Workplace collaborative space layout typology and occupant perception of collaboration environment
The value of effective collaboration has become increasingly critical for organizational performance and agility. Along with technical and managerial strategies, the workspace spatial environment needs to be recognized and studied for its impact on collaboration and interactive behavior at work. Most spatial parameters studied in the workplace research literature are workstation-scale characteristics. However, these may not sufficiently describe the variety of shared spaces in which collaborative work and interactions take place. Based on a two-year multiple-site field study of workplace settings, this paper explores the space typology of a wide spectrum of formal and informal collaborative spaces, and it introduces a new set of layout-scale quantitative indices to describe the amount and distribution of collaborative spaces in a workplace. This research tested layout-scale spatial variables and compared them with workstation-scale variables in order to determine how well these variables predict the occupants’ perception of the support from their workplace spatial environment for collaborative work and the distractions from others’ interactive behavior in the work environment. The design implications of the findings are explored, and future research directions are identified.
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