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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 separate field-based studies, the researchers documented a 70% reduction in face-to-face interaction after the introduction of an open office environment. Email communications increased by 25% to 50% during the same period. Co-located teams suffered the same decline as those that were not.
Pulling from other research, the article stresses:
- the relative richness of face-to-face over email and texting
- the importance of intermittent, rather than constant social interaction on collaborative work and problem solving
It concludes that open offices have the perverse effect of reducing, rather than increasing productive communication.
This claims to be the first study to empirically measure both face-to-face and electronic interaction before and after the introduction of an open office environment.
The measurement tools included sociometric badges (equipped with microphones, infrared sensors, accelerometers, and bluetooth sensors). Digital communications were collected from company servers. All participants were volunteers (52 in one case and 100 in the other). HR data indicated no bias.
New research shows strong trend toward formal workplace policies around activity-based working, unassigned desks, mobile work, and telework. Here’s what you need to know.
If you've been running your workplace program without formal policies, practices, and training, this is a must read. It's based on a new benchmarking report sponsored by IFMA's Workplace Evolutionaries.
The 'Tips' section offers dozens of must-have policies and guidelines for:
WE is a truly global community and thanks to our WE:Hubs the list of local events continues to expand.
Come to one of our great local events:
Date/Time Event 07/26/2018
WE NYC HUB Event07/31/2018
WE Hub Chicago Event08/01/2018
WE Hub SoCal Event09/19/2018 - 09/21/2018 WE Finland transdisciplinary workplace research conference
WE Finland and the Transdisciplinary Workplace Research (TWR) network welcomes participants to the 1st Bi-annual Conference on work environment research09/26/2018
September WE:Hub UK: Owning the Mindset Change