Date of Award
Master of Arts
Jae Hwa Lee
The physical environment can significantly impact workers' degree of productivity and satisfaction. A growing body of evidence regarding workplace design supports an implied efficacy of the Activity-Based Workplace (ABW). Meanwhile, a parallel stream of research correlates ineffective privacy solutions and various workstation configurations as deleterious to employee wellbeing. Therefore, further research is needed to identify specific spatial qualities that hinder or enhance worker productivity and wellbeing.The study investigated the perception of employees at one small tech company in the Midwest area of the United States as a single case study. The office environment experiences were compared with a follow-up assessment of their current remote working conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the systematic review of 13 empirical studies that examined the impact of the ABW model, the survey included 40 Likert-scale questions and three open-ended questions that fall into four categories of the nature of the environments: privacy, satisfaction, collaboration, and physical attributes. The physical attributes then considered seven characteristics: the amount of space, proximity to colleagues, Indoor Environmental/Air Quality, choices of spaces, quality of the workspace, light, and furniture. Employees reported perceived productivity and satisfaction levels of both the office and remote working setups through an anonymous survey distributed via Qualtrics software. Results indicate workers’ preferences, the ability to choose where to work and a desired ability to control their work environments. Other major findings include a desire for natural daylight, adjustable lighting, and an overwhelming desire for greater acoustical privacy in areas for high concentration. Findings also include differences in where to provide high and low levels of visibility to support various degrees of required focus. The research culminates with a series of supportive workplace typologies specific to the case organization that contribute to employee productivity and wellbeing.
Julia Rose Schettler
Schettler, Julia Rose, "Developing typologies toward balanced workplace design: a case for the five modes of work" (2021). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 18606.