The impact of workplaces and self-management practices on the productivity of knowledge workers

Miikka Palvalin, Theo van der Voordt, Tuuli Jylhä

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)
    844 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: This paper aims to explore the impact of workplaces, which support concentration and communication, and self-management practices on individual and team productivity. The underlying hypothesis is that the impact of these variables on the two levels of productivity (individual and team) and the two dimensions of productivity (quantity and quality) may be different. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on survey data from 998 Finnish knowledge workers. Factor analysis was used to test the dimensions of the conceptual model. Insights into the impact of workplaces for concentration and communications and self-management practices on productivity were obtained by multiple-regression analyses. Findings: The findings show that self-management practices have a larger impact on the quality and quantity of individual output and the quantity of team output than workplaces for communication and concentration. Improving self-management skills is key to increase all productivity dimensions and in particular the quality of the output. Practical implications: This paper contributes to a better understanding of the impact of workplace characteristics and self-management practices on different levels and dimensions of productivity. It offers valuable lessons for managers, as they are able to recognize how productivity can be approached from several perspectives. Different dimensions can be enhanced using different workplace settings. For example, the quantitative output of employees can be increased by adding more space for concentration, while quantitative team productivity can be increased by providing appropriate space for collaboration. An important means to enhance a higher quality of the output is to improve self-management skills. The findings also suggest that collaboration between different disciplines – corporate management, corporate real estate management, human resource management and IT – is needed to optimize individual and team productivity. Originality/value: This paper explores work environment experiences of Finnish office workers and connects both workplace appraisal and work practices to perceived productivity support, on individual level and team level. It also adds insights into the different impacts on quantity and quality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)423-438
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Facilities Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Knowledge workers
    • Office
    • Productivity
    • Self-management
    • Workplace
    • Workplace management

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Strategy and Management
    • Management of Technology and Innovation
    • Business and International Management


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