The effects of workspace office layout on aspects of employee wellbeing

With the change in nature of work, the spaces in which work is done has also changed, prompting research into the effects of the work environment on employees. The purpose of this study is to investigate how different types of workplace office spaces will have different impacts on aspects of wellbeing in employees. The facets explored are how employees perceive their satisfaction of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) attributes, how they perceive their performance and health within these IEQ conditions, how they perceive their current workspace affecting their physical and psychological discomfort, and how they perceived their own psychological wellbeing. A quantitative survey was compiled from previous literature, appropriate to exploring these variables. The questionnaire was piloted at a company that owns, develops, and manages property before being conducted over a two-week period at a large health insurance company in Johannesburg, Gauteng. The final survey consisted of three subscales of the Green Building Survey (Hedge & Dorsey, 2012) measuring perceived satisfaction of indoor environmental quality and its impact on health and performance; the GABO questionnaire (Pierrette et al., 2015) assessed six aspects of perceived noise; the extended Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire assessed physical discomfort in nine body regions; perceived psychological comfort; and perceived psychological wellbeing using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. Data were collected using an online survey platform. The final sample consisted of 1853 participants of different genders, races, ages, and organisational levels of a prominent South African organisation. The results of this study are beneficial to the field as literature pertaining to workspace layout is outdated and new research is needed as innovative trends in layout types are emerging. Most previous research on employee perceptions addresses productivity but not necessarily different aspects of perceived health, wellbeing, and comfort. It is expected that this study will contribute to finding clarity in a still-ambiguous field and will add to the present-day change in how and where work is done.
A research project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of MA by coursework and research report in the field of Organisational Psychology in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Witwatersrand,Johannesburg 2018
Laughton, Keren-Amy (2018) The effects of workspace office layout on aspects of employee wellbeing, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>