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Impact of Workplace Change on Satisfaction and Productivity - A comparative analysis of case studies in Thailand and the Netherlands

May 2011 | Chaiwat Riratanaphong, Theo van der Voordt

This (EFMC)paper presents the findings from a case study in Thailand on the use and experience of a new working environment, five months after the organisation moved to a new office building. 

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to collect new data about employee satisfaction and perceived productivity after a workplace change, to find out which aspects employees find most important in their work environment, and to explore the impact of national and organisational culture.

Data-collection

The data-collection included interviews, observations, analysis of documents, and the use of questionnaires in order to measuring employee satisfaction, perceived support of labour productivity through the work environment, perceived dominant characteristics of the work environment, and key dimensions of national and organisational culture. Results from the Work Environment Diagnosis Instrument (WODI) are compared with similar data from case studies in the Netherlands. As such, this study made it possible to explore the impact of workplace change in different cultural contexts.  

The research findings

The research findings reveal many differences in employee satisfaction and prioritized aspects. On most aspects of the work environment the percentages of satisfied employees in the Thailand case are much lower than the corresponding average percentages in the Dutch cases. The Thai employees put much more emphasis on adjacency and locality of spaces, subdivision of the whole building, and sharing own ideas about the work environment, whereas functionality and comfort of workspaces and opportunities for concentration and communication are mentioned much less by the Thai people than by the Dutch people. The preference for a less hierarchical organisation and the quite masculine culture of Thai people may have their impact here. 

Originality and value

The originality and value of the paper is the exploration of similarities and dissimilarities in the impact of new working environments on employee satisfaction, perceived productivity support and prioritized aspects in two different cultures: Asia and Europe.

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Theo van der Voordt

Theo van der Voordt

Senior Researcher │Msc, Civil Engineering