The effectiveness of physical office environments for employee outcomes: An interdisciplinary perspective of research efforts

H.A.J.A. Appel - Meulenbroek, M. Clippard, A. Pfnür

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
1134 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study aims at understanding academic practice in the field of physical office environment research and providing recommendations for further enhancement of the field. It shows which effects of the physical office environment on employee outcomes are studied by which disciplines, and which methodologies are used by whom and on which variables. Existing gaps in research that are confirmed by these analyses are discussed and “assigned” to obvious, best suited combinations of future multi-disciplinary research projects to call for studies that would help practice in better decision-making. Design/methodology/approach: After a systematic search and selection of studies, an exploratory analysis of 134 empirical studies from 50 different journals (and other sources) was performed. The selected studies were entered into a database with information on the empirical parameters of the study, the methodology and author information. From this database, cross-tables were built and tested with Canonical Correspondence analyses. Findings: Results of the analyses showed that each discipline has its preferred topics and methods of research. In general, questionnaires are preferred over hard data from physical and physiological recordings. Still many important gaps exist in fully clarifying workplace effectiveness. This paper suggests which disciplines would be capable of taking up which challenges in future studies through interdisciplinary cooperation to further advance the field and corporate real estate management/FM in practice. Originality/value: The Correspondence analyses not only confirmed important gaps for future research but also identified which disciplines would be best suited to take up these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-80
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Corporate Real Estate
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Canonical correspondence analysis
  • Employee outcomes
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Office workplace
  • Performance
  • Research methodologies


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