Office design and health: a systematic review

Richardson, A., Potter, J., Paterson, M., Harding, T., Tyler-Merrick, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-7493-0724, Kirk, R., Reid, K. and McChesney, J., 2017. Office design and health: a systematic review. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130 (1467), p. 39. ISSN 0028-8446

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Aim: To carry out a systematic review of recent research into the effects of workplace design, comparing individual with shared workspaces, on the health of employees.

Methods: The research question was "Does workplace design (specifically individual offices compared with shared workspaces) affect the health of workers?" A literature search limited to articles published between 2000 and 2017 was undertaken. A systematic review was carried out, and the findings of the reviewed studies grouped into themes according to the primary outcomes measured in the studies.

Results: The literature search identified 15 relevant studies addressing health effects of shared or open-plan offices compared with individual offices. Our systematic review found that, compared with individual offices, shared or open-plan office space is not beneficial to employees' health, with consistent findings of deleterious effects on staff health, wellbeing and productivity. Our findings are also consistent with those of earlier reviews.

Conclusion: These findings have public health implications for the New Zealand workforce. Decisions about workplace design should include weighing the short-term financial benefits of open-plan or shared workspaces against the significant harms, including increased sickness absence, lower job satisfaction and productivity, and possible threats to recruitment and retention of staff.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: New Zealand Medical Journal
Creators: Richardson, A., Potter, J., Paterson, M., Harding, T., Tyler-Merrick, G., Kirk, R., Reid, K. and McChesney, J.
Publisher: New Zealand Medical Assocation
Date: 15 December 2017
Volume: 130
Number: 1467
ISSN: 0028-8446
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 21 Sep 2018 15:06
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2018 08:50

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