Psychological Perceptions Matter: Developing the Reactions to the Physical Work Environment Scale

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Abstract

There is clear research evidence that physical work environments (i.e., material spaces and objects) influence employee performance and wellbeing. As a result, these environments have received significant attention from both practitioners and researchers. However, the outcomes of these applied initiatives and research studies are difficult to compare because they often lack a common framework or are focused exclusively on the objective qualities of the workspace (e.g., lighting, acoustics) without considering the human element. In this article, we outline a series of studies conducted to examine employees’ psychological reactions to the physical work environment. A three-part framework for these reactions is proposed, and a supporting measure is developed and validated. This new measure, the Reactions to the Physical Work Environment Scale (RPWES), assesses key cognitive, emotional, and relational responses of employees to their physical work environment. The RPWES provides the foundation for a broader understanding of the impact of the physical work environment on employees. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume148
Early online date16 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019

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