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Design and management of activity-based workplaces.

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Abstract and Figures

This book presents an overview of the development of activity-based workplaces worldwide, the drivers to change, some main findings from research into workplace management from the last two decades, and lessons learned regarding costs and benefits for organisations and employees. It connects these developments to the work of Frank Duffy and Franklin Becker in the USA and the Center for People and Buildings in the Netherlands. The chapter is a contribution to the book “Dear is Durable”, a Liber Amicorum for prof. Hans de Jonge that was offered to him due to his farewell as professor of Real Estate Management and Development. A pdf of this book can be downloaded from the TU Delft research repository: http://repository.tudelft.nl/ > research repository > search on ”Dear is Durable” or go directly to http://repository.tudelft.nl/islandora/object/uuid:02789dc2-eb6f-41a7-9d64-21212c2a3da8?collection=research A hard copy of the book can be ordered at bookstores such as Amazon.
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Dear is durable
Liber Amicorum for Hans de Jonge
Liber Amicorum for Hans de Jonge
Dear is durable
Presented on 30 September 2016
at the farewell of Hans de Jonge as professor of
Real Estate Management and Development
at the Faculty of Architecture of the
Delft University of Technology
Delft / 2016
2
Department of Management in the Built Environment
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment TU Delft
Julianalaan 134, 2628 BL Delft, Netherlands
www.mbe.bk.tudelft.nl
Editors
Monique Arkesteijn, eo van der Voordt, Hilde Remøy and Yawei Chen
Book design
Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel
With thanks to our colleagues for co-reading various contributions and sharing their comments: Naif Alghamdi,
Salomé Bentinck, John Heintz, Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel, Tuuli Jylhä, Ilir Nase, Herman Vande Putte and Bart
Valks. We also thank Karin de Groot and Jennifer Dijkman for their administrative support.
http://books.bk.tudelft.nl/index.php/press/catalog/book/510
Published by TU Delft Open
Printed by Lighting Source, Milton Keynes, UK
ISBN 978-94-92516-15-2
CC BY 4.0
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
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You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
185
Design and management of
activity-based workplaces
Theo van der Voordt
Many people are
VDWLVÀHGZLWKVKDUHG
use of activity-
based workplaces,
but complains
about a lack of
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opportunities to
concentrate, and
lack of storage space
come to the fore as
well.
As long as I have known Hans de Jonge he has always
been busy with meeting staff members, students and
visitors, giving lectures, chairing discussions and
symposia, and sharing his views with many people,
in Delft, the Netherlands, and worldwide. Due to his
dynamic existence he is a person par excellence to drop
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desks, working anytime, anyhow, at any place that is
appropriate at that moment. However, when Hans has a
long day with appointments in Delft, he usually sits in the
same room, “his” room. When he is not there, the room is
free to be used by anybody who needs it. As such we may
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Inspiration from abroad
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activities. Hans’ interest into activity-based workplaces
goes back to the early nineties of the past century. At
that time Hans made a study trip to Cornell University in
Ithaca and Harvard and MIT in Boston, all in the USA. He
got familiar with the work of Franklin Becker and William
(Bill) Sims and their International Facilities Management
Program (IFMP). This program started in 1989 and was
supported by a consortium of private and
public sector organizations in the United
States, United Kingdom, Europe and Japan.
It was later renamed as the International
Workplace Studies Program (IWSP).
Another leading person regarding new
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Worthington one of the cofounders of the
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presentation of the DEGW work in the
past 40 years see the contribution of John
Worthington to this Liber Amicorum). The
picture below shows one of their leading
publications on Design for Change.
186
Duffy is one of the early pioneers who
plead for replacing traditional cellular
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with larger places for those higher
ranked in the organisational hierarchy
- by different types of activity-based
workplaces. Partly because the variety of
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partly to use expensive workplaces more
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These international contacts inspired Hans
to start a research program on New Ways
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in Delft as well. In the mid-nineties a long
lasting relationship started with both the
ABN AMRO Bank (Loes Diemel) and
the Government Building Agency (Wim
Pullen) to document and evaluate new
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ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam and
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Design for Change: Architecture of DEGW
were the pioneering researchers at that time. They were
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students like Michel Beunder, Frederik van Steenbergen,
Richard Lohman, Anouk van den Brink and many more.
In 1999 the Delft group presented a small booklet called
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CoreNet conference in Delft. This publication tried to
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design and presented a typology of new workplaces.
Frank (Francis) Du y is a British
architect and cofounder of DEGW.
He is particularly noted for his
work on the future of the o ce
and the  exible use of o ce space.
Du y was president of the Royal
Institute of British Architects
(RIBA) from 1993-1995. In 2008
he received the British Council of O ces (BCO) Presidents
Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2008 he was named
by Facilities Magazine as one of 25 Pioneers of Facilities
Management in the UK.
In the 1960s, Du y introduced the landscape o ce concept
(Bürolandschaft) into the English-speaking world. His doctoral
research at Princeton was focused on mapping the relationship
between organisational structures and o ce layouts. In the
1970s, he was one of the pioneers who introduced North
American practice in Space Planning and Facility Management
into Europe. He coined the concept of “Shell, Services,
Scenery and Sets” i.e. the analysis of buildings and building
components in terms of layers of longevity in order to facilitate
the accommodation of technological and organisational
change.  is concept was later elaborated by Stewart Brand in
his book How Buildings Learn: What Happens After  ey’re Built
(Brand, 1994).
In the 1980s Du y and his DEGW colleagues initiated
the ORBIT (O ce Research: Buildings and Information
Technology) project on the impact of advances in Information
Technology on o ce design.  is research had a substantial
impact on British o ce projects such as Broadgate and Stockley
Park and on o ce design worldwide. More recently Du y’s
interests have focused on the challenges that increasing reliance
on virtual communications is bringing into urban design –
asking the question: “In an increasingly virtual world what
arguments can architects and urbanists use to justify spaces and
places?”
Source: Wikipedia
187
Center for People and Buildings
In 2001 the triplet TU Delft – ABN AMRO – GBA
joined forces to established a new knowledge centre,
called the Center for People and Buildings (CfPB),
to connect research and practice by developing and
sharing knowledge about work environments (see also
the contribution by Wim Pullen in this Liber Amicorum
and the CfPB website www.cfpb.nl). One of the CfPB’s
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CfPB published a state of the art book about Costs and
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impact on employee satisfaction, (perceived) productivity
support, cost savings and investment costs. Since then
CfPB has published numerous reports and papers on Pre-
and Post-Occupancy Evaluations from a huge number of
activity-based work environments. Furthermore, many
tools have been developed to support organisations in
reorganising their work environment, such as:
The Work Environment Diagnosis tool WODI (WODI
Classic: an extensive questionnaire; WODI-Light;
WODI-labs): a tool to collect data on employee
satisfaction, perceived productivity support, and
prioritised aspects of the work environment;
Typology of new workplaces regarding place, space and use
(Vos et al., 1998)
The Satisfaction Index: a benchmark
tool to compare percentages of
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the work environment;
The Space Utilisation Monitor (SUM):
a tool to measure occupancy ratios;
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of required workplaces per type of
place;
• The Accommodation Choice
Model: a step-by-step plan to guide
organisations through a (re-)design
process of their work environment
MYVT[OLÄYZ[PUP[PH[P]L[V[OLI\PSKPUN
in-use;
The Workplace Game: a game-like tool
to raise awareness and understanding
of innovative workplace design, to
support a positive attitude, to cope
with resistance to change, and to
develop behavioural rules.
The Workplace Guide: ingredients for
contemporary workplaces, meeting
spaces and facilities, with descriptions
of 30 different places, each illustrated
with 3 photographs.
The table below presents a selection of
books and papers that helped to build
a body of knowledge on the drivers to
change work environments and experience
and use of activity-based workplaces. Due
to limited space the table focuses on the
work by Franklin Becker, Frank Duffy and
other DEGW people, and contributions
from Delft (Italics).
188
1983 | Duy et al., Orbit Study: Information Technology and Oce Design
1990 | Becker, e Total Workplace: FM and Elastic Organisations.
1992 | Becker et al., Evolving workplace strategies. Investigations into the ecology of new ways of working.
1992 | Du, e Changing Workplace.
1993 | Becker, e Ecology of New Ways of Working: Non-Territorial Oces
1993 | Duy & Lang, e Responsible Workplace: e Redesign of Work and Oces.
1994 | Becker et al., Implementing Innovative Workplaces.
1995 | Becker & Steele, Workplace by Design. Mapping the High-Performance Workscape
1995 | Becker et al., e Ecology of Collaborative Work.
1995 | Becker & Joro, Reinventing the Workplace.
1996 | Duy & Powell, e New Oce.
1996 | Becker et al., Work Smart: New Strategies for Gaining Competitive Advantage.
1997 | DEGW, Design for Change: Architecture of DEGW.
1997 | Worthington, Reinventing the Workplace. With a 2nd edition in 2005.
1997 | Beunder & Bakker, Innnovative Working Practices in Oce Buildings.In Dutch.
1997 | Vos & Dewulf, Do People Work Better in an Innovative Oce? In Dutch.
1998 | Dewulf & Vos, (Im)possibilities of Innovative Oces.In Dutch.
1998 | Dewulf & Vos, Points of Attention in Introducing Innovative Workplace Design (‘Dansen op het ritme
van veranderingen’, in Dutch).
1998 | Duy et al., New Environments for Working.
1998 | Sims, Joro & Becker, Teamspace Strategies. Creating and Managing Environments to Support High
Performance
1999 | Horgen et al., Excellence by Design: Transforming Workplaces and Work Practice.
1999 | Vos et al., e Oce, e Whole Oce and Nothing But e Oce: a Framework of Workplace
Concepts.
1999 | Vos & Dewulf, Searching for Data: A Method to Evaluate the Eects of Working in an Innovative Oce.
2000 | Van Meel, e European Oce. Oce Design and National Context.
1999 | Van der Voordt & Vos, Evaluation of Oce Innovation. Model and Methods.Original title? In Dutch.
2001 | Becker & Sims, Oces at Work. Balancing Communication, Flexibility and Cost.
2001 | Vos & Van der Voordt, Tomorrow’s Oces through Today’s Eyes. Eects of Oce Innovation in the
Working Environment.
2001| Van der Voordt & Beunder, e Red read. Lessons from Innovative Oce Projects at ABN AMRO
Bank. Original title? In Dutch.
2003 | Van der Voordt, Costs and Benets of Innovative Workplace Design.
2003 | Frankema, Oce Innovation from an Economic Perspective.
2004 | Becker, Oces at Work: Uncommon Work Space Strategies that Add Value and Improve Performance.
2004 | Van der Voordt, Productivity and Employee Satisfaction in Flexible Oces.
2004 | Allen at al. (DEGW), Working without Walls
2005 | Mallory-Hill et al., Evaluation of Innovative Workplace Design in the Netherlands.
2005 | Volker & Van der Voordt, An Integral Tool for the Diagnostic Evaluation of Non-Territorial Oces.
2006 | Martens et al., Workplace Guide (’Werkplekwijzer’). In Dutch.
2006 | Van der Voordt & Maarleveld, Performance of Oce Buildings from a Users Perspective.
2007 | De Bruyne, Eective Implementation of Oce Innovation. Original title? In Dutch.
2008 | De Bruyne & De Jong, e Workplace Game: Exploring End Users’ New Behaviour.
2009 | Brunia & Hartjes, Personalization in Non-Territorial Oces
2009 | Maarleveld et al., Measuring Employee Satisfaction in New Oces – the WODI Toolkit
2009 | Ikiz-Koppejan et al., Accommodation Choice Model. Original title? In Dutch.
2009 | De Jong et al., Eects of the Workplace Game: A Case Study into Anticipating Future Behavior of Oce
Workers
2010 | Van Meel et al., Planning Oce Spaces. A Practical Guide for Managers and Designers
2010 | Gorgievski et al., After the Fire. New Ways of Working in n Academic Setting,
2012 | Van der Voordt et al., Evidence-Based Decision-Making on Oce Accommodation: Accommodation
Choice Model.
2014 | Riratanaphong, Performance Measurement of Workplace Change.
2012 | Van der Voordt et al., Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Facilities Change.
2014 | De Been & Beijer, e Inuence of Oce Type on Satisfaction and Perceived Productivity Support.
2015 | De Been et al., Framing of Governmental Work Environments. Original title? In Dutch.
2015 | Van Meel, Workplaces Today.
2015 | De Bruyne & Toolen, e Workplace Game.
2015 | De Bruyne & Beijer, Calculating NWoW Oce Space with e PACT Model.
2016 | Brunia et al., Accommodating New Ways of Working: Lessons from Best Practices and Worst Cases.
Key publications in activity-based work environments
189
Franklin Becker is em. prof. of Organisational Ecology at Cornell
University, Ithaca, New York (1972 – 2009), former chair of the
Department of Design and Environmental Analysis (DEA) at the
College of Human Ecology, former director of the International
Workplace Studies Program, member of various editorial boards,
member of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Quality of Life
program, and prof. at the Medicolegal And Literary Works, LLC.
In October 2004 I had the opportunity to visit Frank Becker at
the Cornell University in Ithaca for a couple of weeks, to learn
more about the International Workplace Studies Program (IWSP).
e mission statement of IWSP is to generate research-based
information related to the planning, design, and management
of facilities that can contribute to the development of more
competitive and eective organizations. e focus is on new
ways of working and new integrated workplace strategies. I got
noticed of a considerable number of case studies on the eects
of non-territorial oces and teleworking - at home, with the
client, in a hotel, in a telework center – on communication, social
cohesion, collaboration, attraction and retaining sta, turnover,
productivity, and facility costs. Most studies include an extensive
review of literature, a user survey with web-enabled questionnaires,
interviews with focus groups, observations and analysis of
documents.
One of the main conclusions from this work is the need for an
integral approach of “e Total Workplace”. is concept refers
to: 1) integrating decisions often considered
in isolation by dierent departments (HRM,
IT, Facilities Management, Corporate Real
Estate Management); 2) the awareness that the
workplace is more than one’s own personal oce
or workstation; the entire workplace includes the
site, amenities, common areas, project rooms,
and support areas), a s a “series of loosely coupled
settings”; 3) the awareness that the processes
used for planning, designing, and managing the
workplace are as much a part of the building’s
quality as are its physical characteristics. A
second conclusion was that in spite of all great
opportunities of virtual communication due to
modern technology, face-to-face contacts are
still very important to tacit learning, building
trust and social cohesion, and young employees’
learning on the job by becoming an “insider”.
e IWSP-research has improved our
understanding of what is really going on in the
oces of our times. e empirical data can be
used as a mirror for managers to take well-
informed decisions. However, the data don’t
give a blueprint how a well performing oce
should be. Contextual dierences with reference
to organizational characteristics, working
processes, the cultural and economic context,
and dierences with regard to demographics (age,
gender, ethnics) and jobs require more or less a
tailor made approach. But taking into account all
key ndings and lessons learned, decision makers
can reduce the risk of “wrong” decisions and
improve the probability of positive outcomes.
Source: Van der Voordt, T. (2004) Notes on a
visit to Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
September 29 – October 31, 2004.
Lessons learned
From the may research projects by Hans’ own staff
members and the Center for People and Buildings many
other interesting conclusions come up. The main drivers
behind shared use of activity-based workspaces are rather
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communication and collaboration and cost reduction.
Related objectives are increasing productivity due to
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workplaces with the variety of tasks and the psychological
needs of modern knowledge workers to be free when,
where and how to work, stimulating innovations,
supporting (change of) culture, and contributing to
sustainability by reducing the footprint.
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supposed to have a positive impact on
these items, both from a business point of
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the perspective of the employees (support
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However, high ambitions and positive
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practice. In a recent paper by Sandra
Brunia and Iris de Been (both CfPB) and
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worse cases. This cross-case comparison
190
showed that many people can cope rather
well with shared use of activity-based
workplaces, but a number of people
complain about a lack of privacy, poor
support for work requiring concentration,
HUK PUZ\MÄJPLU[ Z[VYHNL ZWHJL (ZWLJ[Z
that are, in general, appreciated by
a high percentage of employees are
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architecture, and the opportunities to
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employees), whereas indoor climate,
privacy, archive facilities, opportunities to
concentrate and sharing own ideas about
the work environment are more negatively
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people are prohibited to personalize the
work environment, they seek additional
ways to make the environment familiar
and pleasant and to mark their identity.
The available research data reveal clear
critical success factors, in particular: a
supportive spatial lay-out that facilitates
both communication and concentration,
attractive architectural design, ergonomic
furniture, appropriate storage facilities,
and coping with psychological and
physical needs such as privacy, thermal
comfort, daylight and view. Open spaces
should be alternated with enclosed rooms
that are dedicated to concentration work
or telephone calls and provide some
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needed to avoid aural distraction. Critical
process factors are the commitment of
managers, a balance between a top-
down and a bottom-up approach, and
clear instructions on how to use activity-
based workplaces. Other factors that
contribute to a successful implementation
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understanding of the nature of change,
a thorough ex ante analysis of the
organisation, its work processes and
the current accommodation, clear and
unequivocal objectives, strong leadership,
and adequate aftercare.
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data can be used by managers to take well-informed
decisions. However, the data don’t provide a blueprint
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differences regarding organizational characteristics,
working processes, staff characteristics with regard to age,
gender, ethnics, education and function, and the cultural
and economic context require more or less a tailor
THKL HWWYVHJO ;HRPUN PU[V HJJV\U[ HSS ÄUKPUNZ HUK
lessons learned, decision makers can reduce the risk of
“wrong” decisions and improve the probability of positive
outcomes.
Concluding remarks
It is great to notice that the study trip of Hans de Jonge and
his initiative to start a research program on new ways of
working in the mid-nineties has resulted in such a huge
number of research activities and decision-support tools.
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that an appropriate work environment really matters and
can make a substantial difference in high or low employee
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organisations, business processes, ways of working, and
technology, some factors are constant over time and place
and should always be taken into account to be successful.
Although Hans de Jonge is leaving the university and I
already left the TUD in August 2015, Delft research on
work environments will certainly be continued. It is a key
issue in the research program of the Center for People and
Buildings. One of Hans’ current staff members, Salomé
Bentinck, works of the experience and use of work places
in higher education. Graduation students are highly
interested in innovative work environments as well. My
own successor, Tuuli Jylhä, co-authored papers on the
perceived value of workplaces, value creation and lean
thinking. This seems a sound basis to further elaborate
our legacy of research on design and management of
^VYRWSHJLZ [OH[ Ä[ ^P[O VYNHUPZH[PVUHS VIQLJ[P]LZ HUK
end-user needs.
Dr. Ir. Theo van der Voordt is emeritus associate professor of Corporate Real Estate Management at the Department
of Management in the Building Environment, Faculty of Architecture TU Delft, and senior researcher at the Center
for People and Buildings.
191
e beautiful Campus of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, where I spent a short sabbatical of four weeks in
2004 in the group of Franklin Becker
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