From fading novelty effects to emergent appreciation of Activity-based Flexible Offices: Comparing the individual, organisational and spatial adaptations in two case organisations
Journal article, 2019

Activity-based Flexible Offices (AFOs) are innovations in workspace design that have been increasingly implemented in organisations in recent years. There are conflicting research results on the long-term consequences of implementing AFOs. This paper investigates the changes (if any) that occur over time, in: 1) employee satisfaction with AFO solutions and perceived work support, 2) ways of working and using AFOs and 3) the AFO solution. Two organisations participated in the study. The data collection involved: (i) semi-structured interviews with 26 employees and (ii) process enquiries involving the collection of secondary data and interviews with facility management teams. The findings indicate that limited options for improving an AFO solution lead to lingering work environment problems. By contrast, modifying the solution through systematic processes based on employee feedback helped resolving the initial problems. Over time, this led to an increased appreciation and a sense of collective ownership of the AFO solution.

Occupational health & safety (OHS)

Work environment

Activity-based Working (ABW)


Maral Babapour Chafi

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Applied Ergonomics

0003-6870 (ISSN)

Vol. 81 102877

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Work Sciences


Medical Ergonomics






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