pdf version: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00140139.2013.871064
The effect of ofﬁce type on sickness absence among ofﬁce employees was studied prospectively in 1852 employees working in (1) cell-ofﬁces; (2) shared-room ofﬁces; (3) small, (4) medium-sized and (5) large open-plan ofﬁces; (6) ﬂex-ofﬁces and (7) combi-ofﬁces. Sick leaves were self-reported two years later as number of (a) short and (b) long (medically certiﬁed) sick leave spells as well as (c) total number of sick leave days. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used, with adjustment for background factors. A signiﬁcant excess risk for sickness absence was found only in terms of short sick leave spells in the three open-plan ofﬁces. In the gender separate analysis, this remained for women, whereas men had a signiﬁcantly increased risk in ﬂex-ofﬁces. For long sick leave spells, a signiﬁcantly higher risk was found among women in large open-plan ofﬁces and for total number of sick days among men in ﬂex-ofﬁces.
Practitioner Summary:A prospective study of the ofﬁce environment’s effect on employees is motivated by the high rates of sick leaves in the workforce. The results indicate differences between ofﬁce types, depending on the number of people sharing
workspace and the opportunity to exert personal control as inﬂuenced by the features that deﬁne the ofﬁce types.