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The effects of office concepts on employee health and work ability

About 40 per cent of all Norwegian employees are seated in an office space at some point during their working day.

Open office landscapes and teleworking/working from home have become increasingly common in recent decades and it is likely that more companies will introduce and increase the use of such office concepts. However, few companies have conducted any adequate evaluations of the efficiency and profit following a transition from a cellular office to open solutions.

There are also limited scientific evidence for how different office concepts affect employees and the studies that are available are mainly case studies on individual companies with low method quality. Furthermore, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions about the impact of office concepts on employees as existing research report both positive and negative effects. Consequently, there is a need for more research on how different office concepts affect the health, well-being, work ability, and productivity of employees.

To fill these knowledge gaps, the overarching objectives of this project are to investigate:

1) how different office concepts (cell, shared, open solutions, and home office) can affect employees’ health, work ability, and absence from working life,

2) the mechanisms that can explain how office concepts are associated with these outcomes.

Project manager:

Morten Birkeland Nielsen