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Office design: an exploration of worker satisfaction and their perceptions of effective workspaces

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ABSTRACT Recent studies indicate that top-performing companies have higher-performing work environments than average companies. They receive higher scores for worker satisfaction with their overall physical work environment as well as

ABSTRACT Recent studies indicate that top-performing companies have higher-performing work environments than average companies. They receive higher scores for worker satisfaction with their overall physical work environment as well as higher effectiveness ratings for their workspaces (Gensler, 2008; Harter et al., 2003). While these studies indicate a relationship between effective office design and satisfaction they have not explored which specific space types may contribute to workers' overall satisfaction with their physical work environment. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between workers' overall satisfaction with their physical work environments and their perception of the effectiveness of spaces designed for Conceptual Age work including learning, focusing, collaborating, and socializing tasks. This research is designed to identify which workspace types are related to workers' satisfaction with their overall work environment and which are perceived to be most and least effective. To accomplish this two primary and four secondary research questions were developed for this study. The first primary question considers overall workers' satisfaction with their overall physical work environments (offices, workstations, hallways, common areas, reception, waiting areas, etc.) related to the effective use of work mode workspaces (learning, focusing, collaborating, socializing). The second primary research question was developed to identify which of the four work mode space types had the greatest and least relationship to workers' satisfaction with the overall physical work environment. Secondary research questions were developed to address workers' perceptions of effectiveness of each space type. This research project used data from a previous study collected from 2007 to 2012. Responses were from all staff levels of US office-based office workers and resulted in a blind sample of approximately 48,000 respondents. The data for this study were developed from SPSS data reports that included descriptive data and Pearson correlations. Findings were developed from those statistics using coefficient of determination.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Designing small business: a user-centered study of needs, resources, and tools

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Industrial design is the practice of creating solutions by studying people and businesses. Originally centered on development of goods, industrial design uses methods rooted in human behavioral study, human factors,

Industrial design is the practice of creating solutions by studying people and businesses. Originally centered on development of goods, industrial design uses methods rooted in human behavioral study, human factors, and strategic problem solving. As our economy and professional practice shift away from manufacturing towards a service-dominant landscape, industrial design must align its profession to formally include service design. The small service business setting is a microcosm in which the value of design and branding in business is magnified. This research reinforces design's ties with services marketing and business and is dedicated to finding solutions for the backbone of our economy. Micro-businesses with fewer than 20 employees often lack the sophisticated management, marketing, and strategies that bring about success. Despite the fact that 70% to 80% of small and micro businesses are service based, little research is dedicated to unique strategies for these small service firms. Research has shown that using strategic business design increases small business success. Given high small business failure rates, it behooves entrepreneurs to use intuitive planning tools that are appropriate for the dynamic startup years. When put within reach and context of small business owners, the tools used in design draw a clear map of insights into the "design" of small businesses. Through a literature review, interviews, and a new workshop method, the needs of small business owners and the challenges they face are used to design and implement an accessible, actionable strategic toolkit for small service businesses. This simple, interdisciplinary toolkit was designed with the goal of increasing the efficacy and likelihood of ongoing strategic business planning through context-specific, instrumental activities. The tools are shown to help a business owner form pragmatic, iterative problem-solving approaches that allow the business owner to plan in the face of uncertainty and find insights into her own business, brand, and services.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Holistic health factors in the workplace: biophilia, ergonomics and exercise

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ABSTRACT In an attempt to advocate body-conscious design and healing work environments, this research study of holistic health in the workplace explores cognitive, social and physical well-being in four small

ABSTRACT In an attempt to advocate body-conscious design and healing work environments, this research study of holistic health in the workplace explores cognitive, social and physical well-being in four small US offices that are between 1000 and 4000 square feet and employ three to twelve employees. Holistic health, as pursued in this research, includes social health, emotional health and physical health. These three factors of holistic health have been identified and investigated in this study: biophilia: peoples' love and affiliation with other species and the natural environment; ergonomics: the relationship between the human body, movement, the immediate environment and productivity; and exercise: exertion of the body to obtain physical fitness. This research study proposes that employees and employers of these four participating workplaces desire mobility and resources in the workplace that support holistic health practices involving biophilia, ergonomics, and exercise. Literature review of holistic health and the holistic health factors of this research topic support the idea that interaction with other species can be healing, ergonomic body-conscious furniture and equipment increase productivity, limit body aches, pains and health costs; and exercise stimulates the mind and body, increasing productivity. This study has been conducted primarily with qualitative and flexible research approaches using observation, survey, interview and pedometer readings as methods for data collection. Two small corporate franchise financial institutions and two small private healthcare providers from both Arizona and Georgia participated in this study. Each office volunteered one employer and two employee participants. Of the holistic health factors considered in these four case studies, this study found that a majority of participants equally valued emotional health, social health and physical health. A majority of participants declared a preference for workplace environments with serene natural environments with outdoor spaces and interaction with other species, work environments with body-conscious furniture, equipment and workstations, as well as exercise space and equipment. As these particular workplace environments affirmed value for elements of the factors biophilia, ergonomics and exercise, all three factors are considered valueable within the workplaces of these case studies. Furthermore, factors that were said to contribute to personal productivity in participating workplaces were found as well as sacrifices that participants stated they would be willing to make in order to implement their preferred work environment(s). In addition, this study recorded and calculated average miles walked by participants in each workplace as well as existing incentives and descriptions of ideal work environments. Implications of this research study involve interior design, industrial design and fashion design that can accommodate the desires of the four participating workplaces. Major design implications involve accommodating these particular workplaces to provide personnel with opportunities for holistic health in working environments. More specific implications of office related design involve providing access to natural environments, body-conscious equipment and spaces, as well as opportunities for exercise and social interaction. These elements of the factors biophilia, ergonomics and exercise were found to be said to contribute to cognitive, social and physical health.

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Date Created
  • 2011