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Office Analytics study investigates the effect of office environments

Where will future office and knowledge work take place and how should the individual working environments be designed? In its Office Analytics study, conducted as part of the Office 21® joint research project, Fraunhofer IAO addresses these questions – which are becoming increasingly pertinent for companies.

The rapid pace of technological progress in the last ten years has not only contributed to a great leap forward in scientific progress and transformed information and communications technology, it has also revolutionized conventional office work. In light of increasing levels of work flexibility and the removal of spatial boundaries, the value of offices in our working world today is now being called into question. The Office Analytics study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO addresses the question of how to plan and design modern work environments.

Survey determines success factors for user-oriented work environments

Die Büroumgebung bleibt auch bei flexiblen Arbeitsweisen ein wesentlicher Erfolgsfaktor
© macrovector - Fotolia/ Fraunhofer IAO

Die Büroumgebung bleibt auch bei flexiblen Arbeitsweisen ein wesentlicher Erfolgsfaktor

The results of the study are based on information provided by more than 13,000 respondents, who anonymously completed the Office Analytics online survey between July 2015 and July 2017. They provide insights into how future-oriented work environments should be designed, ensuring these have a positive influence on factors such as wellbeing, motivation, satisfaction and performance.

Different work types benefit from different work environments
© macrovector - Fotolia/ Fraunhofer IAO

Different work types benefit from different work environments

At the same time, the study reveals the positive and negative implications of different working environments. In addition to determining the overall factors for success, the research team working on the study also identified seven different types of work based on empirical evidence for the first time. For each type of work, they derived specific success factors and developed clear-cut guidelines for the design of work environments.

No one-size-fits-all solution for the perfect workspace

Companies looking to fully leverage office design as a factor for success must first perform a detailed and systematic analysis of their employees’ needs and the requirements for them to perform their respective roles. This analysis should be based on the following assumptions:

  1. A variety of different workspace options in the office supports different working styles and is conducive to employees generating ideas and solutions. Autonomy is also an extremely important factor.
  2. For companies, the design of modern working environments must be considered on an individual basis. There is no such thing as the perfect building or work environment. For this reason, a systematic analysis of the employee and organizational structure is imperative in order to derive and propose specific courses of action for the type of work in question.

How employees and companies benefit from the work environment

Planning and designing work environments based on the type of work in this way is a decisive competitive factor in the modern world of work, the main appeal being that it is tailored to the needs of the users and has been proven to generate positive effects for the success of the company. This approach also plays a decisive role with regard to attracting and retaining employees. A satisfied, motivated and productive workforce is contingent on companies taking the individual requirements of their employees into account.

Further information



Office Analytics

The Office Analytics study is available through the IAO shop or from booksellers at a cost of 29 euros.



Office 21

Wie werden wir zukünftig arbeiten und leben? Diese und andere Fragestellungen stehen im Mittelpunkt des Verbundprojekts Office 21.