Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives
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Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives

Edited by Daniel Wheatley

The growing diversity of contemporary paid work has provoked increased interest in understanding and evaluating the quality of working lives. This Handbook provides critical reflections on recent research in the field, including examining the inextricable links between working life and well-being.
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Chapter 15: Quantitative methods of examining the impact of the physical work environment

Elizabeth (Libby) J. Sander, Alannah E. Rafferty and Peter J. Jordan


The rise of a contingent workforce and the distribution of work have contributed to modifications to typical ways of working. One outcome of these factors has been changes to the physical work environment. Despite considerable interest in managing changes in the physical work environment, researchers still do not have a clear set of methods for assessing the physical work environment. In this chapter, we review current approaches to assessing work environments. To date, both academics and practitioners have adopted unique and potentially incompatible approaches. As a result, the field has been characterized by a lack of cumulative knowledge building. This is reflected in the contradictory research findings that are prevalent in the field. We identify recommendations regarding future research methods that will enhance our understanding of the ways physical work environments influence well-being and quality of working life.

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