About WHERE and HOW People Work Best
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Employee experience & Performance
Implications of sensory experiences
(colors on surfaces, colored lights, scents, sound, temperature, etc.)
Worker experience and basic architectural forms
(ceiling heights, windows, etc.)
Psychosocial factors affecting worker performance
(privacy, territory, personal space, density, control, etc.)
Workplace design and worker behavior
Workplace design, physical and mental well-being
(sitting/standing/walking, stress, restoration, etc.)
Particular workplace configurations
(open plan, teleworking, etc.)
National culture and workplace design
The International Facility Management Association’s (IFMA) Workplace Evolutionaries (WE) and the IFMA Foundation present a definitive workplace strategy guide, “Applying What Scientists Know About WHERE and HOW People Work Best” by Dr. Sally Augustin. Workplace strategies are a frequent topic of lively debates rooted in strong opinions. This comprehensive repository of research organizes the tremendous body of empirical study that has been conducted in the social and physical sciences which is applicable to workplace managers and designers.
A great deal of study has been conducted in the social and physical sciences which is applicable to workplace managers and designers. However, workplace professionals are unfamiliar with these studies because they are written in technical language and archived in hard to access journals. Workplace professionals familiar with Dr. Augustin’s compendium of research and design recommendations, will be better prepared to make more informed decisions regarding the workplace, creating a competitive advantage for their organizations, including a long-term “return-on-design”-related investments.
“Workplace strategies are often presented in simple black and white,” said IFMA Foundation Chair Diane Coles-Levine. “For example, which is better, open office layouts or private offices? For facility management professionals, the answers to these questions should almost always be ‘It depends.’ What are you hoping to achieve? What is your work culture like? How do your people work? Using the built environment as a tool to achieve specific goals has been the subject of a great deal of academic and professional research. This guide is a roadmap to help answer the only question that really matters: What workplace strategy is right for my organization?”
This guide is a roadmap to help answer the only question that really matters: What workplace strategy is right for my organization?
A great deal of research has been conducted in the social and physical sciences that is applicable by workplace managers and designers. However, workplace professionals are unfamiliar with these studies because they are written in technical language and archived in hard to access journals.
Employee compensation accounts for well over 90% of the operating expenses of a firm, so optimizing worker performance through workplace design has significant financial implications. When the people who manage and design workplaces are more knowledgeable about high quality research that has been completed, their design recommendations are more likely not only to directly enhance the performance of their firm immediately, but also the long term return on design-related investments.Using research to inform workplace design is a humanitarian act. Research-informed design also leads to more sustainable development. Each section of the document begins with a brief introduction and conclude with a summary of the information presented.
The more than 50-page report includes relevant excerpts from studies, reports and articles that can be easily referenced by facility management professionals. Full bibliographical information is included for each excerpt.
People think more creatively when ceilings are
10 feet high than when they are 8 feet tall.
Joan Meyers-Levy and Rui Zhu. 2007. “The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing People Use.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 174-186.
People are more like to collaborate when there is a
100-foot increase in the overlap of their functional paths.
Functional paths are the routes people travel at their workplace, getting their job done. A press release related to this project indicates that the increases in collaboration was 20 percent for each 100-foot increase. Felichism Kabo, Yongha Hwang, Margaret Levenstein and Jason Owen-Smith. “Shared Paths to the Lab: A Sociospatial Network Analysis of Collaboration.” Environment and Behavior, in press.
The report was published with support from Nancy Johnson-Sanquist, IFMA Foundation Knowledge Management Committee chair, WE senior adviser and IFMA Research Committee member, and the sponsorship of the IFMA Corporate Facilities Council and Kimball Office. Without their financial support this publication would not have been possible. Kimball Office recognizes and is grateful for IFMA and WE’s continued support to keep the profession informed about new developments in the industry.
WE is a vibrant global workplace community within IFMA/CREC focused on increasing WorkPlace Innovation & Consciousness.
When Work on the Move was published by the IFMA Foundation in 2011, it generated high-levels of interest for many focused on understanding workplace strategy. This award-winning book became a catalyst for the 1st IFMA Foundation Workplace Strategy Summit that was held at Cornell in 2012. The book, the summit, and the passion we’ve seen for this topic inspired IFMA to co-create WE as a new Workplace Community.
Work on the Move IFMA
Work on the Move: Driving Strategy and Change in Workplaces here.
Applying what scientists know about where and how people work best.
The publication is available from the IFMA Foundation WE
About the Author
Sally Augustin, PhD, is a practicing environmental psychologist, an expert on person-centered design, and a principal at Design With Science (www.designwithscience.com). She is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Sally consults with organizations and individuals to inform optimal design solutions – places where people thrive and objects that they cherish. Her clients include highly-respected design firms in North America, Europe, and Asia. LinkedIn
About Kimball Office
Kimball Office is a design driven, technologically savvy brand, tailoring solutions that provide better workplace, learning & healing environments. For nearly 45 years, Kimball Office has been designing office furniture that is inspiring, productive, and environmentally-responsible. www.kimballoffice.com
IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting 24,000 members in 93 countries. The association’s members, represented in 133 chapters and 17 councils worldwide, manage more than 37 billion square feet of property and annually purchase more than US$100 billion in products and services. Formed in 1980, IFMA certifies professionals in facility management, conducts research, provides educational programs and produces World Workplace, the world’s largest facility management conference and exposition. To join and follow IFMA’s social media outlets online, visit the association’s LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. For more information, visit the IFMA press room or www.ifma.org.
About the IFMA Foundation
Established in 1990 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and separate entity from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the IFMA Foundation works for the public good to promote priority research and educational opportunities for the advancement of facility management. The IFMA Foundation is supported by the generosity of the FM community including IFMA members, chapters, councils, corporate sponsors and private contributors who share the belief that education and research improve the FM profession. To learn more about the IFMA Foundation, visit http://foundation.ifma.org.
About the Workplace Evolutionaries (WE)
WE is a vibrant global workplace community of practice within the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) focused on increasing workplace innovation and consciousness. When “Work on the Move” was published by the IFMA Foundation in 2011, it generated high levels of interest for many focused on understanding workplace strategy. This award-winning book became a catalyst for the first IFMA Foundation Workplace Strategy Research Summit that was held at Cornell University in 2012. The book, the summit and the passion seen from IFMA members for this topic inspired IFMA to co-create WE as a new workplace community. International Facility Management Association, 800 Gessner Rd. Suite 900, Houston, TX 77024-4257 United States
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