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The impact of new working practices on employee productivity

PurposeThis study aims to analyse the impact on employee productivity of adopting the activity-based working (ABW) a form of new work practices (NWPs). A study of this nature has never been made in Asia.Design/methodology/approachA mixed methods design was used, which combined a comprehensive literature review, three interviews with senior professionals and a questionnaire survey with 37 office occupiers all from one international real estate consultancy firm in Hong Kong, as a case study, to analyse the impact of ABW on employee productivity.FindingsFindings suggest that ABW influences employee productivity to a certain degree. Though both physical and behavioural working environmental factors influence employee productivity in general, the latter factors were relatively more influential. Interestingly, though space-per-employee has been reduced under the ABW, this has not affected employee performance negatively. However, findings indicate that distraction elements (e.g. interruptions, overcrowding and noise) do have a negative influence on employee performance.Research limitations/implicationsThe scope of this exploratory study is limited to Hong Kong and to a small sample of respondents representing one international real estate firm. However, the results could be interpreted for critical learning in other similarly expensive real estate rental markets.Originality/valueThe study highlighted the impact of not only physical but also behavioural working environment factors on employee productivity. The maximum benefits of NWPs can only be accomplished by striking a balance between aspects of physical and behavioural working environments.

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