Question Details

[answered] A critique is not a summary or a simple retelling of the ma

Critically evaluate the statistical analysis of the attached article. A critique is not a summary or a simple retelling of the major findings in a research article. It is more than that and the result should make the difference between believing the research results and using them or not believing the research results and not using them. The critique should critically review ( not summarize ) ?the attached article.

The paper should be three to four pages not including the title page. The critique should contain a title page, introduction, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion.

5075 Work 41 (2012) 5075-5080


DOI: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0800-5075


IOS Press New ways of working: does flexibility in


time and location of work change work


behavior and affect business outcomes?


Merle M. Bloka,*, Liesbeth Groenesteijna,b, Roos Schelvisa and Peter Vinka,b


a, TNO, P.O. Box 718, 2130 AS Hoofddorp, The Netherlands.


Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft,


The Netherlands. b Abstract. In the changing modern economy some new factors have been addressed that are of importance for productivity and


economic growth, such as human skills, workplace organization, information and communication technologies (ICT) and


knowledge sharing. An increasing number of companies and organizations are implementing measures to better address these


factors, often referred to as ?the New Ways of Working (NWW)?. This consists of a large variety of measures that enable flexibility in the time and location of work. Expectations of these measures are often high, such as a reduction in operating costs


and an increase of productivity. However, scientific proof is still lacking, and it is worth asking whether al these implementations actually cause a change in work behavior and effect business outcomes positively. This article describes a case study of


three departments (total of 73 employees) that changed from a traditional way of working towards a new way of working.


Questionnaires and a new developed objective measurement system called ?work@task? were used to measure changes in work


behavior (i.e. increased variation in work location, work times and a change towards NWW management style) and the effect


on business objectives such as knowledge sharing, employees satisfaction, and collaboration.


Keywords: new ways of working, task facilitating office, knowledge worker, work behavior, business objectives 1. Introduction


The modern economy is changing from agriculture


and industrial manufacturing to a service and knowledge driven economy. Knowledge is recognized as


the driver of productivity and economic growth, and


statistics form the OECD studies show that the number of employees working for knowledge- intensive


service sector is increasing [6]. Knowledge work is


supported by a revolution in new ICT applications


and communication networks. These innovations has


changed our perceptions on work and made it possible to work at any location at any time [5]. The proliferating use of information has long been seen as


?the? aspect that would bring us higher productivity


and better business outcomes. However aspects such


as human talent can be seen of even greater importance, since that makes it possible to share knowledge, adapt and innovate [1]. It is therefore argued that employees, especially knowledge workers, should be


more empowered to work more efficiently and effectively [4]. This empowerment implies offering the


employees more self control and freedom by introducing flexible work arrangements. This transformation is often referred to as ?the New Ways of Working? (NWW) and consist of changes that take place at


four aspects:1) the physical workspace, 2) (ICT)


technology, 3) organization & management and 4)


work culture. The physical workspaces refers to


NWW measures that increasing the flexibility where


and when to work by introducing flexible work hours,


telework and creating flexible workplaces at the office that better suits the work task. Introducing ICT


technologies implies that employees are supported


with technologies that allows them to be connected


and able to collaboration always and everywhere. The * Corresponding author: Merle Blok. E-mail: 1051-9815/12/$27.50 ? 2012 ? IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved 5076 M.M. Blok et al. / Does Flexibility in Time and Location of Work Change Work Behavior and Affect Business Outcomes? third NWW aspect: ?organization and management?


is important since managing employees might become a big challenge when it is not longer visible


were, when and what employees are working on. It is


therefor important that managers have trust in there


employees, focus more on output instead of presence


at the office, and provide them with more autonomy


by stimulating own initiative. Changes in work culture implies that an open culture, with focus on information sharing and collaboration in networks is




Many organizations see potential opportunities in


the transition to the NWW and the number of organizations that have implemented a form of NWW is


rapidly increasing. This is not only in order to enhance productivity growth, but is also seen as a necessary preparation for the upcoming societal issues.


Attracting skilled professionals will get more difficult,


since we are facing a demographic shift in aging


populations. And there is an increase in road traffic,


causing serious traffic infarcts and a loss in productive work time. The NWW measures not only offer


differentiation in starting and ending time of work, it


also offers the possibility to work from any other


remote location. The Telework Trendlines 2009 [7]


reported that the number of U.S. employees who


worked remotely at least one day per month increased


39% in two years from approximately 12.4 million in


2006 to 17.2 million in 2008.


Working from remote locations affect the purpose


of the office building, making it less important for the


performance of individual work tasks, and more important for work activities such as collaboration, faceto-face meetings and knowledge sharing [2]. To better suit these work activities, a growing number of


organization lower the total amount of office building


space, and task facilitating offices. This often consists


of transparent offices including a large variety of


shared workplaces, such as meeting rooms, project


places, lounge corners and concentration arias [3].


Although the expectations of the NWW measures


are often high, scientific proof is still lacking. It is


important to know more about the effects to provide


organizations with a better understanding and (at


forehand) insight in the effects of their NWW investment or policy decisions regarding the implementation. It is still unknown how implementations of


NWW measures affect work behavior, in means of


where and when the employees work, and how this


relates to business objectives such as increased productivity by improvements in collaboration, knowledge sharing and employee satisfaction. In this paper a case study is presented of a Dutch


organization with a pilot group consisting of three


departments that changed from a traditional way of


working towards a new way of working. The changes


includes a new flexible office layout were workplaces


are shared, introduction of social ICT and the ability


to work from home or any other remote location at


flexible work hours. Their objective was to increase


collaboration, knowledge sharing and employees satisfaction, and thereby enhance the productivity of the


employees, while at the same time reducing cost by


decreasing the amount of total office space used. The


effects on work behavior and on the aimed business


objectives are monitored every half year for four


times in total. A questionnaire and a new developed


objective measuring method called ?work@task? to


monitor changes in work location are used. The results from the first two measures will be presented in


this paper. This article is aimed to provide an answer


to the research question: ?What are the effects of new


ways of working in a task facilitating office on work


behavior, and does this positively effect collaboration,


employee satisfaction and knowledge sharing? 2. Method


A group of 73 employees from three different departments participated in this study. All participants


moved from a traditional work environment where


each department had his own work space, to one


shared work area consisting of a large variety of different shared workspaces such as brainstorm area?s,


meeting rooms, silent open workspaces and project


places. Digital smart boards were introduced to support project work, as well as laptops, cellphones, and


access to the business network in order to enable employees to work everywhere throughout the department.


2.1. Questionnaire


A web based internet questionnaire was developed


and carried out twice, once while implementing the


new ways of working (M1), and one six months later


in the new office environment (M2). All employees


of the three different departments participated in the


study. The questionnaire was conducted in order to


measure NWW awareness, change in work behavior


and the effects on business outcomes. Questions on


change in behavior consisted of questions on flexibility in work location and workplace, and if a NWW M.M. Blok et al. / Does Flexibility in Time and Location of Work Change Work Behavior and Affect Business Outcomes? management style was created in the new work environment. Since the first measure (M1) was conducted


while at the same time the implementation of the new


way of work was implemented, the questionnaire


consisted of some questions to retrieved information


of the actual stage of the three differed departments,


such as habitation to the new flexible work environment.


Questions on NWW management style consisted


of items measuring the degree to which managers


behaved as a NWW role model, if they listened and


showing interest in the work of the employees, and


questions on the focus and agreements on results, the


feasibility of the results and whether the employees


perceived enough autonomy


2.2. Work@task


In the new work environment the participant had


greater flexibility in the timing and location of work.


It was therefore assumed that employees would more


frequently change workplaces and work location (at


the office, at home, while traveling or at the client


office). In order to measure actual behavioral changes


in work place and location a ?work@task? system


was developed and tested. The method consists of an


automatic short message services, were texts massages were send to the business cellphones of sixty


employees five times a day at standardized moments


in time for a period of two weeks. The employees


were asked to respond immediately to each text message with a message code that described their workplace, work location and the task they were performing. In order to make the response as less time consuming as possible, response codes were formulated


and profited to the employees at small pocketsize


plastic cards (see figure 1) and the workplaces at the


office were labeled with code numbers. The


work@task measurement was conducted in the new


office situation only and corresponded in time with


the second questionnaire measure (M2). 5077 Work@task Codes for short message service


For example O1IC




O# = Office + workplace number


OD = Office, working at a different department


OL = Working at a different office location


H = Home


T = Traveling


WE = Working extern (at client office)




I = individual


T1 = working together at one location


T2 = working together at two locations


G1 = group work at one location


G2 = group work at two or more locations




C = concentration task


R = routine task


F = formal meeting


IF = informal meeting


P = Phone call


B = Break


N = Not working


Figure 1.Work@task codes that were used in the short


massage service. 3. Results


All 73 employees of the three departments received


the first online questionnaire (M1) and half a year


later 60 of them received the second questionnaire


(M2). In total 58 participants (average age 45; 59%


male) filled out the first questionnaire, while 52 employees (average age 44; 53% male) responded to the


second questionnaire. A total of 39 participants filled


out both questionnaires. The job functions of the subjects existed of either manager, project manager, project support or advisor.


3.1. Implementation awareness of NWW measures 2.3. Statistics


Descriptive statistics were used to describe the results from the questionnaire and work@task. Withinsubject t-test analysis (p<0.05) was used on the questionnaire data of participants that participated in both


the M1 and M2 questionnaire only, in order to detect


significant effects of NWW on collaboration, employees satisfaction and knowledge sharing. Questionnaire data on the status of implementation of


the new ways of working and the habituation to the


new flexible work layout showed that none of the


participants were fully habituated to the new flexible


work layout, and a part of the participants (28%)


were still working at the traditional office at the time


the first questionnaire was filled out (M1). Half year


later, at the time the second questionnaire (M2) was 5078 M.M. Blok et al. / Does Flexibility in Time and Location of Work Change Work Behavior and Affect Business Outcomes? filled out all participants were working at the flexible


work layout. More than half (54%) of the participants


were entirely habituated and 30% was habituated


somewhat. A total of 16% stated that they were not


yet habituated to the new flexible work layout.


In figure 2 the results are shown for differed statements that were addressed in the questionnaire on the


possibility to work flexible. The results show an increase over time between M1 and M2 in the experienced possibility to work at flexible work hours at the


office, the availability of sufficient ICT facilities and


access to business networks from home or other remote work locations. These results indicate that the


participant were aware of the new possibilities that


were created by introducing the new way of working. Figure 2. The ability to work flexible in time and the accessibility


and sufficient ICT facilities to work from remote locations at Figure 3. The average score on question items measuring NWW


management style M1n=48, M2n =48. 3.2. Changes in flexible work behavior


In order to investigate whether the actual implementation of NWW measures actually caused a change in


work behavior the participants were asked where they


performed their work tasks. The results in figure 4


show that there were no big changes in amount of


working hours spend on different work locations.


Working at home increased from 4.5 hours per week


at M1 to 5.5 hours at M2, which was not as much as


was expected, since at M2 working from home was


officially enabled. The biggest increase was seen for


working at the client office which increased from 5.8


hours per week to 7.4 hours per week. measurement M1 (n= 57) and M2 (n=50) Besides changes in physical workspace and (ICT)


technology, implementations of the NWW also implies changes in organization & management and a


change towards a suitable work culture. The results


on NWW management style items of M1 and M2


(see figure 3) show that the overall score on NWW


role model and the focus on results improved overtime, although there is still a large percentage of employees that did not experience the manager as a


NWW role model (31%) with forces on results (15%).


The other aspects of the NWW management style


aspect show a decrease over time. Figure 4. The number of hours per week worked at different locations, at measurement M1 (n= 57) and M2 (n=50). The results from work@task (see figure 5) show that


60% of the work time was spend at the office building, of which 40% of the working time was spend at


the flexible work layout. A total of 18% of the working time was spend at home, an another 13% was


spend teleworking extern at the client office. M.M. Blok et al. / Does Flexibility in Time and Location of Work Change Work Behavior and Affect Business Outcomes? 5079 a scale from 1 ?very low? to 7 ?very high?. Results did


not show any change between M1 and M2 for collaboration and employees? satisfaction and the suitability of the environment to perform the work tasks,


while knowledge sharing was decreased significantly


(see Fig. 7). Figure 5. The number of hours per week worked at different locations, at measurement M1 (n= 57) and M2 (n=50) At the traditional office the employees had owned


workstations, and did not have a variety of different


workplaces except for meeting rooms and coffee corners. The new flexible office layout did offer a wide


variety of different workspaces (M2). In the


work@task measurement the percentage of work


time spend at each workplace was measured for M2


(see figure 6). The workplaces at the open area (a


total of 31 workplaces), were used for 61% or the


time. The three meeting rooms and team rooms were


used 13% of the time, followed by meeting/lounge


rooms. The phone booths were only used 1% of the


time. Figure 6. The average number of hours spend at different workplaces at the office for M2 (n=49), # number of workspaces. 3.3. Effect on business outcomes


So far, the results have shown that the employees did


experience an increase in possibilities to work flexible in time and location and a small change in behavior caused by these increased flexibilities was visible.


Results on the business objectives were measured on Figure 7. Average scores for M1 and M2 on scale from 1 to 7 (1 =


very low, 7 = very high). 4. Discussion


In this research study it was investigated whether the


introduction of new way of working measures caused


changes in work behavior, leading to positive effects


on business objectives. The results of this study


showed that the participants were aware of the increased possibility to work at different locations, and


they experienced an increase in availability of ICT


facilities and better remote access to business networks. It is interesting to see that even after halve a


year still not all of the employees were habituated.


Results on the implementation of a NWW


management style did not show overall positive results. Four out of six questionnaire items on NWW


management style showed a decrease over time. This


is a interesting result, since it was expected that the


NWW management style was implemented and


therefor the experienced NWW management style


would improve. It was certainly not expected that it


would decrease. This result might indicate that when


NWW is introduced the importance of a NWW management style is of greater importance, which might


created increased awareness of the absence of NWW


management style resulting in lower scores.


As mentioned before, NWW consist of changes that 5080 M.M. Blok et al. / Does Flexibility in Time and Location of Work Change Work Behavior and Affect Business Outcomes? take place at four aspects, the physical workspace,


(ICT) technology, organization & management and


work culture. From the results we might conclude


that at least two out of four NWW aspects (i.e. physical workspace and ICT technologies) were successfully implemented. The implementation of management style was not conducted successfully yet, and


should be given more priority. Changing the organizational culture might be of greater effort and take


up more time. It will be interesting to see if improvements are seen at a later stage in the third or


fourth measure.


Studying the results on change in behavior,


some indications are found for the hypothesis that


implementing NWW measures changes the work


behavior. For instance, more different work locations


and workplaces throughout the office were used. It is


expected that there will be a greater change in work


behavior when all four NWW aspects are implemented successfully.


Not finding any improvements in the business objectives can have at least two important reasons. First of all it can be explained by the fact that


not all four aspects of NWW are implemented well


enough to cause a significant change in work behavior, and therefore the business objective are not affected. Second of all it is possible that although expected by NWW believers, the NWW measures do


not affect of improve the selected business objectives.


The NWW might increase ad hoc interaction and


communication of colleagues, but this does not imply


improvements in knowledge sharing or collaboration


Even if knowledge sharing and collaboration at the


office itself improves, this might be counteracted by


the fact that more time is spend working at home or


at other remote locations where less ad hoc interaction and communication has takes place.


This case study provides us with some interesting insights in some of the effects of the NWW


measures. It is difficulty to set up a good research


study to measure the effects of the NWW since in


reality it is difficult to isolate the effects of NWW in


organizations, and other changes that might affect the


results as well are often taking place as well. In order


to gain good inside in the effect of NWW intervention it is important to measure the situation some time


before the implementation takes place and a period of


time after, when al the short term effects caused by


the change toward the NWW measures has disappeared. Unfortunately in this study at the moment of the M1 measure the implementation was already partly started and some of the employees had already


moved to the new flexible office layout a few days


prior to the measure. Even so, it was not expected


that the recent movement did cause an immediate


change in business objectives and it is expected that


when employees get more habituated to the flexible


work environment it will have a positive effect on


knowledge sharing, collaboration, satisfaction and


experienced suitability of the work environment.


Further research on this topic will be done,


since two other measures will be performed. It will be


interesting to see whether all four NWW aspects will


be further implemented successfully. And if the behavior of the employees will change towards a more


flexible work behavior such as a further increase in


hours worked at home or remote, changes in work


time and more flexibility in the use of different


workplaces at the office. It will then be possible to


see if a further increase in work behavior will significantly improve the business objectives. References


[1] S. Aravaniti and E.N. Loukis, ICT, human capital, workplace


organization and labour productivity: A comparative study


based on firm-level data for Greece and Switzerland, Information, Economics and Policy 21, 2009, pp. 43-61.


[2] M. Blok, E. de Korte., L. Groenesteijn, M. Formanoy, P. Vink,


The effects of a task facilitating working environment on office space use, communication, concentration, collaboration,


privacy and distraction. Proceedings of the 17th World Congress on Ergonomics, Bejing, 2009.


[3] E.M. de Croon, J.K. Sluiter, P.P.F.M. Kuijer, and M.H.W.


Frings-Dresen, The effect of office concepts on worker health


and performance: a systematic review of the literature, Ergonomics, 48: 2, 2005, pp. 119-34.


[4] C. Ichniowski, T.A. Kochan, D.I. Levine, C. Olson, G. Strauss,


What works at work: overview and assessment. In: Ichniowski,


C., Levine, D.I., Olson, C., Strauss, G. (Eds.), The American


Workplace. Skills compensation and Employee Involvement.


Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000 pp. 1?37.


[5] S.Y. Lee, J.L. Brand, Effects of control over office workspace


on perceptions of the work environment and work outcomes,


Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25, 2005, pp.323?333.


[6] OECD, Organization for economic co-operation and development.. The knowledge-based economy. General distribution


OCDE//GD(96)102, 1996.


[7] WorldatWork Research. Flexible Work Arrangements for


Nonexempt Employees, 2009. WorldatWork Telework trendlines (2009),


pdf. Copyright of Work is the property of IOS Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or


posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print,


download, or email articles for individual use.


Solution details:

This question was answered on: Sep 18, 2020

PRICE: $15 (25.37 KB)

Buy this answer for only: $15

This attachment is locked

We have a ready expert answer for this paper which you can use for in-depth understanding, research editing or paraphrasing. You can buy it or order for a fresh, original and plagiarism-free copy from our tutoring website (Deadline assured. Flexible pricing. TurnItIn Report provided)

Pay using PayPal (No PayPal account Required) or your credit card . All your purchases are securely protected by .

About this Question






Sep 18, 2020





We have top-notch tutors who can do your essay/homework for you at a reasonable cost and then you can simply use that essay as a template to build your own arguments.

You can also use these solutions:

  • As a reference for in-depth understanding of the subject.
  • As a source of ideas / reasoning for your own research (if properly referenced)
  • For editing and paraphrasing (check your institution's definition of plagiarism and recommended paraphrase).
This we believe is a better way of understanding a problem and makes use of the efficiency of time of the student.


Order New Solution. Quick Turnaround

Click on the button below in order to Order for a New, Original and High-Quality Essay Solutions. New orders are original solutions and precise to your writing instruction requirements. Place a New Order using the button below.


Order Now