, generally expressed de-escalation in organizational commitment and identification. Indeed, they would be willing to give up part of their autonomy to fulfill their committment to others (e.g. customers) by adhering to rules inscribed in material artifacts of formal control (e.g. CRM, Outlook), by receiving visits from their supervisor, by participating in formal meetings. These, counterintuitively, were an emergent form of technocratic control driven by salespeople's social agency and their will to meet periodically to build team cohesion and improve collective performance. Perceptions of poor supervision and failure of artefacts designed for control, led teleworkers to rely on individual resources, 91 such as self-designed artifacts (e.g. excel files) or personal skills (e.g. technical competences), in order to enable the self-organization and self-monitoring of their work. The reiteration of these routines led over time to reinforce a negatively framed "culture of inadequate control" rather than a positively framed "culture of autonomy" and to shared expectations of individualistic behaviors detrimental for reciprocal support and team building.
Article
Purpose Knowledge work productivity is a well-studied topic in the existing literature, but it has focussed mainly on two things. First, there are many theoretical models lacking empirical research, and second, there is a very specific research regarding how something impacts productivity. The purpose of this paper is to collect empirical data and test the conceptual model of knowledge work productivity in practice. The paper also provides information on how different drivers of knowledge work productivity have an impact on productivity. Design/methodology/approach Through the survey method, data were collected from 998 knowledge workers from Finland. Then, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to confirm the knowledge work productivity dimensions of the conceptual model. Later, regression analysis was used to analyse the impacts of knowledge factors on productivity. Findings This paper increases the understanding of what matters for knowledge work productivity, with statistical analysis. The conceptual model of knowledge work productivity consists of two major elements: the knowledge worker and the work environment. The study results showed that the knowledge worker has the biggest impact on productivity through his or her well-being and work practices. The social environment was also found to be a significant driver. The results could not confirm or refute the role of the physical or virtual environment in knowledge work productivity. Practical implications The practical value of the study lies in the analysis results. The information generated about the factors impacting productivity can be used to improve knowledge work productivity. In addition, the limited resources available for organisational development will have the greatest return if they are used to increase intangible assets, i.e., management and work practices. Originality/value While it is well known that many factors are essential for knowledge work productivity, relatively few studies have examined it from as many dimensions at the same time as this study. This study adds value to the literature by providing information on which factors have the greatest influence on productivity.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to introduce and evaluate methods for analysing the impacts of work environment changes. New working practices and work environments present the potential to improve both the productivity and the wellbeing of knowledge workers, and more widely, the performance of organisations and the wider society. The flexibility offered by information and communication technology has influenced changes in the physical environment where activity-based offices are becoming the standard. Research offers some evidence on the impacts of work environment changes, but studies examining methods that could be useful in capturing the overall impacts and how to measure them are lacking. Design/methodology/approach This paper concludes research of the last five years and includes data from several organisations. The paper presents and empirically demonstrates the application of three complementary ways to analyse the impacts of knowledge work redesigns. The methods include: interview framework for modelling the potential of new ways of working (NWoW); questionnaire tool for measuring the subjective knowledge work performance in the NWoW context; and multidimensional performance measurement for measuring the performance impacts at the organisational level. Findings This paper presents a framework for identifying the productivity potential and measuring the impacts of work environment changes. The paper introduces the empirical examples of three different methods for analysing the impacts of NWoW and discusses the usefulness and challenges of the methods. The results also support the idea of a measurement process and confirm that it suits NWoW context. Practical implications The three methods explored in this study can be used in organisations for planning and measuring work environment changes. The paper presents a comprehensive approach to work environment which could help managers to identify and improve the critical points of knowledge work. Originality/value Changes in the work environment are huge for knowledge workers, but it is still unclear whether their effects on performance are negative or positive. The value of this paper is that it applies traditional measurement methods to NWoW contexts, and analyses how these could be used in research and management.
Article
Purpose This paper aims to examine the impact of an open-plan office (OPO) space organisation on a user’s attitude in the Algerian context; more specifically, it investigates gender differences in the occupants’ perception of such working environment. It, principally, aims to explore the employees’ reaction towards OPO and sees how much such local office type complies with indoor environment quality (IEQ) and psychological comfort. Design/methodology/approach The theoretical framework of the study is mainly related to environmental psychology referring to the interaction between users and their environment. Post-occupancy evaluation was carried out using exploratory study and questionnaires, followed by statistical analyses. It was performed on a large-scale sample of employees (296 employees) working in recently built OPO situated in Oran (Algeria). Findings Fundamentally, women appear to show more concern regarding comfort. They do not show much reluctance to be mixed with men in a large office space as opposed to more conservative reaction towards mixing up in outdoor public space environment. As for environmental factors (IEQ), indicators have shown the inadequacy of most buildings in terms of thermal, light or noise comfort. The study has also revealed that a majority of users recognise the professional advantages of the OPO, although it is suggested that their preferred type would be the individual office. Originality/value The paper provides a concise starting point for future research interested in developing Algerian context OPO design in terms of both indoor environmental and psychological comfort.
Conference Paper
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COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown have changed the perception of people about their work and thereby impacted the business world. To contain the pandemic Govt. of various countries have announced measures like restrictions on public movement, lockdown, ban on public transport etc. Barring few exceptions like companies in IT sector, healthcare, pharma, power etc., majority of the business establishments have closed or reduced their operations during this pandemic period. IT companies have continued their work by allowing employees "work from home" (WFH) facility. It is found that, of late this WFH facility started turning into a nightmare due to variety of reasons. Very few studies conducted on WLB of IT sector employees during Covid-19 pandemic aimed at ascertaining the actual problems and issues related to WFH facility. During interaction with few IT sector employees the research found that "All is not well" in regards to WFH facility of IT sector employees. On the other hand, WFH practice is highly beneficial to IT companies due to reasons of cost saving and hence they encourage employees to continue WFH even when Covid-19 pandemic effect is reducing. In this context, the possibility of normalizing this abnormal WFH practice in future by IT companies cannot be ruled out. Hence, the research has identified this as a research gap and decided to explore further. For this study, the researchers have collected data through online survey of 108 IT-sector employees from Mumbai region. The questionnaire was circulated through email, social media through snowball sampling method. We aims at ascertaining the impact of WLB on employee satisfaction of IT sector employees. The outcome will be useful to IT companies for framing appropriate policies aiming towards maximizing job satisfaction by ensuring WLB of employees.
Chapter
Die Frage nach der optimalen Gestaltung von Arbeitsumgebungen wird innerhalb unterschiedlicher Disziplinen erforscht. Neben der (Innen-)Architektur, die sich mit der Gestaltung von Räumen und Bürogebäuden befasst, versucht auch die Psychologie das Erleben und Verhalten in Arbeitsumgebungen zu verstehen, zu erklären und vorherzusagen. Der Begriff Arbeitsumgebung umfasst hierbei einerseits Arbeitsräume und Büroumgebungen, betrifft aber auch generell die aktuelle Umgebung, in der sich der/ die Arbeitende befindet. In dem Kapitel werden neue Ansätze in der Gestaltung von Arbeitsumgebungen berichtet und deren Effekte auf das arbeitende Individuum diskutiert. Dies geschieht getrennt für die Wissensarbeit sowie handwerkliche Industriearbeit.
Article
In the introductory paper of this special issue on new ways of working (NWW) the editors first reflect on the meaning of the ‘new’, finding inspiration in Hannes Meyer's essay “The New World” (1926). The ‘new’ is always relative, of course, closely associated with technological innovation, in our case digitalization, and integrates spatiotemporal, technological and socio-cultural dimensions of life and organizing. This SI seeks to offer a reflection on and contribution to deeper understanding of ongoing flexibilization, virtualization and mediation of work practices. The authors go on to contextualize and discuss the contributions of the papers included in this special issue, focussing on significant technological, spatiotemporal, organizational and individual developments associated with new ways of working. Finally, they reflect on the possible relevance of the recent Covid-19 pandemic for the future of work, arguing that this pandemic accelerated NWW in many ways and – given the many paradoxical NWW dynamics and developments – that there could very well be unexpected and adverse consequences, including a turn away from formal ways of working.
Article
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Due to Covid-19, several companies in Bangladesh allowed their employees to work from home. The objective of this research is to examine how home office affected the female employees of Bangladesh in their work-life balance and job satisfaction during the pandemic. The data was gathered using a convenience sample method. This research discusses whether the female employees of Bangladesh who have the home office facility can maintain work-life balance and whether they are satisfied with their job. According to the findings, having the scope of home office has a direct positive and statistically significant impact on the work-life balance as well as the level of job satisfaction experienced by female employees. Therefore, employers can use the outcomes of this study to reduce the emergence of negative impacts on work- life balance and on job satisfaction when female employees are working remotely. This will also help employers recognize the potential of home office and utilize it in the future. Keywords: work-life balance (WLB); Covid-19 pandemic; female employees; home office; job satisfaction.
Article
This study examined the relationship between compulsory new ways of working (flexible work design, workplace design at home, advanced information and communication technology [ICT]‐based communications and culture of innovation) and faculty members' innovative work behaviour. The mediating role of work–life balance and employees' satisfaction with new ways of working in the relationship between new ways of working and innovative work behaviour was also examined. Building on established measurement scales, a questionnaire‐based deductive approach was used to collect data. In total, 457 faculty members were randomly selected from universities in countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council. New ways of work and innovative work behaviour were confirmed as multidimensional concepts. The study participants were clustered in three profiles according to their level of perception of the research variables. New ways of working practices apart from advanced ITC‐based communications were significantly positively related to innovative work behaviour, and work–life balance was significantly positively related to satisfaction. Satisfaction with new ways of working and work–life balance is a vital mechanism of innovative work behaviour, and satisfaction mediates work–life balance and innovative work behaviour. Our research theoretically extends understanding of the compulsory new ways of working and innovative work behaviour in higher education institutions. It provides insights into how new ways of working affect innovative behaviour via two mediating mechanisms: work–life balance and satisfaction. This contingent perspective has not yet been explored in prior studies. Educational policy and decision makers can benefit from the results of this study by reorganizing their work activities according to faculty members' need to foster innovative educational solutions.
Purpose Coworking (shared flexible working spaces) grew exponentially before the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis led to spaces closing but demand is likely to increase as homeworking/remote working levels remain permanently higher post-pandemic. Previous studies largely focused on ‘satisfied customers’ – freelancers and entrepreneurs in the urban core; but these are a poor guide to future preferences given an increasingly diverse set of potential users. Understanding these preferences is of significant value to future providers, investors and real estate operators. Design/methodology/approach The authors employ a mixed-methods approach, observing self-organised coworking sessions and online platforms, and a questionnaire of the coworking networks/groups. The authors address the research questions: i) how do individuals' make decisions about how and where to engage in shared working and ii) do they consider locational characteristics (beyond accessibility) and social and physical (environmental) aspects of coworking? Findings Proximity to home is a key result. Participants are mostly local and seek community, with a strong emphasis on effective work routines. Results stress the importance placed on social factors and in-space amenities, but affordability is also important. Coworkers experiencing both informal groups and organised spaces rate the informal experience as significantly more beneficial. Practical implications There are implications for the real estate element of future provision and funding models. Originality/value The authors contribute to the understanding of coworking preferences/motivations through addressing methodological limitations of previous studies. Rather than surveying individuals in coworking spaces, the authors study individuals who engage in coworking in various forms which will reflect the diverse (users, spaces, locations) demands for future coworking.
Thesis
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Abstract : Work life balance is recognized as an essence for employee work efficiency and performance. The covid-19 pandemic has put a great threat and turbulence in shifting work life balance of employee work profile. The move to working from home pattern of work schedule has largely been adopted by many organsiazation. the aim of study was to learn the impact of working from home on work life balance in print media industry.The study undertook an exploratory cum correlational research design. The study was based on primary data via a structured questionnaire collected from 150 respondents from print media companies. Data was analysed and interpreted through inferential analysis based on corelation and regression. Correlation analysis suggested that family and individual factor were significantly related with work life balance while organisational factors were less strongly related .The results indicated that working from home leads to increased level of work life balance. It was inferred that individual and family factor contributed to increased level of work life balance whereas work life balance was found strongly connected with organsiational factors
Article
Purpose This study aims to develop a scale for new ways of working (NWW) in higher education institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The study also intends to validate the psychometric properties of the developed scale. Design/methodology/approach This study targeted the academic staff of universities in the GCC region. Out of the 1,200 questionnaires distributed, only 1,016 questionnaires represented valid responses. Because there was not a unified theory for NWW, the authors developed a six-dimension tool that covered all virtual work aspects and psychometrically validated. Findings The results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses confirmed a structural model of six factors: flexible work location; work–life balance; communication; workplace design at home; culture and motivation; and satisfaction. The model showed a satisfactory fit. The scale consisted of 32 items with a high Cronbach’s alpha value of 0.85, which demonstrated good internal consistency. The results also suggested that the NWW scale had adequate convergent and divergent validity. Research limitations/implications The data for the current study is a cross-sectional that represents a single sector; therefore, it would be more interesting to include more sectors. The study findings contribute to the ongoing debate in feasibility and usefulness of NWW pre, during and post-Covid-19 crisis. This research has offered a new scale for measuring NWW that fits dynamic educational environment where continuous learning and innovation are the key critical factors for survival. For this reason, further future studies need to refine, validate and improve the current scale structure. Also, because the current scale is by no means conclusive, future studies may look at other work characteristics and contextual factors that determine the success of NWW. Practical implications Practitioners can use the results of the current study as an intervention tool to leverage NWW acceptance to regain benefits and mitigate negative consequences. In addition, policymakers may use the scale as an evaluation tool to examine the readiness of higher education institutions to counter the COVID-19 crisis. Originality/value The originality of this work stems from the fact that it is the first study to develop a scale for NWW and test its psychometric properties in higher education institutions in the GCC countries, a domain that has been ignored by the extant literature.
Chapter
Telework or virtual office work is not new. However, in the past its adoption has been restricted to a minority of workers and companies. In 2017, only 3% of French workers regularly teleworked. This situation changed with the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus forcing governments around the world to impose strict lockdowns to protect their populations. Many organisations massively adopted virtual office practices as a crisis management tool to protect their employees, to respect the government’s lockdown restrictions, and to save their business. This situation made many companies consider keeping part of their workers at home permanently to reduce their real estate costs, or even becoming a virtual company. However, this decision is not without consequences. In this article, we examine the duality of the employee interaction with the physical and virtual worlds of work through a literature analysis completed by means of two web-based surveys with white-collar employees disclosing their experiences with both worlds of work.
Chapter
Workplace Experience baut auf verschiedenen Ansätzen zu „experience“ (brand, customer, user and employee experience) auf. Diese Ansätze fokussieren das subjektive Erleben von Menschen, die in bestimmten Situationen mit Objekten oder Services interagieren. Anhand eines Rahmenmodells der Workplace Experience werden Interaktionen von Mitarbeitenden mit ihrer Arbeitsumgebung erfasst. Workplace Experience Management stellt die Passung zwischen Mitarbeitenden und ihrer Arbeitsumgebung sicher und schafft durch die Gestaltung und den Betrieb der Arbeitsumgebung wechselnde und wiederkehrende positive Erlebnisse. Der hauptsächliche Nutzen des Workplace-Experience-Ansatzes liegt in der Erhöhung der Arbeitgeberattraktivität und der Integration von funktional und emotional positiven Arbeitswelten.
Article
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The COVID-19 lockdown period has highlighted the ability of housing to accommodate a comprehensive programme typical of the city and its public space. Housing units of under 60 m2 and in blocks of flats are the more vulnerable, as they have a higher percentage of non-community open spaces. That problem was analysed using a methodology based on psychological, urban planning and architectural indicators applied to two coastal cities in the Mediterranean area of southern Spain. The results highlight three aspects in this type of dwelling: the need to consider the orientation of the housing to improve the quality of indoor and outdoor space; the need in public housing policies for a greater number of rooms to facilitate remote working; and finally, the importance of functional terraces overlooking green areas.
Article
Purpose Against the background of earlier publications on the future of facilities management (FM) and acknowledging digitalization and sustainability as two major shaping forces, the purpose of this paper is to place contributions to the special issue in the perspective of current opportunities for FM research. Design/methodology/approach After a review of publications since the 1980s, dealing with the future of FM, there is an analysis of how the forces of digitalization and sustainability have emerged over five decades. The articles of this special issue are introduced against this background. Opportunities for future FM research are identified, and the relation between research, education and practice is discussed. Findings Megatrends outlined in the 1980s still shape how FM develops. Digitalization supports sustainability not only through workplace change and building design but also through performance measurement, certification schemes and an awareness of the wider urban context. Research limitations/implications Opportunities for FM research are created by digitalization and concerns with sustainability, combining environmental and social aspects. Relations between organizations studied in an FM context are important. Within organizations, employee issues and risk management are emphasized. Practical implications Policies and schemes for sustainable buildings should be linked to sustainable FM more clearly. The relation between research, education and practice needs to be consolidated as a basis for research and development, as illustrated by a number of studies belonging to this special issue. To reach the goals of sustainable development, we need to develop the knowledge and theoretical frameworks that can be applied to and used by practice. The recent ISO FM definition appears as narrow and should be extended to recognize facilities’ life-cycle issues as well as broader urban and social concerns. Originality/value This paper highlights the importance of basing FM research on an understanding of the fundamental forces that shape change.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19), which hit in early 2020, changed the way people live and work, and affected industries and organizations all over the world. Many organizations have begun to deliver a new way of working to adapt to these shifts effectively using teleworking or a work from home policy. The purpose of this study was to fill the gaps by investigating several potential predictors of job satisfaction during working from home from the impact of COVID-19 such as work–life balance and work stress. Using a quantitative approach, 472 workers who were forced to work from home all over Indonesia participated, and the responses were analyzed using Smart-PLS software. The study revealed that working from home, work–life balance, and work stress have a significant effect, both directly and indirectly, on job satisfaction. Working from home as a new pace of work can sustain job satisfaction as the current working atmosphere for Indonesian workers. In response to the collectivist setting, working from home can be a positive sign that needs to be paid attention to for the organization.
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This chapter explores how a ‘new world of work’ (NWOW) corporate project is likely to lead to issues related to an organization’s identity. In light of this concept, I investigate how the introduction of an NWOW project alters workers’ ways of working and being in their company, as well as their perception of the organization’s essence. Drawing on data collected through 81 semi-structured interviews, a three-month observation and documentary analysis, I demonstrate how a discrepancy between the managerial intentions underlying the project and its effects illustrates an attempt to reach a desired organizational identity that is doomed to failure. In order to explain this failure, I show how this project embodies an organizational identity mimicry and a denial of the company’s core organizational identity.
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In this chapter, we argue that the literature has added considerable complexity around the term New Way(s) of Working (NWW) by producing multiple and conflicting definitions of NWW. Several scholars imprecisely and indiscriminately refer to NWW as a “philosophy”, a “phenomenon”, a “concept”, a “mix of practices”, or a “type of work organization”. This chapter aims to provide support for five ways of conceptualizing NWW: (1) as a management fashion disseminated across organizational fields, (2) as a set of discourses and narratives, (3) as an organizational change project, (4) as a material workspace, and (5) as a set of work practices and behaviors.
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The chapter highlights to what extent the introduction of New Ways of Working practices has resulted in different ways of organizing work involving a reconfiguration of responsibilities, a transformation of control and an evolution of coordination modes. These transformations translate a process of work de-materialization (individualization, invisibilization) and also a counter-movement of re-materialization. The contribution of the chapter is twofold. First, it explores the political dimension underlying the process of building social relationships in organizations by questioning how and why telework is regulated by actors. Second, it questions these re-appropriations through a re-materialization process. The findings highlight a new responsibility for employees to manage a tension between individual performance and the collective maintaining of a social community at work.
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In an era dominated by information and communication technologies, that have made work ubiquitous and potentially boundaryless, the rise of co-working spaces has constituted a counterintuitive example of a revised interest in the role of space and co-location for achieving working identity, a sense of belonging, collaboration and innovation. This rise is also part of a general shift towards a more meaningful and agile idea of work. The rationale behind the rise and success of co-working spaces may emblematically infer that physical co-presence and co-location still matter, despite being made potentially redundant by digital technologies. This chapter will assess the pros and cons of co-working practices and aims to identify what elements could benefit both individuals and organizations in future agile working.
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Telework can be defined as using a computer or a similar technological device to work away from the central office. The remote location is commonly set at the worker’s home (Lafferty & Whitehorse, 2000). In this regard, the main difference in the conceptualization of telework and remote work is that telework is primarily conducted from a home office. In contrast, remote work can be carried out from a satellite office, local shared space facilities such as a coworking environment or home. However, both concepts have been widely used to describe the same situation where individuals conduct team-based and work-related activities from various locations to shorten the commute time, cut down the related costs, and seek positive work-life-associated improvements. While the term telework has been extensively used in scholarly debates throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the term remote work has somewhat prevailed in the 2000s and early 2010s, mainly due to organizations and knowledge workers experimenting and trying various facilities to conduct their work and scout for compatible leisure activities. In turn, the term “work from home” (WFH) arose during the recent pandemic-driven disruption, with similar term-related spins such as “COVID-working” (Tagliaro & Migliore, 2021) also emerging in scholarly debates. Therefore, the following discussion aims to understand the contemporary history of dislocated work and the related production and social experience processes.
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Although there is a trend in today’s organizations to implement activity-based flexible offices (A-FOs), only a few studies examine consequences of this new office type. Moreover, the underlying mechanisms why A-FOs might lead to different consequences as compared to cellular and open-plan offices are still unclear. This paper introduces a theoretical framework explaining benefits and risks of A-FOs based on theories from work and organizational psychology. After deriving working conditions specific for A-FOs (territoriality, autonomy, privacy, proximity and visibility), differences in working conditions between A-FOs and alternative office types are proposed. Further, we suggest how these differences in working conditions might affect work-related consequences such as well-being, satisfaction, motivation and performance on the individual, the team and the organizational level. Finally, we consider task-related (e.g., task variety), person-related (e.g., personality) and organizational (e.g., leadership) moderators. Based on this model, future research directions as well as practical implications are discussed.Practitioner Summary:Activity-based flexible offices (A-FOs) are popular in today’s organizations. This article presents a theoretical model explaining why and when working in an A-FO evokes benefits and risks for individuals, teams and organizations. According to the model, A-FOs are beneficial when management encourages employees to use the environment appropriately and supports teams.
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The closing decades of the twentieth century have been characterized as a period of disruption and discontinuity in which the structure and meaning of economy, polity, and society have been radically altered. In this volume Peter Drucker focuses with great clarity and perception on the forces of change that are transforming the economic landscape and creating tomorrow's society. Drucker discerns four major areas of discontinuity underlying contemporary social and cultural reality. These are: (1) the explosion of new technologies resulting in major new industries; (2) the change from an international to a world economy--an economy that presently lacks policy, theory, and institutions; (3) a new sociopolitical reality of pluralistic institutions that poses drastic political, philosophical, and spritual challenges; and (4) the new universe of knowledge based on mass education and its implications in work, leisure, and leadership. Peter Drucker brings to this work an intimate knowledge and objective view of the particular and general. The Age of Discontinuity is a fascinating and important blueprint for shaping a future already very much with us.
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The authors, addressing the question of why teleconferencing has not yet been implemented on the scale envisaged in the early 1970s, outline readiness factors and enabling forces relevant to teleconferencing growth. They argue that the optimistic demand forecasts were based on the assumption that the readiness factors would rapidly evolved into enabling forces. However, enabling forces are only beginning to emerge and the authors describe how these new forces could prompt the use of teleconferencing on a large scale.
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Hypotheses are developed about the effects of telecommunication advances on urban growth patterns and urban travel demands. It is suggested that CBD (central business district) office employment might decentralize if telecommunications could effectively substitute for short inter-office business trips and that job decentralization would alter journey-to-work patterns and the viability of certain public transit systems. Major research questions are raised and keyed to an extensive bibliography.
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Sumario: The author illustrates that telework is undeniably the corporeate wave of the future on a global level. Telework, or telecommuting, means basically moving the work to the worker instead of the other way around.
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"March 1973." This report supersedes working paper no. 579-71 (1971) with title: Report of a field experiment to improve communications in a product engineering department: the non-territorial office, by Thomas J. Allen and Peter G. Gerstberger.
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A questionnaire study of the frequency and satisfaction of different communication activities performed during face-to-face meetings, telephone conversations, and video conferencing was conducted of users of the Bell Labs video conferencing system between Murray Hill and Holmdel. The results showed that the Bell Labs video conferencing system was used primarily for committee-like coordination and information-exchange activities. The Bell Labs video conferencing system was perceived as being more satisfactory than face-to-face communications for handling regularly scheduled communications and for giving or receiving information.
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Historians have not yet explored word processing's development, and so to provide a rounded treatment, we examine the story from multiple perspectives. We review the conceptual development of word processing and office automation; the development of word processing's constituent hardware and software technologies; the relationship of word processing to changes in the organization of office work; and the business history of the word processing industry. Word processing entered the American office in 1970 as an idea about reorganizing typists, but its meaning soon shifted to describe computerized text editing. The designers of word processing systems combined existing technologies to exploit the falling costs of interactive computing, creating a new business quite separate from the emerging world of the personal computer
Why office design matters
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Arkitektur Immaterieler Arbeit, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture
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