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Physical space and organizational behaviour: A study of an office landscape

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... 1972; Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Zeitlin, 1969), saw I/O psychologists and organizational scholars begin once again to become interested in the relationship between workers and their physical workspace (for an excellent review of the development of office environments see Duffy, 1997). The effects that changes to established office design may have upon office occupants became a common concern and the issue was taken up by journalists (e.g., Business Week, 1978) and scholarly researchers (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Oldham & Brass, 1979). ...
... It has been suggested that offices that facilitate greater communication and interaction (e.g., those that place individuals close to one another and remove physical barriers to communication, as open-plan offices frequently do) allow individuals to share task-relevant information, promote feedback, and create friendship opportunities (Oldham & Brass, 1979), leading in turn to increased inter-personal relations, reduced conflict, increased job satisfaction and motivation (Zalesny & Farace, 1987). Indeed, studies have found that more open workspace generates greater group sociability (e.g., Brookes & Kaplan, 1972) and an increase in interaction has been typically observed (e.g., Boyce, 1974;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Sundstrom & Sundstrom, 1986). Furthermore, open-plan configurations have been found to affect the pattern of interaction, with less time spent in formal meetings and an increase in informal communication (e.g., more conversations held around desks) observed following its introduction (Brennan, Chugh, & Kline, 2002). ...
... Previous reviewers (e.g., Elsbach & Pratt, 2007) have noted that the design of the physical environment involves trade-offs in the management of competing tensions between its different aspects. The evidence surrounding the benefits and risks of adopting an open-plan workspace strategy illustrates the need to ensure that potential negatives, such as increased distraction, noise, and reduced privacy (e.g., Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Leaman & Bordass, 2005;O'Neill, 1994;Sundstrom, Herbert, & Brown, 1982;Sundstrom & Sundstrom, 1986), do not outweigh the financial and behavioral positives that might be delivered (e.g., Duffy, 2000;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Zeitlin, 1969). However, mixed findings (Boyce, 1974;Brennan, Chugh, & Kline, 2002;Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Oldham, 1988;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Zalesny & Farace, 1987) illustrate the difficulty in attempting to draw clear-cut conclusions in regard to when an open-plan office is most appropriate for an organization, or which aspects of such a design pose the greatest potential risk to an organization (e.g., higher density levels, lower level screens between or around workstations). ...
... 1972; Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Zeitlin, 1969), saw I/O psychologists and organizational scholars begin once again to become interested in the relationship between workers and their physical workspace (for an excellent review of the development of office environments see Duffy, 1997). The effects that changes to established office design may have upon office occupants became a common concern and the issue was taken up by journalists (e.g., Business Week, 1978) and scholarly researchers (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Oldham & Brass, 1979). ...
... It has been suggested that offices that facilitate greater communication and interaction (e.g., those that place individuals close to one another and remove physical barriers to communication, as open-plan offices frequently do) allow individuals to share task-relevant information, promote feedback, and create friendship opportunities (Oldham & Brass, 1979), leading in turn to increased inter-personal relations, reduced conflict, increased job satisfaction and motivation (Zalesny & Farace, 1987). Indeed, studies have found that more open workspace generates greater group sociability (e.g., Brookes & Kaplan, 1972) and an increase in interaction has been typically observed (e.g., Boyce, 1974;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Sundstrom & Sundstrom, 1986). Furthermore, open-plan configurations have been found to affect the pattern of interaction, with less time spent in formal meetings and an increase in informal communication (e.g., more conversations held around desks) observed following its introduction (Brennan, Chugh, & Kline, 2002). ...
... Previous reviewers (e.g., Elsbach & Pratt, 2007) have noted that the design of the physical environment involves trade-offs in the management of competing tensions between its different aspects. The evidence surrounding the benefits and risks of adopting an open-plan workspace strategy illustrates the need to ensure that potential negatives, such as increased distraction, noise, and reduced privacy (e.g., Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Leaman & Bordass, 2005;O'Neill, 1994;Sundstrom, Herbert, & Brown, 1982;Sundstrom & Sundstrom, 1986), do not outweigh the financial and behavioral positives that might be delivered (e.g., Duffy, 2000;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Zeitlin, 1969). However, mixed findings (Boyce, 1974;Brennan, Chugh, & Kline, 2002;Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Oldham, 1988;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Zalesny & Farace, 1987) illustrate the difficulty in attempting to draw clear-cut conclusions in regard to when an open-plan office is most appropriate for an organization, or which aspects of such a design pose the greatest potential risk to an organization (e.g., higher density levels, lower level screens between or around workstations). ...
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The State of Personnel Selection Research An Expanded Problem Space: Selection to Differentiate the Firm Directions for Future Research Conclusion Acknowledgments References
... The influence of open plan office design on office workers has been studied from a number of perspectives. Some studies address issues in terms of short-term reactions, including: increased visual and oral distractions (Hundert and Greenfield, 1969;Manning, 1966;Canter, 1972;Brookes and Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1986;Ives and Ferdinands, 1974;Nemecek and Grandjean, 1973;Oldham and Brass, 1979;Sundstrom et al., 1980;Brookes, 1972); increased cognitive loading (Oldham and Brass, 1979;Becker et al., 1983); frequent interruptions by colleagues (Hedge, 1986;Hundert and Greenfield, 1969); concentration difficulty; lack of privacy, both visual and audio or both psychological and architectural; increased psychological stress (Evans and Johnson, 2000); increased physical stress (Brennan et al., 2002); lower motivation (Oldham and Brass, 1979); and reduced social facilitation and interactions (Brennan et al., 2002;Bencivenga, 1998;Wineman, 1986;Cohen, 1978). One researcher found no effect on social facilitation (Sundstrom et al., 1980;Sundstrom, 1986). ...
... The influence of open plan office design on office workers has been studied from a number of perspectives. Some studies address issues in terms of short-term reactions, including: increased visual and oral distractions (Hundert and Greenfield, 1969;Manning, 1966;Canter, 1972;Brookes and Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1986;Ives and Ferdinands, 1974;Nemecek and Grandjean, 1973;Oldham and Brass, 1979;Sundstrom et al., 1980;Brookes, 1972); increased cognitive loading (Oldham and Brass, 1979;Becker et al., 1983); frequent interruptions by colleagues (Hedge, 1986;Hundert and Greenfield, 1969); concentration difficulty; lack of privacy, both visual and audio or both psychological and architectural; increased psychological stress (Evans and Johnson, 2000); increased physical stress (Brennan et al., 2002); lower motivation (Oldham and Brass, 1979); and reduced social facilitation and interactions (Brennan et al., 2002;Bencivenga, 1998;Wineman, 1986;Cohen, 1978). One researcher found no effect on social facilitation (Sundstrom et al., 1980;Sundstrom, 1986). ...
... All these studies report a significant negative correlation between office noise and performance, and office noise and overall satisfaction. At least ten studies (Boyce, 1974;Brookes and Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982Hedge, , 1980Oldham and Brass, 1979;Riland, 1970;Croon et al., 2005;Becker et al., 1983;Sundstrom et al., 1994;Hundert and Greenfield, 1969) provide evidence that employees prefer privacy over accessibility -the main focus of open plan designs. The primary reason for this preference is given as increase in noise, increase in distractions, and increase in interruptions. ...
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide a holistic and systematic understanding of a fundamental issue within open plan office designs: the sustainability of two extremely contrasting requirements, concentration and collaboration, in the same workspace and work environment at a given time. A literature review is presented, along with initial suggestions for potential improvements in knowledge work organizations. Design/methodology/approach - A thorough range of fields, including those outside the built environment, are investigated for their contribution to findings on distractions, especially auditory distractions and their impacts. Findings - This research underpins the need for cost analysis of the impact that distractions have on knowledge workers. Provisions for appropriate and adaptable workspaces are needed to meet the dual needs of collaboration and concentration on complex tasks in order to maximize worker contribution and value. Research limitations/implications - Additional field research on improved workspace is needed to confirm the hypothesis of savings from reduced or adaptation from auditory distractions. Practical implications - As knowledge work grows, the evaluation of workplace architecture and design must include analysis of the needs of knowledge workers. The sole consideration of cost savings in real estate and facilities ignores the tremendous cost of human capital. This reduces overall value and profitability of the organizations choosing to ignore the workspace needs of their workers. Originality/value - The paper provides a new and original review of multi-disciplinary research on the impact of distractions, especially auditory distractions, providing the groundwork for analysis of total costs of auditory distractions in the workplace.
... Generally categorised by the absence of walls and partitions, the open-plan office concept was first conceived by two West German furniture manufacturers, Eberhard and Wolfgang Schnelle, and was promoted in the United States around the 1960's (Hundert & Greenfield, 1969). These innovators believed that the open office offered several managerial, economic and working condition advantages, such as better communication between departments, space saving due to the elimination of corridors and better overall environmental conditions (Boyce, 1974;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Zalesny & Farace, 1987). ...
... Generally categorised by the absence of walls and partitions, the open-plan office concept was first conceived by two West German furniture manufacturers, Eberhard and Wolfgang Schnelle, and was promoted in the United States around the 1960's (Hundert & Greenfield, 1969). These innovators believed that the open office offered several managerial, economic and working condition advantages, such as better communication between departments, space saving due to the elimination of corridors and better overall environmental conditions (Boyce, 1974;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Zalesny & Farace, 1987). By the mid-1970's, open offices became common in North America, and remain as the primary type of office design. ...
... Since its inception, researchers have sought to determine whether the purported advantages of the open-plan office are realised (e.g., Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Sundstrom, Burt, & Kamp, 1980). Studies investigating the alleged benefits of open-plan offices found little or no empirical support (e.g., Oldham & Brass, 1979;Zalesny & Farace, 1987). ...
Article
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Open-plan offices lack walls and doors. Although one common assumption has been that such a design would encourage communication between co-workers, it has become apparent that the primary source of discomfort for occupants of the open-plan office environment is unwanted sound. This paper reports on a literature review of the relationship between acoustics and satisfaction in the open-plan office, conducted with the aim of developing empirically derived recommendations for satisfactory acoustic conditions. For the purposes of this review, acoustic satisfaction was defined as a state of contentment with acoustic conditions; it is inclusive of annoyance, loudness, and distraction - all concepts used by one or another researcher in this area to assess subjective experiences associated with the acoustic environment in offices. Les bureaux à aires ouvertes n'ont ni murs ni portes. Bien qu'on allègue souvent que ce type de conception favorise la communication entre les collègues de travail, il semble que la principale source d'inconfort des occupants de ces bureaux soit les bruits indésirables. Le présent rapport renferme une analyse documentaire sur la relation entre l'acoustique et la satisfaction des occupants dans les bureaux à aires ouvertes qui devait permettre d'élaborer des recommandations fondées sur l'expérience pour des conditions acoustiques satisfaisantes. Pour les besoins de cette analyse, on a défini la satisfaction acoustique comme un état de contentement à l'égard des conditions acoustiques qui comprend l'inconfort, le seuil de gêne et la distraction ? tous ces concepts ayant été utilisés par l'un ou l'autres des chercheurs dans ce domaine pour évaluer les expériences subjectives associés à l'environnement acoustique des bureaux. RES
... In addition, there was an estimated 20% savings in costs associated with creating and maintaining this type of office space (Hedge, 1982). Although many claims have been made regarding improvements in communication and productivity with open office designs, research findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting positive outcomes such as increased communication among coworkers (Allen & Gerstberger, 1973;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Zahn, 1991) and supervisors (Sundstrom, Burt, & Kamp, 1980), higher judgments of aesthetic value (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Riland, 1970), and more group sociability (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972), whereas other studies have reported negative findings such as decreased performance (Becker, Gield, Gaylin, & Sayer, 1983;Oldham & Brass, 1979), lower judgments of functional efficiency (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972), lower levels of psychological privacy (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Sundstrom, Town, Brown, Forman, & McGee, 1982;Sundstrom et al., 1980), environmental dissatisfaction (Marans & Yan, 1989;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Spreckelmeyer, 1993), fewer friendship opportunities (Oldham & Brass, 1979), supervisor feedback (Oldham & Brass, 1979), privacy (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969), increased noise (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Sundstrom, et al., 1980), increased disturbances and distractions (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Mercer, 1979;Nemecek & Grandjean, 1973;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Sundstrom, et al., 1980), and increased feelings of crowding (Sundstrom, et al., 1980). In a study by Zalesny and Farace (1987), employees relocated from traditional to open offices. ...
... In addition, there was an estimated 20% savings in costs associated with creating and maintaining this type of office space (Hedge, 1982). Although many claims have been made regarding improvements in communication and productivity with open office designs, research findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting positive outcomes such as increased communication among coworkers (Allen & Gerstberger, 1973;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Zahn, 1991) and supervisors (Sundstrom, Burt, & Kamp, 1980), higher judgments of aesthetic value (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Riland, 1970), and more group sociability (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972), whereas other studies have reported negative findings such as decreased performance (Becker, Gield, Gaylin, & Sayer, 1983;Oldham & Brass, 1979), lower judgments of functional efficiency (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972), lower levels of psychological privacy (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Sundstrom, Town, Brown, Forman, & McGee, 1982;Sundstrom et al., 1980), environmental dissatisfaction (Marans & Yan, 1989;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Spreckelmeyer, 1993), fewer friendship opportunities (Oldham & Brass, 1979), supervisor feedback (Oldham & Brass, 1979), privacy (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969), increased noise (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Sundstrom, et al., 1980), increased disturbances and distractions (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Mercer, 1979;Nemecek & Grandjean, 1973;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Sundstrom, et al., 1980), and increased feelings of crowding (Sundstrom, et al., 1980). In a study by Zalesny and Farace (1987), employees relocated from traditional to open offices. ...
... In addition, there was an estimated 20% savings in costs associated with creating and maintaining this type of office space (Hedge, 1982). Although many claims have been made regarding improvements in communication and productivity with open office designs, research findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting positive outcomes such as increased communication among coworkers (Allen & Gerstberger, 1973;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Zahn, 1991) and supervisors (Sundstrom, Burt, & Kamp, 1980), higher judgments of aesthetic value (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Riland, 1970), and more group sociability (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972), whereas other studies have reported negative findings such as decreased performance (Becker, Gield, Gaylin, & Sayer, 1983;Oldham & Brass, 1979), lower judgments of functional efficiency (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972), lower levels of psychological privacy (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Sundstrom, Town, Brown, Forman, & McGee, 1982;Sundstrom et al., 1980), environmental dissatisfaction (Marans & Yan, 1989;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Spreckelmeyer, 1993), fewer friendship opportunities (Oldham & Brass, 1979), supervisor feedback (Oldham & Brass, 1979), privacy (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969), increased noise (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Sundstrom, et al., 1980), increased disturbances and distractions (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Mercer, 1979;Nemecek & Grandjean, 1973;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Sundstrom, et al., 1980), and increased feelings of crowding (Sundstrom, et al., 1980). In a study by Zalesny and Farace (1987), employees relocated from traditional to open offices. ...
Article
Research in open office design has shown that it is negatively related to workers’ satisfaction with their physical environment and perceived productivity. A longitudinal study was conducted within a large private organization to investigatethe effects of relocating employees from traditional offices to open offices. A measure was constructed that assessed employees’satisfaction with the physical environment, physical stress, coworker relations, perceived job performance, and the use of open office protocols. The sample consisted of 21 employees who completed the surveys at all three measurement intervals: prior to the move, 4 weeks after the move, and 6 months after the move. Results indicated decreased employee satisfaction with all of the dependent measures following the relocation. Moreover, the employees’dissatisfaction did not abate, even after an adjustment period. Reasons for these findings are discussed and recommendations are presented.
... Spatial interconnectedness is also related to how people in an area find people in other areas useful in their own work within an office (Hillier & Penn, 1991). 10) Evaluation studies of open plan offices do not consistently show the expected increase in communication: Some studies report an increase (Brookes, 1972a(Brookes, , 1972bBrookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Zahn, 1991); some studies report no change or even a decrease (Boje, 1971;Clearwater, 1979;Pile, 1978;Sundstrom et al., 1982b); and others report an increase in one kind, while a decrease in another kind of communication (Boyce, 1974;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Oldham & Brass, 1979). 11) Environmental stress caused by extreme ambient conditions such as noise and uncomfortable heat can lead to insensitivity to social cues and negative reactions to others (Cohen & Lezak, 1977;Griffitt, 1970;Griffitt & Veitch, 1971;Korte, et al., 1975;Mathews & Canon, 1975;Sauser, et al., 1978). ...
... Spatial interconnectedness is also related to how people in an area find people in other areas useful in their own work within an office (Hillier & Penn, 1991). 10) Evaluation studies of open plan offices do not consistently show the expected increase in communication: Some studies report an increase (Brookes, 1972a(Brookes, , 1972bBrookes & Kaplan, 1972;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Ives & Ferdinands, 1974;Zahn, 1991); some studies report no change or even a decrease (Boje, 1971;Clearwater, 1979;Pile, 1978;Sundstrom et al., 1982b); and others report an increase in one kind, while a decrease in another kind of communication (Boyce, 1974;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Oldham & Brass, 1979). 11) Environmental stress caused by extreme ambient conditions such as noise and uncomfortable heat can lead to insensitivity to social cues and negative reactions to others (Cohen & Lezak, 1977;Griffitt, 1970;Griffitt & Veitch, 1971;Korte, et al., 1975;Mathews & Canon, 1975;Sauser, et al., 1978). ...
... These findings need to be carefully interpreted in office design. For example, open plan offices may increase social interaction, but reduce privacy, autonomy, task identity, and worker feedback -factors that have positive effects on worker satisfaction, motivation, and productivity (Hanson, 1978;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Zeitlin, 1969). ...
Article
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This paper reviews the empirical literature on the relationships between psychosocial constructs and office settings. The constructs included in the review are face-to-face communication and interaction, privacy, territoriality, and control and supervision. The review shows that most empirical studies provide no rigorous analytic definition of a psychosocial construct. Instead, they treat a construct as a synthetic and relatively enduring quality of the internal office environment. Most empirical studies also lack rigorous experimental controls. As a result, they rarely explain any causal relationships between a psychosocial construct and office settings. Additionally, most studies do not involve different structural levels an office organization and their related psychological, social and cultural factors. The direct and indirect effects of different behavioral processes on the perception of a psychosocial construct are also not well studied in the empirical literature. Finally, even though the empirical literature emphasizes the importance of any differences between the desired and perceived levels of a psychosocial construct in dealing with satisfaction, performance or any other office outcomes, any objective measurement of a construct and its impacts on office outcomes remain unresolved in the literature.
... Indeed, some evidence exists to support these positive effects. Open-plan offices have led to increased communication among coworkers (Allen & Gerstberger, 1973;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Zahn, 1991), higher aesthetic judgements, and more group sociability than more conventional designs (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972). It is not surprising then that many contemporary workplaces have adopted this design to decrease costs and increase employee performance. ...
... There is research, however, indicating that the purported benefits of the open-plan design are accompanied by important costs as well. For example, openplan offices have been linked to increased workplace noise (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Sundstrom et al., 1980;Zalesny & Farace, 1987), increased disturbances and distractions (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Clearwater, 1979;Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Sundstrom et al., 1980), increased feelings of crowding (Sundstrom et al., 1980), and loss of privacy (Boyce, 1974;Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Clearwater, 1979;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Hedge, 1982;Sundstrom et al., 1980). Further, researchers have observed that these negative outcomes of the design tend to result in dissatisfaction with both work and the workplace (Marans & Yan, 1989;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Spreckelmeyer, 1993), reduced functional efficiency (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972), and decreased performance (Becker et al., 1983;Oldham & Brass, 1979). ...
... There is research, however, indicating that the purported benefits of the open-plan design are accompanied by important costs as well. For example, openplan offices have been linked to increased workplace noise (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Sundstrom et al., 1980;Zalesny & Farace, 1987), increased disturbances and distractions (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Clearwater, 1979;Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Sundstrom et al., 1980), increased feelings of crowding (Sundstrom et al., 1980), and loss of privacy (Boyce, 1974;Brookes & Kaplan, 1972;Clearwater, 1979;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Hedge, 1982;Sundstrom et al., 1980). Further, researchers have observed that these negative outcomes of the design tend to result in dissatisfaction with both work and the workplace (Marans & Yan, 1989;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Spreckelmeyer, 1993), reduced functional efficiency (Brookes & Kaplan, 1972), and decreased performance (Becker et al., 1983;Oldham & Brass, 1979). ...
Article
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This study examined the independent and joint influences of stimulus screening, inhibitory ability, perceived privacy and task complexity on the satisfaction and performance of employees working in open-plan offices. One hundred and nine participants from two organizations completed questionnaires and inhibitory ability measures. Performance was assessed through manager ratings. Results partially confirmed hypotheses that satisfaction and performance would be reduced for employees with poor stimulus screening or poor inhibitory ability, low perceived privacy, or complex tasks. Expectations that these factors would interact to produce employees’ negative reactions were also partially confirmed. Importantly, results verify stimulus screening as a significant determinant of employees’ reactions to the open-plan workplace. Implications for understanding employees’ attitudinal and behavioral responses to the workplace, limitations of the study, and implications for future research are discussed.
... Open plan office is a workspace with perimeter boundaries that does not go to the ceiling (Brill, Keable, & Fabiniak, 2000) and is recognized by the absence of walls and partitions. Open plan office idea was first proposed by two Germania furniture manufacturers, Eberhard and Wolfgang Schnelle, and introduced in the world by 1960s (Hundert & Greenfield, 1969). Open plan offices have six different typologies; team-oriented 'bullpen' (i.e. ...
... The content analysis shows that open plan design has positive effects on communication and office cost, but has negative effects on employee's attitude and behavior. Open plan office increases the level of workplace noise (Banbury & Berry, 2005;Jensen, Arens, & Zagreus, 2005;Zalesny & Farace, 1987), increases disturbances and distractions (Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;LoVerde, Rawlings, & Dong, 2014;Sundstrom and Kring Herbert, 1982), increases the feelings of crowding (Paulus & Matthews, 1980), and losses the privacy (Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Nelson, Kaufman, Burt, & Karr, 1995;Sundstrom and Kring Herbert, 1982). Open plan office also reduces the functional efficiency and decreases the staff performance (Crawford & Bolas, 1996;LoVerde et al., 2014), and reduces required square meters per person, and decreases the cost and labor number for maintenance and reconfiguration (Brennan et al., 2002). ...
... The content analysis shows that open plan design has positive effects on communication and office cost, but has negative effects on employee's attitude and behavior. Open plan office increases the level of workplace noise (Banbury & Berry, 2005;Jensen, Arens, & Zagreus, 2005;Zalesny & Farace, 1987), increases disturbances and distractions (Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;LoVerde, Rawlings, & Dong, 2014;Sundstrom and Kring Herbert, 1982), increases the feelings of crowding (Paulus & Matthews, 1980), and losses the privacy (Hedge, 1982;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Nelson, Kaufman, Burt, & Karr, 1995;Sundstrom and Kring Herbert, 1982). Open plan office also reduces the functional efficiency and decreases the staff performance (Crawford & Bolas, 1996;LoVerde et al., 2014), and reduces required square meters per person, and decreases the cost and labor number for maintenance and reconfiguration (Brennan et al., 2002). ...
... Noise increases disturbance and distraction increase (Sundstrom et al., 1980). Communication intensity: increases (Hundert and Greenfield, 1969;Allen et al., 1973;Zahn, 1991;Stryker, 2005), decreases (Oldham and Brass, 1979;(Oldham and Rotchford, 1983;Hatch, 1987;Zalesny and Farace, 1987). ...
... Because the connection barriers between individuals are lower in the multi-space environment and informal exchange of knowledge is so important for group creativity (Gerstberger and Allen, 1968;Gladwell, 2000;Gladwell, 2001;Granovetter, 1973;Gullahorn, 1952;Hansen, 1999;Hatch, 1987;Hundert and Greenfield, 1969) and based on Stryker (2004) we formulated our first hypothesis as: ...
Article
Driving innovation and creativity has relied heavily on new information technologies in the last decade. Human capital has certainly had its importance, but how to coordinate human capital in order to push productivity in research and development without compromising individual initiative is still not well understood. In this paper, we provide results showing that geometry of workspace has indeed an impact on communication patterns and may thus be used as a means to drive both innovation and efficient research. In order to be creative, new knowledge has to be created. Communication facilitates knowledge creation. We try to close the bridge between areas of creation of tacit knowledge and transfer of knowledge highlighted by authors like Nonaka, Takeuchi, Konno, von Krogh and von Hippel with the area of communication patterns pioneered by Allen, Hatch, and Stryker, by considering face-to-face (FTF) communication as a first step for socialization, socialization as a means for knowledge creation. In this article, we compare two different office environments within the same site, same activity, same hierarchical level and same company: a traditional cell office area and a new multi-space office, used by people who used to work in cell offices. We observed FTF communication patterns during 120h in two areas and measured over 2,000 communication events. We found that people communicate three times more often in a multi-space area than in a cell-space area. We also found that the mean duration of communication events decreased from 9 to 3min when transferring collaborators from a cell-space to a multi-space. Finally time spent without communication increased from 5% to 29% when going from cell-offices to multi-space areas leaving more time for people to work and think on their own. And we found that most communication events during work time in the multi-space took place at the work place and seldom or never in soft sitting areas installed for the purpose of communication.
... The idea of open-plan office started in Germany in the late 1950's and was embraced in the United States of America in the 1960's (Hundert & Greenfield, 1969). By mid-1970 open offices became familiar in North America, and continues to be the main kind of office plan. ...
... By mid-1970 open offices became familiar in North America, and continues to be the main kind of office plan. It was believed that open office is cost-efficient compared to cellular office, provided various administrative, fiscal and working condition benefits like easy communication between departments, space reduction (as corridors are left out) and improved general environmental condition of open office (Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Zalesny & Farace, 1987). Open-plan office is characterized by the absence of walls and partitions. ...
Article
This paper describes and assesses lecturers’ perceptions of open-plan office in selected tertiary institutions in Botswana. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 222 randomly selected lecturers who were occupants of open-plan office in three different private tertiary institutions in Botswana. The results showed that lecturers have a negative perception of open-plan office. Lecturers believed that open-plan office is not suitable for their research and academic work. The findings suggest that open-plan office affects lecturers’ dignity negatively. Among other things, it is recommended that management of the institutions covered by this study and other institutions with similar challenges in Africa should consider the provision of office design that is ideal for knowledge workers such as lecturers in higher institutions in order to improve their efficiency.
... Several original field studies dealing with the physical environment in offices have indicated that the acoustical environment is considerably less satisfactory in open-plan offices than in conventional offices (e.g. Boyce, 1974;Hundert and Greenfield, 1969;Ives and Ferdinands, 1974;Kaarlela-Tuomaala et al., 2004;A. Kaarlela-Tuomaala et al., 2005, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, unpublished results;Klitzman and Stellman, 1989;Nemecek and Grandjean, 1973;Sundstrom et al., 1980Sundstrom et al., , 1994. ...
Article
Abstract Abstract Speech is the most distracting sound in (open-plan) offices. Several laboratory studies have shown that speech impairs the performance of, for example, reading and short-term memory. It is not the sound level of speech that determines its distracting power but its intelligibility, which can be physically determined by measuring the Speech Transmission Index (STI). The aim of this study was to develop a mathematical model that predicts how much the performance is reduced due to speech of varying intelligibility. The model was based on the literature according to which performance decrements have been 4–45% depending on the task. The best performance occurs when speech is absent (STI = 0.0), and the strongest performance decrement occurs when speech is perfectly heard (STI = 1.0). The shape of the performance vs. STI between 0.0 and 1.0 was adopted from the general speech intelligibility theory. The performance starts to decrease when STI exceeds 0.2. Highest performance decrease is reached already when STI exceeds 0.60.
... Scientific interest towards subjective satisfaction in open-plan offices has increased because open-plan office has become the most usual office solution, mostly because of its high space efficiency (De Croon, Sluiter, Kuijer, & Frings-Dresen, 2005). Moreover, open-plan offices are also assumed to improve organizational productivity due to the enhanced exchange of information and communication and increased teamwork (Allen & Gerstberger, 1973;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969). ...
Article
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The aim of this study was to investigate how irrelevant speech, temperature and ventilation rate together affect cognitive performance and environmental satisfaction in open-plan offices. In Condition A, neutral temperature (23.5 °C), low intelligibility of speech (high absorption and low masking sound level) and high fresh air supply rate (30 l/s per person) were applied. This was contrasted to Condition B with high room temperature (29.5 °C), highly intelligible speech (low absorption and high masking sound level) and a negligible fresh air supply rate (2 l/s per person). Sixty-five participants were tested. In Condition B, performance decrement was observed especially in working memory tasks. Based on subjective assessments, mental workload, cognitive fatigue and symptoms were higher and environmental satisfaction was lower in Condition B. It was concluded that special attention should be paid to the design of whole indoor environment in open-plan offices to increase subjective comfort and improve performance.
... The original claims of the designers of open-plan offices were that they created flexible spaces, allowing an office floor's layout to be more sensitive to changes in organizational size and structure. It was also believed that the absence of internal physical barriers would facilitate communication between individuals, which would then consequently improve morale and productivity (Allen & Gerstberger, 1973;Hundert & Greenfield, 1969;Zahn, 1991). ...
Article
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Open-plan office occupants may experience a lack of both visual and acoustic privacy, in addition to an increase in the amount of unwanted distractions and interruptions. However, it is believed that access to a window, with enough daylight and an outside view is, in fact, beneficial to occupants and that it affects their satisfaction with their workspace. This study compared two companies in the same office building. As part of this research, the impact of employee proximity to an external window and workstation partition height on three environmental quality measures (planning, privacy, and lighting) was investigated. The results indicated that proximity to a window affected employee satisfaction, somehow buffering or compensating for the negative aspects of open-plan offices. In addition, when coupled with workstation partition height, satisfaction was even more affected, with employees whose workstations contained a window and a 1.40 m high partition being the most satisfied with their space, presumably because they were happy to have partitions giving them a higher level of visual and acoustical privacy, while also minimizing distractions and interruptions. It was also found that males responded more positively to open-plan offices than did females.
... They are currently very popular in large corporations [11], but they are associated with a range of issues including increased disturbances and lack of privacy [16][17][18][19]. Past research has highlighted the tendency for open-plan office designs to drive negative behaviors and attitudes of employees through loss of space and increased contact with coworkers [17,[19][20][21][22][23]. It has been established that environmental variables such as noise and visual disturbances [24,25], poor air quality [26], temperature [27], and lighting [28] have an impact on satisfaction, engagement, and productivity in open plan environments, suggesting that examining open-plan office design in an experimental context adds value to the literature. ...
Article
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Over the past few decades many corporate organisations have moved to open-plan office designs, mostly due to financial and logistical benefits. However, recent studies have found significant drawbacks to open plan offices and it is unclear how office designs can facilitate the best work output and company culture. Current design practice aims to optimise efficiency of space, but no previous research has tested the effect of office design experimentally in a working office. This paper describes an experiment comparing four different office designs (Open-plan, Zoned open-plan, Activity based, and Team offices) against a suite of wellbeing and productivity metrics in a real world technology company. Results suggest that two very different designs (Zoned open-plan and Team offices) perform well compared to Open-plan office designs. Zoned open-plan and Team office designs improved employee satisfaction, enjoyment, flow, and productivity, while Activity based and Open-plan designs performed poorly by comparison. The Open-plan office design was rated more poorly by employees, had higher levels of unsafe noise, and once employees no longer had to be in the Open-plan office design of the experiment, they spent more time at their desks.
... Management's goal is also to strengthen the relationship between employees, increase knowledge sharing, increase performance and facilitate communication between people. It seems that these goals are often achieved; however, research has not shown that open-plan workspaces increase the performance of employees, but rather that people work more efficiently than before (Danielsson and Bodin, 2008;Smith-Jackson and Klein, 2009;Oldham and Brass, 1979;Brookes and Kaplan, 1972;Hundert and Greenfield, 1969). ...
Conference Paper
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This article discusses the introduction of open-plan workspaces in the public sector. The main objective of the study is to examine the experience of public sector employees in changing to open-plan workspaces and whether the implementation of these extensive changes has been successful. It is also questioned whether the Icelandic Government has formulated and adopted a formal policy on the implementation of open-plan workspaces in the public sector. Opinions on the use of open-plan workspaces are varied. Previous studies have shown that the design of the workspace and employee participation are crucial when changing to an open-plan workspace. Within Iceland, very little research has been done on employee experiences of changing to open-plan workspaces, and this is the first study on public sector employee attitudes toward such changes. In this study, two public sector organisations and two ministries that had recently implemented open-plan workspaces were selected. A survey was sent out to 180 of their employees, of which half of the employees participated, answering questions on the positive and negative aspects of the changes. Government officials were also interviewed in order to obtain information on whether a formal policy has been formulated and adopted for the implementation of open-plan workspaces in the public sector. The main conclusion of the study is that half of the participants liked being in an open-plan workspace, but given the choice, the majority preferred to be in a closed office. Most participants felt that there was less privacy to do their work, noise levels had increased and it was harder to concentrate on projects. One-third believed that productivity had also been reduced. The results from Iceland are in line with previous research on open-plan workspaces abroad. Furthermore, interviews showed that no formal policy has been formulated by the authorities regarding the introduction of open-plan workspaces in the public sector.
... Becker, 1999) is known for being good for concentrated, individual work and confidential communication, project managers underscored and appreciated the rich opportunities for interaction and communication that the open plan office allows for. Although research has had mixed results (Maher and von Hippel, 2005;Värlander, 2012), one main benefit of open plan offices like work zones (in addition to cost savings), is facilitation of communication (Allen and Gerstberger, 1973;Hundert and Greenfield, 1969;Zhan, 1991) and broader interaction, which contributes to increased information sharing, satisfaction and productivity (Brennan et al., 2002;Oldham, 1988;Vaagaasar, 2015). However, when work satisfaction, motivation and work involvement are taken into account, these findings are not necessarily verified. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the triadic relationship between project workspace (i.e. spatial context), project type and project manager’s leadership style. It develops the concept of leadership construct (i.e. mental models of leadership to predispose the way leadership is performed) to explain related preferences for workspace and behaviors. Design/methodology/approach A combination of phenomenological inquiry on preferred workspaces in different project types is combined with a conceptual study on related leadership styles in these settings. Findings Four different leadership constructs are identified, which are conditioned by workspace and project type: one-on-one, virtual, interactive and mixed leadership. Also, four leadership patterns are identified, and these are related to open office and virtual office settings in product, service, software development and infrastructure construction projects. Research limitations/implications The results show the interaction of workspace, project type and leadership styles, which extends existing leadership theory and provides more granularity in determining appropriate leadership styles for project managers. Practical implications Practitioners benefit from a more conscious selection of appropriate leadership styles, which positively impacts project results. Originality/value By linking workspace, project type and leadership styles, the study is the first of its kind and a novel contribution to theory in project leadership.
... Dissatisfaction with acoustic conditions is a common problem in open-plan offices, as documented by numerous researchers over several decades. [1][2][3][4][5][6] Similar problems are also encountered nowadays in activity-based offices, albeit to a lesser extent. [7][8][9] Of the different noise sources in open-plan offices, speech is the main source of noise annoyance, 3,5,10 correlating highly with the general perception of disturbing noise. ...
Article
Irrelevant background speech causes dissatisfaction and impairs cognitive performance in open‐plan offices. The model of Hongisto (2005, Indoor Air, 15, 458‐468) predicts the relation between cognitive performance and the intelligibility of speech described with an objectively‐measured quantity, the Speech Transmission Index (STI). The model has impacted research in psychology and room acoustics as well as the acoustic design guidelines of offices. However, the model was based on scarce empirical data. The aim of this study was to revise the model based on a systematic literature review, focusing on laboratory experiments manipulating the STI of speech by wide‐band steady‐state noise. Fourteen studies reporting altogether 34 tests of the STI−performance relation were included. According to Model 1 that includes all tests, performance begins to decrease approximately above STI = 0.21 while the maximum decrease is reached at STI = 0.44. Verbal short‐term memory tasks were most strongly and very consistently affected by the STI of speech. The model for these tasks showed a deterioration in performance between STI 0.12 and 0.51. Some evidence of an STI–performance relation were found in verbal working memory tasks and limited evidence in complex verbal tasks. Further research is warranted, particularly concerning task‐specific effects.
... At the same time, studies came up with ambiguous and partially contradictory findings, for example those analysing the changes in communication behaviour as an organisation moved from enclosed cellular office space to open plan offices. While some studies reported communication to increase (Allen and Gerstberger 1973; Brookes and Kaplan 1972; Hundert and Greenfield 1969; Ives and Ferdinands 1974), others found communication decreased (Clearwater 1980; Hanson 1978; Oldham and Brass 1979) and another set showed either ambiguous results or no changes at all (Boje 1971; Boyce 1974; Sloan n.d.; 095:3 Sundstrom et al. 1982). This inconsistency may be grounded in significant differences in measuring variables and in setting up the studies, since they varied in data gathering procedures (self-rating, questionnaires, participant-kept diaries), the chosen research design (pre-post comparison, retrospective studies, comparison of different departments), physical settings (open plan offices can vary significantly concerning density, distances, barriers, etc.) and definition of variables (sociability, supervisor feedback, confidential conversation, interdepartmental communication, time involved in communicating, etc.). ...
Article
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It is widely considered that the physical layout of workplace environments has an influence on social interaction and therefore the social structure of an organisation. However, there is little accordance among scholars from different disciplines on exactly how the relationship between space and organisation is constituted. Empirical studies often come to different conclusions: for example, on the influence of an open-plan office on communication patterns among staff, as many studies report increases as report decreases or unchanged communication behaviours. This evidence-base is further confused since few studies make a link between a profound spatial and an organisational analysis. We suggest that the inconsistency of results is for two main reasons: first, methodologies for operationalising variables differ significantly with each study tending to analyse a distinct notion of a phenomenon. This makes further comparative conclusions and predictive modelling problematic. Second, even where the same methods are used, contradictory evidence emerges, where one organisation reacts differently to another to similar spatial conditions. This suggests that, at the core of the problem, lies an apparent lack of understanding of the nature of the space-organisation relationship. This paper explores these phenomena by drawing on the results of various case studies conducted over the last few years in diverse organisational settings (a university, a research institute, and in corporate media companies). Two main lines of argument will be developed: first we will show that some influences of space on organisational behaviour seem to be generic. Understanding of these generic influences may be used to design spaces enhancing interaction and knowledge flow for any type of organisation. Second, we outline how organisations depend on context, culture and character, and may react to similar spatial configurations in a unique way. We will suggest why this may be the case, referring to Hillier and Hanson's notion of spatial and transpatial modes of social cohesion. The two underlying theoretical concepts, i.e. space as 'generic function' and spatial versus transpatial operations will be discussed concerning their application to, and meaningfulness for, workplace environments. Finally, inferences are drawn for the practice of evidence-based design.
... An effect shown as highly significant in one study will often not be verified by another. To give an example, if all the early studies that analyse the changes in communication behaviour as an organisation moved from an enclosed office space to open plan offices are looked at, four of them report communication to increase (Allen & Gerstberger, 1973; Brookes & Kaplan, 1972; Hundert & Greenfield, 1969; Ives & Ferdinands, 1974), three find communication decreased (Clearwater, 1980; Hanson, 1978; Oldham & Brass, 1979) and another four show either ambiguous results or no changes at all (Boje, 1971; Boyce, 1974; Sloan, n.d.; Sundstrom, Herbert, & Brown, 1982). This inconsistency can be argued to be a result of the significant differences in measuring variables and setting up the studies, for example in data gathering procedures, research designs, and physical settings. ...
Article
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Evidence-based design is a practice that has emerged only relatively recently, inspired by a growing popularity of evidence-based approaches in other professions such as medicine. It has received greatest attention in design for the health sector, but has received less in office architecture, although this would seem not only to be beneficial for clients, but increasingly important in a changing business environment. This paper outlines the history and origins of evidence-based practice, its influence in the health sector, as well as some of the reasons why it has been found more difficult to apply in office architecture. Based on these theoretical reflections, data and experiences from several research case studies in diverse workplace environments are presented following a three part argument: firstly we show how organisational behaviours may change as a result of an organisation moving into a new building; secondly we argue that not all effects of space on organisations are consistent. Examples of both consistent and inconsistent results are presented, giving possible reasons for differences in outcomes. Thirdly, practical implications of evidence-based design are made and difficulties for evidence-based practice, for example the problem of investment of time, are reflected on. The paper concludes that organisations may be distinguished according to both their spatial and transpatial structure (referring to a concept initially introduced by Hillier and Hanson in their study of societies). This means that evidence-based design in office architecture needs to recognise that it deals with a multiplicity of possible organisational forms, with specific clients requiring case-dependent research and evidence gathering. In this evidence-based design practice differs markedly from evidence-based medicine. Finally, we suggest a framework for systematic review inclusion criteria in the development of Evidence-Based Design as a field of practice. We argue that it is only through the development of an approach tailored to the specific nature of design practice and organisational function that research evidence can properly be brought to bear.
... Research as far back as the foundational Hawthorne Studies [33,34] shows that being walled off can therefore increase interaction within the separated group [33]. Similarly, subsequent workplace design research (for reviews, see [35 -38])-though mixed in its findingssuggests that open offices can reduce certain conditions conducive to collaboration and collective intelligence, including employee satisfaction [39,40], focus [41][42][43][44], psychological privacy [45,46] and other affective and behavioural responses [40,41,43,47,48]. Such negative psychological effects of open offices conceivably may lead to less, not more, interaction between those within them [49], reducing collaboration and collective intelligence. ...
Article
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Organizations’ pursuit of increased workplace collaboration has led managers to transform traditional office spaces into ‘open’, transparency-enhancing architectures with fewer walls, doors and other spatial boundaries, yet there is scant direct empirical research on how human interaction patterns change as a result of these architectural changes. In two intervention-based field studies of corporate headquarters transitioning to more open office spaces, we empirically examined—using digital data from advanced wearable devices and from electronic communication servers—the effect of open office architectures on employees' face-to-face, email and instant messaging (IM) interaction patterns. Contrary to common belief, the volume of face-to-face interaction decreased significantly (approx. 70%) in both cases, with an associated increase in electronic interaction. In short, rather than prompting increasingly vibrant face-to-face collaboration, open architecture appeared to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact instead over email and IM. This is the first study to empirically measure both face-to-face and electronic interaction before and after the adoption of open office architecture. The results inform our understanding of the impact on human behaviour of workspaces that trend towards fewer spatial boundaries. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Interdisciplinary approaches for uncovering the impacts of architecture on collective behaviour’.
... Indeed, some evidence exists to support these positive effects. Open-plan offices have led to increased communication among co-workers, higher aesthetic judgments, and more group sociability than more conventional designs [13,14,15]. ...
Article
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Office employees spend a lot of their time inside a building, where the physical environments influence their wellbeing and directly influence their work performance and productivity. In the workplace, it is often assumed that employees who are more satisfied with the physical environment are more likely to produce better work outcomes. Temperature, air quality, lighting and noise conditions in the office affect the work concentration and productivity. Numerous studies have consistently demonstrated that characteristics of the physical office environment can have a significant effect on behaviour, perceptions and productivity of employees. Most of the previous researchers in their studies are more focused on a single factor that could give an effect on employee's performance at work. However, no study was done to examine the relationships between the whole factors of physical office environment and employees' performance. Therefore this paper presents a literature review of several environmental factors which directly or indirectly affect employees work performance. Several factors of environments such as the effects of workplace design, indoor temperature, colour, noise and also interior plants towards employees well-being and performance have been discussed. (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Universiti Teknologi MARA Perak and Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (ISM)
... The open plan layout is 'more generic and less responsive to individual control' (Harrison, Wheeler, and Whitehead 2004). It reduces user satisfaction, engagement and motivation to work (Oldham and Brass 1979;Marans and Yan 1989;Brennan, Chugh, and Kline 2002), perceived privacy (Hundert and Greenfield 1969;Brookes and Kaplan 1972;Becker 1981), and it increases physical stress (Brennan, Chugh, and Kline 2002). Although business-oriented and user-oriented approaches led to separate workplace designs, some organizational and individual criteria are beneficial for both parties. ...
Article
In modern offices, user control is being replaced by centrally operated thermal systems, and in Scandinavia, personal offices by open plan layouts. This study examined the impact of user control on thermal comfort and satisfaction. It compared a workplace, which was designed entirely based on individual control over the thermal environment, to an environment that limited thermal control was provided as a secondary option for fine-tuning: Norwegian cellular and British open plan offices. The Norwegian approach provided each user with control over a window, door, blinds, heating and cooling as the main thermal control system. In contrast, the British practice provided a uniform thermal environment with limited openable windows and blinds to refine the thermal environment for occupants seated around the perimeter of the building. Field studies of thermal comfort were applied to measure users’ perception of thermal environment, empirical building performance and thermal control. The results showed a 30% higher satisfaction and 18% higher comfort level in the Norwegian offices compared to the British practices. However, the energy consumption of the Norwegian case studies was much higher compared to the British ones. A balance is required between energy efficiency and user thermal comfort in the workplace.
Article
This paper examines the relationship between the physical office environment and the psychological well-being of office workers. The results indicate that adverse environmental conditions, especially poor air quality, noise, ergonomic conditions, and lack of privacy, may effect worker satisfaction and mental health. The data also provide substantial evidence that worker assessments of the physical environment are distinct from their assessments of general working conditions, such as work load, decision-making latitude and relationships with other people at work. Stated another way, people who reported problems with the physical environment could not simply be characterized as dissatisfied workers exhibiting a tendency to 'complain' about every aspect of their working conditions. Taken together, these findings lend support to the position that the stress people experience at work may be due to a combination of factors, including the physical conditions under which they labor. Both theoretical and practical considerations arise from these data, including the need for work site based health promotion and stress reduction programs to consider both the physical and psychological design of jobs.
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Texas Tech University, 1974. Bibliography: leaves 484-504.
Article
Thesis. 1978. M.Arch--Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. MICROFICHE COPY AVAILABLE IN ARCHIVES AND ROTCH. Bibliography: leaves 47-51. M.Arch
Article
The aim was to determine how the perceived work environment, especially acoustic environment, and its effects differed in private office rooms and in open-plan offices. The subjects consisted of 31 workers who moved from private office rooms to open-plan offices and who answered the questionnaire before and after the relocation. Private office rooms were occupied only by one person while open-plan offices were occupied by more than 20 persons. Room acoustical descriptors showed a significant reduction in speech privacy after relocation. The noise level averaged over the whole work day did not change but the variability of noise level reduced significantly. Negative effects of acoustic environment increased significantly, including increased distraction, reduced privacy, increased concentration difficulties and increased use of coping strategies. Self-rated loss of work performance because of noise doubled. Cognitively demanding work and phone conversations were most distracted by noise. The benefits that are often associated with open-plan offices did not appear: cooperation became less pleasant and direct and information flow did not change. Nowadays, most office workers, independent of job type, are located in open-plan offices without the individual needs of privacy, concentration and interaction being analysed. This intervention study consisted of professional workers. Their work tasks mainly required individual efforts, and interaction between other workers was not of primary concern, although necessary. The results suggest that the open-plan office is not recommended for professional workers. Similar intervention studies should also be made for other job types.
Article
A field study of the effects of changes in office environment, from a conventional rectilinear bull pen and cubicle style to a modern office landscaped, was conducted. The attitudes and perception of 120 employees were recorded using a semantic scaling instrument, and an attempt was made to apply this data in a meaningful redesign, before the subjects were moved to the landscaped office interior. The judgements of aesthetic value changed positively on retest, but perceptions of noise level, loss of privacy and visual distractions also were recorded. Some of the problems in utilizing the data are discussed.
Chapter
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Office setting in terms of workplace design is a broadly adequate source of providing an empowering environment that may best accelerate the performance of employees and a general boost in productivity. This study pursued to examine the impact of workplace design on the performance of employees using online platforms and collecting surveys from employee-related to different organizations as a case study. The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors related to office design such as office space, lighting, noise, and temperature surrounding the employees who were surveyed. The study assessed the impact of workplace design on the performance of employees and recommended detailed settings founded on interventions that would satisfy employees’ wellbeing and comfort and thereby enrich peak performance. The study was grounded on a sample of 83 respondents collected from online survey data platforms such as social sites and networking sites. To better examine the study, data collected was put into SPSS 16.0 and it was given a proper shape with the assistance of frequency distributions, tables, models, and graphs. The research showed the impacts of each factor on the performance of employees. The office design as per surveyed directed about the space where employees could maintain decorum and standard of job requirements. Secondly, lighting was mentioned as a hindrance since either they were lacking moderate lighting and ventilation for natural lighting. Unusual noise coming from objects such as door knots, printers distracted the flow of the performance, said the survey. The temperature varied from one organizational profession to another. An organization should work keeping this entire factor in mind and provide luxury facilities to the employees so that they focus on their job duties the way they need to, without considering any distraction. Keywords: Employee performance, Office space, Lighting, Noise, Temperature.
Article
The results of this study of user needs were intended to provide the initial information for a new office space planning standards programme for an international computer company. The objectives of the programming process were to develop a new approach towards space planning that would improve employee's work environments and lower facility operating costs, as well as incorporate user perceptions and preferences for new office settings. A variety of data collection and analysis techniques were employed by the programmer. All the techniques directly involved users in the space planning decision process. The techniques included space inventory sheets, standardized programming sheets, wish poems, questionnaires containing closed or open ended questions, programming workshops and computer-aided design simulation. The programme represented the user-related space requirements for new office settings and was intended as a guide for the client in the continuing development of programme information.
Article
This paper reports on an important concern for housing designers; that is, site design and its relationship to the social life of the community. The importance of site design including housing layout, social interaction and the place of contact was studied in the context of multiple-family housing. Residents in the town of Abu-Nuseir, a satellite community near Amman, the capital of Jordan, responded to a questionnaire about the areas near their homes and the perceived adequacy of these places for social interaction and, as a result, the development of social relationships. The study employed a house-to-house survey of households that were randomly selected. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse data. Findings demonstrate differences in the ways people use and practice interaction across six patterns of housing layouts; physical environmental forms, within the town of Abu-Nuseir. They suggest that the layout of residential buildings and the different aspects of the resulting open spaces between structures need to be distinguished. Large open spaces, for example, played a minor role, at best, in resident's perception and evaluation of the various aspects of the neighborhood. Opportunities to walk around a small group of houses or to sit in small, confined spaces, by contrast, were significantly related to social interaction and friendship formation. The data suggests that people's satisfaction with the residential setting in multiple-family housing is dependent, at least in part, on the effective use of the open spaces nearby one's residential building.
Article
Seventy employees at four job levels in a large corporation completed a questionnaire on their office environments six months before and six weeks after moving from a conventional office to an "open-plan" office. Secretarial employees and their supervisors (job level 1) moved from freestanding desks to partly enclosed workspaces. Staff specialists (job level 11) left double offices for individual, doorless enclosures. Managerial employees (job levels Ill and IV) left walled offices for large, doorless enclosures. Neither satisfaction with commu nications nor perceptions of noise changed after relocation, but satisfaction with privacy declined among former occupants of walled offices. The decrease in privacy reflected a decrease in confidentiality of conversation, as shown by the questionnaire and acoustical measurements. Implications for office design are discussed.
Article
A descriptive model is presented that identifies characteristics of office surroundings that senior managers believe facilitate and inhibit their work performance. The purposes of the study are twofold. First, to investigate the relative prominence of aspects of office surroundings that managers believe affect their task performance. Second, to determine whether there is a symmetrical relationship between variables inhibiting and those facilitating performance, in other words, whether inhibitors are the negative influence of facilitators. Data for the present study were obtained from a survey of 65 managers asked to name three inhibitory and three facilitative features of their offices. The results suggest that previous research has overemphasized some factors that are relatively unimportant from the viewpoint of office occupants and underemphasized others that do appear important. The lack of symmetry found in some variables influencing performance suggests a possible explanation for some weak relationships found in previous research.
Article
The present state of the art in office and space planning described, and the results of a field study of the effects of office design on the occupants are presented. The attitudes and perceptions of 120 employees toward work practices and their office environment were recorded, using a semantic scaling instrument, immediately before and nine months after a change in their surroundings from a conventional mixture of rectilinear open plan, semiprivate and private offices, to a landscaped design. Chi-square analyses of contingency tables cast from combinations of subject group, instructional set, and experimental condition, showed significant increases in judgments of aesthetic value and decreases in judgments of functional efficiency. A perceived increase in noise level, loss of privacy, and increase in visual distractions were chief causes of complaint. There were some positive changes in group sociability.
Article
Various approaches have emerged for designing office layouts and for better understanding their impact on employee attitudes and performance. They can be broadly categorized as either being prescriptive or behavioral. Prescriptive approaches are a collection of solution procedures and algorithms aimed at designing layouts around work flows and managerial preferences. While assisting with the combinatorial difficulties in layout planning, little thought is given to how individuals are influenced by spatial arrangements. The behavioral approach, on the other hand. consists of various theories and empirical studies of how spatial arrangements impact employee satisfaction and motivation. However, they pay little attention to translating such insights into workable layouts.The purposes of this paper are threefold. First, the disparate approaches to office layout are critically reviewed. Second, a new theory of spatial arrangements is proposed and tested in an exploratory fashion. Third, suggestions are made on future research and how prescriptive models can be reformulated to better handle the behavioral aspects of office layout.
Article
State-of-the-art research in the field is reviewed with emphasis on the impacts of physical environmental quality on worker satisfaction and job performance. The review focuses on three main topic areas: physical comfort and task instrumentality, privacy and social interaction, and symbolic identification. Within each topic area, recommendations are made for planning and design. The article concludes with a discussion of emerging issues in office design and evaluation, including the effects of technological advances on worker satisfac tion and performance.
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This paper presents an argument for framing systems furniture as a competence-enhancing process technology. Utilizing this new paradigm affords researchers two new avenues of opportunity for better understanding the effects of systems furniture in the office setting. The first opportunity lies in the reexamination of existing office studies involving systems furniture using this new definition to help clarify the effects of systems furniture versus open planning concepts. The second and perhaps greater opportunity involves potential environment-behavior research. Future studies can tap into the rich body of organizational research that has focused on technological change in the workplace and the effects on the social structures of those environments ie. technology as an organizational variable. This paper first presents the argument for classifying systems furniture as a competence-enhancing process technology and uses the comparison between systems furniture and office automation equipment to demonstrate the validity of this perspective. This is followed by a brief distinction between systems furniture and open planning concepts and concludes with an outline of the potential benefits of such a classification through a review of pertinent organizational research.
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Sustainable office building indoor environment design is a challengeable issue for professionals in thermal comfort, satisfaction, health, and energy fields of research. The professionals intensively need a comprehensive list of office indoor environment design features to promote the level of performance and productivity of staff. One of the most effective factors dealing with staff performance and productivity is physical and psychological health which has not yet been investigated in depth is open-plan office design. In this regard, the current research aimed at establishing a comprehensive list of Open Plan Offices Design (OPOD) features affecting physical and psychological health and well-being of the staff at office buildings. Research methodology engaged two phases corresponding to two objectives. Phase one was to investigate OPOD features and sub-features through a critical literature review using fishbone cause-and-effect analysis technique. Phase one has clustered the OPOD features into two; positive and negative classes. The cause-and-effect analysis determined 3 positive features and 5 negative features involved in the positive and negative classes, respectively. The Efficient Workflow and Performance, Flexible Design, and Cost Efficient were identified as positive OPOD features which involves a number of sub-features. The Distraction, Decreasing Work Feedback, Job Dissatisfaction, Illness, and stress have been determined as OPOD features which impact negatively on staff's health. The second phase conducted a content analysis on reviewed literatures to indicate the popularity of citation of each OPOD feature in previous studies. The content analysis determined in the Positive cluster, the sub-feature "Facilitate Communication", under Efficient Workflow & Performance was investigated more than other sub-features. In addition, in the Negative cluster, the sub-feature Auditory Distraction under Distraction was highly investigated. The research asserts that undertaking the research outputs will promote performance and productivity of staff in office buildings. Architects, facility managers, design consultants, and authority may use the output as a decision support checklist for future office design and/or renovations.
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During the past few decades, scholars have undertaken numerous studies to map various determinants of flexibility at various levels: organizational, group, and individual. However, limited attention has been paid to the role of context and spatiality in realizing individual flexibility. This article aims to fill this gap and seeks to inquire into links between flexibility and spatiality. More specifically, this article will explore how organizational spatial layouts affect individual flexibility as everyday work activities are undertaken in the production of services in two settings, namely, health care and financial services. The findings show that spatial layout is important to better understand and conceptualize individual and organizational flexibility. The findings also show how spatial layout affords various and unexpected outcomes and that layouts that unilaterally foster flexibility are difficult to achieve due to the polymorphous nature of flexibility.
Chapter
Although discussion and perspectives in organization studies, management, industrial sociology, and geography have expanded the overall understanding of the spatial context and location of learning organizations, little is known about the microsettings and architectural configuration of spaces that promote collective action. Exploring this aspect of the relation between space and organizations, the author examines knowledge-intensive work processes in a German research institution to identify how architectural space (a building’s spatial configuration) relates to collective action and organizational learning. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including a space syntax analysis of spatial configuration, are used to document spatial configuration, space usage, and patterns of interaction and knowledge-sharing in relation to other knowledge-intensive work environments. A narrative of life in the organization depicts physical space as a factor of organizational learning. The author considers the effects of spatiality and transpatiality on organizational behavior to challenge the common association between geodeterminism and the study of physical space.
Article
The aim of this study was to find out what are the effects of three different sound environments on performance of cognitive tasks of varying complexity. These three sound environments were 'speech', 'masked speech' and 'continuous noise'. They corresponded to poor, acceptable and perfect acoustical privacy in an open-plan office, respectively. The speech transmission indices were 0.00, 0.30 and 0.80, respectively. Sounds environments were presented at 48 dBA. The laboratory experiment on 36 subjects lasted for 4 h for each subject. Proofreading performance deteriorated in the 'speech' (p < 0.05) compared to the other two sound environments. Reading comprehension and computer-based tasks (simple and complex reaction time, subtraction, proposition, Stroop and vigilance) remained unaffected. Subjects assessed the 'speech' as the most disturbing, most disadvantageous and least pleasant environment (p < 0.01). 'Continuous noise' annoyed the least. Subjective arousal was highest in 'masked speech' and lowest in 'continuous noise' (p < 0.05). Performance in real open-plan offices could be improved by reducing speech intelligibility, e.g. by attenuating speech level and using an appropriate masking environment.
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