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MAIJU VUOLLE, MIIKKA PALVALIN & ANTTI LÖNNQVIST 
METHODS FOR ANALYZING THE IMPACTS OF 
WORKPLACE CHANGES ON KNOWLEDGE WORK 
11th international conference on intellectual capital, knowledge management & organisational 
learning – ICICKM 2014 6-7 November, Sydney Australia
AGENDA 
• Introduction to ‘new ways of working’ 
• Research approach of the study 
• Three measurement methods and examples of results 
• Measurement prosess duringworkplace change 
The aim of the paper is to present and empirically demonstrate the 
application of three complementary ways to analyse the impacts of 
new work environments and more flexible and mobile work practices. 
Keywords: Knowledge work, performance, productivity, well-being, 
work environment, work practices, measurement 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 2
REDESIGNING KNOWLEDGEWORK 
PRACTICESAND ENVIRONMENT 
From open-plan offices 
to flexibe multi-use 
offices, hubs, coffee 
shops 
From 9-to-5 to flexible 
and mobile working 
From e-mails to instant 
messages, collaborative, 
mobile and social tools 
From command and 
control to trust-based 
managerial practices
RESEARCHAPPROACH 
• Four case companies, facility management sector 
• interested in improving their operations and for developing new 
services for their customers, needed practical tools and methods for 
identifying and measuring the impacts of new work environments and 
work practices 
Research approach Methods 
Interview study Thematic interviews within two case companies (N=18) to 
identify and categorize factors to be improved and measured 
Constructive 
research 
Development and pilot tests of a SmartWoW tool within all 
four case companies (N= 111) 
Case study analysis Balanced multidimensional measurement in one case 
company 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 4
I INTERVIEWFRAMEWORK 
Knowledge work 
performance 
PERFORMANCE DRIVERS RESULTS AND OUTCOMES 
CONTEXTUAL 
PERSONAL WAYS 
FACTORS 
OF WORKING 
Physical, virtual and 
Proactive, flexible and 
social-organizational 
mobile working, 
work environments 
utilization of ICT, 
prioritizating, planning, 
concentrating, relaxing 
WELL-BEING 
Work engagement, 
satisfaction, stress, 
appreciation, work-life 
fit, conflicts, 
atmosphere 
PRODUCTIVITY 
Work efficiency and 
effectiveness, results, 
goals, skills, quality, 
customer satisfaction, 
team performance 
(Palvalin et al., 2015) 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 5
II SMARTWOWTOOL 
Organization 1 
(N=28) 
Organization 2 
(N=26) 
Organization 3 
(N=35) 
Negative 
(%) 
Positive 
(%) 
Negative 
(%) 
Positive 
(%) 
Negative 
(%) 
Positive 
(%) 
Performance drivers 
Physical environment (5) 40 52 24 64 21 71 
Virtual environment (6) 29 56 19 66 5 85 
Social environment (9) 33 50 23 60 9 75 
Work practices (10) 23 66 31 54 24 60 
Work outcomes 
Work well-being (8) 25 55 12 72 8 82 
Productivity (7) 9 78 8 76 2 88 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 6
III MULTIDIMENSIONAL MEASUREMENT 
Performance measures 
2008 
(the old office) 
2009/2010 
(new; right after the change) 
2011 
(new office; a year after) 
RESOURCES 
Space usage efficiency 26 sqm/person 13 sqm/person 10 sqm/person 
COST SAVINGS 
Occupancy costs 7 025 €/person 3 570 €/person 2 880 €/person 
SUSTAINABILITY 
Environmental impact 2650 kgCO2/person 1850 kgCO2/person 1470 kgCO2/person 
EMPLOYEES 
Personnel survey 
- 58 % out of all responses 
say the new facility is ‘better’ 
or ‘remarkably better’ than 
the old office 
88 % out of all responses 
perceive their productivity 
positively (SmartWoW, year 
2013) 
(see also Ruostela et al., 2014) 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 7
AN OVERVIEW OF WORKPLACE 
CHANGE AND IMPACTS 
CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS 
PERFORMANCE IMPACTS 
Physical, virtual and 
social work 
environment 
Ways of working 
Change in work 
environment and 
work practices 
Employees’ Well-being 
and Productivity 
Resources 
Cost savings 
Positive image 
Sustainability 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 8
MEASUREMENT PROSESS DURING 
WORKPLACE CHANGE 
• METHODS: 
1) Interview 
framework and 2) 
SmartWoW tool for 
identifying 
productivity potential 
– i.e. factors to be 
improved and 
measured 
• Ex-ante 
measurement 
Contextual 
analysis 
Change in work 
environment and 
ways of working 
• Design and 
implement 
measures e.g., 
based on the 
knowledge work 
performance 
framework and 
set targets. 
• METHODS: 
3) Balanced 
multidimensional 
measurement, 
including 
SmartWoW 
indicators 
• Ex-post 
measurement 
Evaluate 
performance 
impacts 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 9
THANK YOU 
Maiju Vuolle, D.Sc. Tech. 
maiju.vuolle@tut.fi @MaijuVuolle 
Novi research center @Noviresearch 
PerformanceManagement Research Group www.tut.fi/pmteam 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 10
REFERENCES 
• Vuolle, M., Palvalin, M., Lönnqvist, A. (2014) Methods for analyzingthe impacts of workplace 
change on knowledgework, ICICKM, 6-7 November, Sydney, Australia. 
• Palvalin, M., Vuolle, M., Lönnqvist, A., Jääskeläinen, A., Laihonen, H. (2015) SmartWoW– 
Constructing a tool for knowledge work performance analysis, Accepted for publication in the 
International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. 
• Ruostela, J., Lönnqvist, A., Palvalin, M., Vuolle, M., Patjas, M. & Raij, A-L. (2014) ‘New Ways of 
Working’ as a tool for improving the performance of a knowledge-intensive company, 
Knowledge Management Research & Practice, doi: 10.1057/kmrp.2013.57. 
• Pictures from Dropbox HQ –Bruce Damonte http://www.boorbridges.com/project/dropbox-hq/ 
NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 11

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Methods for analyzing the impacts of workplace changes on knowledge work

  • 1. MAIJU VUOLLE, MIIKKA PALVALIN & ANTTI LÖNNQVIST METHODS FOR ANALYZING THE IMPACTS OF WORKPLACE CHANGES ON KNOWLEDGE WORK 11th international conference on intellectual capital, knowledge management & organisational learning – ICICKM 2014 6-7 November, Sydney Australia
  • 2. AGENDA • Introduction to ‘new ways of working’ • Research approach of the study • Three measurement methods and examples of results • Measurement prosess duringworkplace change The aim of the paper is to present and empirically demonstrate the application of three complementary ways to analyse the impacts of new work environments and more flexible and mobile work practices. Keywords: Knowledge work, performance, productivity, well-being, work environment, work practices, measurement NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 2
  • 3. REDESIGNING KNOWLEDGEWORK PRACTICESAND ENVIRONMENT From open-plan offices to flexibe multi-use offices, hubs, coffee shops From 9-to-5 to flexible and mobile working From e-mails to instant messages, collaborative, mobile and social tools From command and control to trust-based managerial practices
  • 4. RESEARCHAPPROACH • Four case companies, facility management sector • interested in improving their operations and for developing new services for their customers, needed practical tools and methods for identifying and measuring the impacts of new work environments and work practices Research approach Methods Interview study Thematic interviews within two case companies (N=18) to identify and categorize factors to be improved and measured Constructive research Development and pilot tests of a SmartWoW tool within all four case companies (N= 111) Case study analysis Balanced multidimensional measurement in one case company NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 4
  • 5. I INTERVIEWFRAMEWORK Knowledge work performance PERFORMANCE DRIVERS RESULTS AND OUTCOMES CONTEXTUAL PERSONAL WAYS FACTORS OF WORKING Physical, virtual and Proactive, flexible and social-organizational mobile working, work environments utilization of ICT, prioritizating, planning, concentrating, relaxing WELL-BEING Work engagement, satisfaction, stress, appreciation, work-life fit, conflicts, atmosphere PRODUCTIVITY Work efficiency and effectiveness, results, goals, skills, quality, customer satisfaction, team performance (Palvalin et al., 2015) NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 5
  • 6. II SMARTWOWTOOL Organization 1 (N=28) Organization 2 (N=26) Organization 3 (N=35) Negative (%) Positive (%) Negative (%) Positive (%) Negative (%) Positive (%) Performance drivers Physical environment (5) 40 52 24 64 21 71 Virtual environment (6) 29 56 19 66 5 85 Social environment (9) 33 50 23 60 9 75 Work practices (10) 23 66 31 54 24 60 Work outcomes Work well-being (8) 25 55 12 72 8 82 Productivity (7) 9 78 8 76 2 88 NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 6
  • 7. III MULTIDIMENSIONAL MEASUREMENT Performance measures 2008 (the old office) 2009/2010 (new; right after the change) 2011 (new office; a year after) RESOURCES Space usage efficiency 26 sqm/person 13 sqm/person 10 sqm/person COST SAVINGS Occupancy costs 7 025 €/person 3 570 €/person 2 880 €/person SUSTAINABILITY Environmental impact 2650 kgCO2/person 1850 kgCO2/person 1470 kgCO2/person EMPLOYEES Personnel survey - 58 % out of all responses say the new facility is ‘better’ or ‘remarkably better’ than the old office 88 % out of all responses perceive their productivity positively (SmartWoW, year 2013) (see also Ruostela et al., 2014) NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 7
  • 8. AN OVERVIEW OF WORKPLACE CHANGE AND IMPACTS CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS PERFORMANCE IMPACTS Physical, virtual and social work environment Ways of working Change in work environment and work practices Employees’ Well-being and Productivity Resources Cost savings Positive image Sustainability NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 8
  • 9. MEASUREMENT PROSESS DURING WORKPLACE CHANGE • METHODS: 1) Interview framework and 2) SmartWoW tool for identifying productivity potential – i.e. factors to be improved and measured • Ex-ante measurement Contextual analysis Change in work environment and ways of working • Design and implement measures e.g., based on the knowledge work performance framework and set targets. • METHODS: 3) Balanced multidimensional measurement, including SmartWoW indicators • Ex-post measurement Evaluate performance impacts NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 9
  • 10. THANK YOU Maiju Vuolle, D.Sc. Tech. maiju.vuolle@tut.fi @MaijuVuolle Novi research center @Noviresearch PerformanceManagement Research Group www.tut.fi/pmteam NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 10
  • 11. REFERENCES • Vuolle, M., Palvalin, M., Lönnqvist, A. (2014) Methods for analyzingthe impacts of workplace change on knowledgework, ICICKM, 6-7 November, Sydney, Australia. • Palvalin, M., Vuolle, M., Lönnqvist, A., Jääskeläinen, A., Laihonen, H. (2015) SmartWoW– Constructing a tool for knowledge work performance analysis, Accepted for publication in the International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. • Ruostela, J., Lönnqvist, A., Palvalin, M., Vuolle, M., Patjas, M. & Raij, A-L. (2014) ‘New Ways of Working’ as a tool for improving the performance of a knowledge-intensive company, Knowledge Management Research & Practice, doi: 10.1057/kmrp.2013.57. • Pictures from Dropbox HQ –Bruce Damonte http://www.boorbridges.com/project/dropbox-hq/ NOVI RESEARCH CENTER 15.12.2014 11