Collaborating at Work – The Impact of Physical Space

Katherine shares some data on the impact of physical space for job satisfaction and collaboration.

These trends reflected the conclusions drawn by Professor Alex Haslam, from the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter, whose international studies linked poor use of office space with employee satisfaction and business productivity.

Referencing one of his recent studies, which set up four different work environments in one Amsterdam office building, Professor Haslam said the space designed with employees, not for them, proved the most successful.

He said effective managers in London, where office space is at a premium, were slowly recognising collaboration with staff was vital to space – and profit – maximisation.

A few of the findings:
– When employees can create their own work space, it positively impacts job satisfaction and business profitability.
– Working close to others can be good for collaboration, but if there is too little space, perhaps it’s just the “illusion of collaboration” (great phrase).
– People like having personal storage space at work.
– If space is too tight, it reduces productivity at work.
– Get people involved in the changes; don’t impose it top-down.

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