Work environment perceptions following relocation to open-plan offices: A twelve-month longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: A workplace's design can have various positive or negative effects on the employees and since the 1970s the advantages and disadvantages of open-plan offices have been discussed. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate perceived health, work environment and self-estimated productivity one month before and at three, six and twelve months after relocation from individual offices to an open-plan office environment. METHODS: Employees from three departments within the same company group and who worked with relatively similar tasks and who were planned to be relocated from private offices to open-plan offices were invited to participate. Questionnaires comprising items from The Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale, The Work Experience Measurement Scale, the questionnaire by Brennan et al. about perceived performance and one question from the Work Ability Index were sent to participants one month before relocation (baseline) to open-plan offices and then at three, six and twelve months after relocation. At baseline, 82 questionnaires were sent out. The response rate was 85%. At the follow-ups 77-79 questionnaires were sent out and the response-rate was 70%-81%. RESULTS: At follow-ups, perceived health, job satisfaction and performance had generally deteriorated. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study indicate that employees' perception of health, work environment and performance decreased during a 12 month period following relocation from individual offices to open-plan offices.


  • Jessica Bergstrom
  • Michael Miller
  • Eva Horneij
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Ergonomics, work organization, health promotion, work performance, perceived health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
JournalWork: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

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