Watch out! Can't you see that there's a red jacket on the chair? A thesis on modern office design and primitive human needs
Abstract: Thanks to digitalization and advanced mobile technology, work is no longer associated with a fixed place. Employees can now work from anywhere - at any time - and when the number of employees working on-sight decreases offices struggle to reach full capacity. This leads many companies to reconsider their office design. The activity-based office - with no fixed workstations or private office rooms - has become an increasingly popular alternative due to its cost-efficiency and flexibility. But what happens when territorial boundaries such as private office rooms and fixed workstations disappear? How are employees affected psychologically, by not having a space of their own in the office? This study investigates the fascinating subject of organizational territoriality and its effect on employees in two different office settings: the traditional, cellular office versus the activity-based office. A quantitative survey was distributed internationally across Europe and was filled in by 258 respondents from the two different office types. The results showed that territorial behaviors occurred in both office types and that there were significant correlations between territoriality and the psychological factors assessed (stress, personal control, place attachment, self-efficacy, job satisfaction and satisfaction with the physical environment). Territorial behaviors can have significant consequences for organizations, yet organizational territoriality seems to be a vastly overlooked area of research within both managerial and organizational studies as well as in psychology and architecture. This study adds onto the existing body of research on territoriality within organizations by providing a new, comparative perspective (cellular vs. activity-based offices).
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