Increased absence rates are found in shared and open-plan offices.

The aim of this study was to examine whether shared and open-plan offices are associated with more days of sickness absence than cellular offices. Sickness absence was significantly related to having a greater number of occupants in the office (P<0.001) when adjusting for confounders. Compared to cellular offices, occupants in 2-person offices had 50% more days of sickness absence, occupants in 3–6-person offices had 36% more days of sickness absence and occupants in open-plan offices (>6 persons) had 62% more days of sickness absence. The study concludes that occupants sharing an office and occupants in open-plan offices (>6 occupants) had significantly more days of sickness absence than occupants in cellular offices.

 

This study is cross-sectional and cannot explain the mechanisms behind the increased sickness absence rates in shared and open-plan offices. However, the literature suggests some explanations. One explanation could be that increased absence rates in shared and open-plan offices are caused by higher exposure to noise in these offices. The most prevalent complaint in open-plan offices is noise annoyance, with ringing phones and other peoples’ conversation being the most annoying sources of noise. No known studies to the researchers have related noise to sickness absence solely in office buildings.

 

Source: Sickness absence associated with shared and open-plan offices – a national cross sectional questionnaire survey. Pejtersen JH, Feveile H, Christensen KB, Burr H; Scand J Work Environ Health 2011;37(5):376-382 ; doi:10.5271/sjweh.3167

www.sjweh.fi/show_abstract.php?abstract_id=3167

Abonnement courriel

Messages récents

Catégories

Mots-Clés (Tags)

Blogoliste

Archives