Th-OR-S54-4 - Transforming Work Through Office Design : Activity-Based Offices At Work

Track:
Managing organizational change
What:
Oral Presentation
Part of:
When:
15 minutes
Where:
E1.17
Discussion:
0
 
Organizational Change and Development
Managing organizational change
Th-OR-S54-4
TRANFORMING WORK THROUGH OFFICE DESIGN : ACTIVITY-BASED OFFICES AT WORK
M. Ianeva*, R. Ciobanu
 
 
Content: Office design and layout are incresingly considered by companies as a way  to support and manage organizational change. Moving or setting up an office are decisions that aim at both reducing real and fostering knowledge-sharing and employees’ well-being (Apple-Meulenbroek & al., 2011). Thus, a growing number of organizations choose to implement «activity-based » workplace environments (ABW). ABW relies on an extensive range of shared workstations and workspaces which are designed to support different tasks and activities (Vos & Van der Voordt, 2002). From a management’s perspective, ABW might appear as an interesting tradeoff between reducing costs and maintaining employees’ satisfaction while increasing work performance. In practice, the design and the implementation of non-territorial flexibles offices involve significant changes in work practices and habits (Ianeva & al., 2015). However, research on the way these environments support or undermine employees’ activities are scarce. Building upon activity theory (Engeström, 1987 ; Clot, 1999) and situated cognition (Lave, 1988 ; Scribner, 1996) our study focuses on the impact on these office solutions on collective work practices. We used semi-structured interviews as well as 5-day activity diaries followed by commented walks in order to understand how the office layout is dealt with and acted upon by the employees of an Information Technology company. Our results show that the « activity-based » workplace provides a framework for both interpreting the work of colleagues and organizing one’s own work. More generally, the study opens up a reflexion on how office design intervention could potentially support activity development. 
Keywords: work, activity-based workplace, office layout, activity development
 
 
 
 
 

 
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