Appropriation of an Activity-based Flexible Office in daily work

Keywords: Health, Working Environment and Wellbeing, Innovation & productivity, Organization & management

Abstract

In recent years, there has been growing interest in collaborative consumption of office environments and thereby implementation of Activity-based Flexible Offices (A-FOs). Relocating to an A-FO introduces a desk-sharing policy as well as a multitude of new workspaces with different speech policies into the employee’s work context. This paper describes how employees appropriate desk-sharing and speech policies in an A-FO. The data were collected over a period of 6 months in a case organization by means of 18 shadowing sessions. The different ways in which employees appropriated the A-FO solution were (i) adopting, experimenting with, or rejecting the desk-sharing policy, and (ii) modes of interaction arising from spatial configuration and redefining speech policies. The discussion outlines the reasons behind appropriation or nonappropriation of the desk-sharing and emergent speech policies. The insights from this study provide support for organizations considering A-FOs to develop strategies for facilitating individuals’ work in these settings.

Author Biographies

Maral Babapour, Chalmers University of Technology
 Division Design & Human Factors, Department of Industrial and Materials Science. E-mail: maral@chalmers.se
MariAnne Karlsson, Chalmers University of Technology
 Division Design & Human Factors, Department of Industrial and Materials Science
Anna-Lisa Osvalder, Chalmers University of Technology
 Division Design & Human Factors, Department of Industrial and Materials Science
Published
2018-04-12
How to Cite
Babapour, M., Karlsson, M., & Osvalder, A.-L. (2018). Appropriation of an Activity-based Flexible Office in daily work. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 8(S3). https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.v8iS3.105277