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The effects of interventions in an innovative office on satisfaction, perceived productivity and health complaints

Mei 2013 | Iris de Been, Marion Beijer

Case study

Sustainability becomes a more and more important goal in the Netherlands when it comes to designing and building new offices.The DCMR Environmental Protection Agency in the Netherlands moved into a new A+ labelled office building with thermal energy storage in January 2010. There are fewer desks than there are employees, so people share workplaces. People can choose several types of workplaces that are suitable for specific activities (e.g. communication, concentration).

Survey-inspired interventions

Nine months after moving into the new building an employee satisfaction survey was conducted to measure satisfaction with the office building and perceived support of productivity (377 respondents, 75% response rate). Although the results pointed out that people are in general satisfied with the office environment, several issues with the indoor climate, acoustics and IT were revealed. Following the results, the organisation has undertaken numerous interventions in the indoor climate, acoustics and IT to increase employee satisfaction.

High employee satisfaction

Exactly two years after the first measurement a second employee satisfaction survey was conducted to measure the effects of the interventions (389 respondents, 73% response rate). The results show improvement in most satisfaction scores. Furthermore, the results of the second measurement are compared with a benchmark which shows that the DCMR office environment performs very well compared to other organisations. The outcomes of this case study can lead to more insight into the appraisal of innovative offices with workplace sharing in general and specifically the effects of the interventions that were undertaken within the office environment on satisfaction and perceived productivity support.

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Iris de Been

Iris de Been

Researcher│MSc, Psychology (psychonomy)