Who needs a workplace: accommodating employee experience of the new hybrid-built environment in the 21st century

Jane Stonehouse*, Kevin Muldoon-Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Compulsory lockdowns related to Covid-19 have accelerated the demand for more flexible office based working environments. This increasingly hybrid way of working has created an existential question around the future of the corporate office – with the employee perception largely missing in this dynamic exchange. This research responds to this situation in a novel way by utilising an original method inspired by Actor Network Theory and Action Research – utilising a participatory interview strategy. This has enabled the research to follow employees in a sample of national business as they experience the volatile working environment. Original findings indicate that there is general satisfaction with new hybrid environments but an inherent contradiction between better space needed to satisfy employees and the opportunity of smaller spaces for businesses - that less time in the workspace affords. Within employee experience of the hybrid working environment, there is evidence of the relatively well known problem of isolation when working at home. However, there was also strong consensus in relation to nomadism and isolation in the corporate office environment. To improve this situation, employees indicate that it is important to be involved early in the office change process, as a participant, rather than consultee – and that emphasis should be placed upon understanding how employees best collaborate. These original findings are significant as they provide an original method and set of findings that can influence workspace planning, feed into wider organisational change and wider academic debates associated with real estate and the built environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 6 Mar 2023
Event29th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference - University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Jul 202315 Jul 2023


Conference29th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference
Abbreviated title29th ERES Annual Conference London 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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