At Work, In View: The Cognitive Science of Working in Spaces with Transparent Boundaries

Sep 23, 2016

This study examines the self-reported performance-related repercussions of working in open spaces and in areas bordered by transparent glass walls, leading to a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of working in view, and often in the acoustic range, of others.

People working in spaces bordered by transparent glass walls or no walls at all felt more energized than relaxed while working, and participants were somewhat more likely to find it distracting to work in transparent-walled or no-wall spaces than in other spaces. Awareness of others and their activities was higher in more open spaces, and this awareness did have positive professional ramifications. Visually open environments were perceived to enhance professional performance by people working at young firms competing in challenging markets, the most prevalent sort of organizations renting workspaces at the co-working site where data were collected.

Sally Augustin, Ph.D. (Design With Science)
Melissa Marsh, Assoc. AIA (PLASTARC)
Kristin Mueller (PLASTARC)
Sasha Ragland (PLASTARC)
Cassie Hackel (PLASTARC)
Presented at: 
2016 ANFA Conference (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture

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