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  • 2021

Flexible and open office concepts have seen rising popularity the last years. These office designs are questioned during the pandemic due to risk of infections among the users. This paper summarizes international research on sick leave and disability retirement when working in flexible or open office concepts, as compared to cell offices. Seven studies were identified from relevant sources. The evidence quality was assessed according to GRADE. The main outcomes were: • Increased risk of sick leave in flexible office concepts (very low evidence quality). • Increased risk of sick leave in open office solutions (low evidence quality). • No basis to conclude regarding risk of disability retirement in flexible office concepts. • Increased risk of disability retirement in open office solutions (low evidence quality). • There was no basis to conclude in sick leave or disability retirement risk between open-plan offices of different sizes. The small number of studies, their potential limitations in scope and quality, the heterogeneity in the field, and the present evidence quality of the findings, indicate a need for further research investigations into these topics.

Gjerland, Ane Kjellaug Brekke; Soos, Stephan; Danielsen, Tor Erik; Eikseth, Barbro Grude; Tosterud, Hanne; Hiis Bergh, Liv; Hatling, Morten Arnt; Knardahl, Stein
Healthy buildings Europe 2021: Book of abstracts: 17th International Conference 21st-23rd June 2021, Online/Oslo: 291–294