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Workplace Design

Title: Workplace Design: Facilitating Collaborative and Individual Work within the Creative Office Environment.
Name(s): Leadon, Alexandria, author
Waxman, Lisa K., professor directing thesis
Mattingly, Amy, (American architect, contemporary), committee member
Webber, Steven B., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Fine Arts, degree granting college
Department of Interior Design, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (195 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Workplace environments are continuing to evolve as user needs and work modes change. The wellbeing and success of an organization, and those working within it, is strongly related to its built environment (Becker, 2004). Grounded in research that included the history of workplace design, issues inherent in organizations, and matters associated with individual productivity within the workplace environment, the purpose of this study was to better understand how the built environment can facilitate both collaborative and individual work modes in a creative office environment. Open office plans are popular in workplace design due to the ability to increase collaboration among employees and the decrease in building costs (Duffy, 2008; Saval, 2014). Recent research, however, has shed light on the apparent distractions and lack of privacy seen in the open office. Additionally, recent research shows that many workers desire an office design that accommodates more opportunities for focused individual work. Collaboration, in fact, is most successful when supported by effective individual work, and workplace environments should be designed to support those modes of work (Gensler, 2013; Hua, Loftness, Heerwagen, & Powell, 2011). To explore how the spatial characteristics of the creative workplace environment might facilitate collaborative and individual work modes, the researcher conducted a case study at an interior design office followed by a survey of four design firms. The case study utilized a mixed-methods approach including visual documentation, behavioral mapping, and interviews. Photos were taken, and behavioral mapping with field notes were used to document how the employees utilized their spaces, with specific attention to where collaborative and individual work occurred. Next, the researcher interviewed employees on their use of the space and how its design facilitates their collaborative and individual work productivity. The information collected during the interviews told not just how but why the employees used their workspace as they did. Following the case study, a survey was developed to confirm the findings from the case study and to gain further knowledge to answer the research question. From the case study, findings indicated that the data supported previous research claims that collaboration and individual work must be supported by workplace design. While collaboration was high among employees and meeting rooms were utilized, the expectation of distraction in the open office space limited the fluidity and frequency of collaboration. Not all collaborative design features were used as intended, and the need to use secluded spaces for individual work was apparent. Those with private offices were not as affected by distractions and privacy issues than those in the open office. The responses to the survey that followed confirmed that the potential for distraction and privacy issues in the open office had the potential to hinder productivity. This study confirmed that fluidity and frequency of collaboration was, at times, deterred in the open office environment, due to the expectation that collaboration would be a distraction to others. Distractions and the absence of privacy in the open office environment led employees to seek secluded spaces in the office, away from their workstations. Private meeting rooms were integral solutions in facilitating both collaborative and individual modes of work, as these spaces could host groups or individuals as required. The research findings of this case study were used to program and develop a prototype design solution for a hypothetical interior design firm's workplace. This research and subsequent workplace design solution adds to the body of knowledge, which may inform future design researchers and practitioners on the effective design of workplace environments – to design beyond adequacy.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-9636 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Interior Design in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2015.
Date of Defense: June 22, 2015.
Keywords: Creative, Design, Interior Design, Interior Environment, Office, Workplace
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Lisa Waxman, Professor Directing Thesis; Amy Huber, Committee Member; Steven Webber, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Design
Persistent Link to This Record:
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Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Leadon, A. (2015). Workplace Design: Facilitating Collaborative and Individual Work within the Creative Office Environment. Retrieved from