Research Design Connection – Workplace Design: Psychological Implications

Hirst and Schabenland studied the effects of office design on employees‚Äô psychological comfort. A press release Anglia Ruskin University issued related to their research reports that the duo found that, ‚ÄúEmployees subconsciously act and dress differently in modern open-plan office environments‚Ķ[Hirst and Schabenland] over the course of three years analysed the behaviour of around 1,000 employees at a UK local authority that moved from six separate departmental buildings into a‚Ķbuilding [that] made extensive use of glass and incorporated large, open-plan offices and collective spaces‚Ķ[Hirst] said:¬†‚ÄėWhen changing from a more closed, compartmentalised office space to a new open-plan, transparent and fluid working space, office workers were more conscious of their visibility and often found this unsettling rather than liberating. Women in particularly felt anxious about the idea of being constantly watched, and felt they had to dress in a certain way‚Ķ[working] in an open space‚Ķwas seen by some as a chance …