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Front and backstage in the workplace

Front and backstage in the workplace PurposeThe ability of employees to handle work-related demands, structure their own work and manage workflow is highly important in today’s complex organisations. This paper aims to explore the impact of the office environment on employees’ ability to control interaction, structure their own work processes and handle work-related demands. The focus is on the influence of the physical premises, especially on how work within private, privileged and public work zones may affect perceptions of, and possibilities to control, customer interactions and other work-related demands.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a qualitative case study of a Norwegian finance corporation. The core method was semi-structured interviews, carried out with 29 employees and managers. The triangulated research design included observations, field notes, user logs and document analyses.FindingsThe findings indicate that, in a customer-centred work process, separate zones for customer-related work and for internal work provide employees with increased scope to handle work demands and perceive control in their work. Zoning helped structure the workflow and provided employees with new resources in customer interaction and other work tasks.Originality/valueBroadening the focus on environmental control and work-related demands from individual coping to social interaction may provide more insight into factors influencing work processes and employee well-being in emerging workplace concepts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Facilities Management Emerald Publishing

Front and backstage in the workplace

Journal of Facilities Management , Volume 14 (2): 15 – May 3, 2016

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1472-5967
DOI
10.1108/JFM-10-2015-0029
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe ability of employees to handle work-related demands, structure their own work and manage workflow is highly important in today’s complex organisations. This paper aims to explore the impact of the office environment on employees’ ability to control interaction, structure their own work processes and handle work-related demands. The focus is on the influence of the physical premises, especially on how work within private, privileged and public work zones may affect perceptions of, and possibilities to control, customer interactions and other work-related demands.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a qualitative case study of a Norwegian finance corporation. The core method was semi-structured interviews, carried out with 29 employees and managers. The triangulated research design included observations, field notes, user logs and document analyses.FindingsThe findings indicate that, in a customer-centred work process, separate zones for customer-related work and for internal work provide employees with increased scope to handle work demands and perceive control in their work. Zoning helped structure the workflow and provided employees with new resources in customer interaction and other work tasks.Originality/valueBroadening the focus on environmental control and work-related demands from individual coping to social interaction may provide more insight into factors influencing work processes and employee well-being in emerging workplace concepts.

Journal

Journal of Facilities ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 3, 2016

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