International design and architecture firm Perkins Eastman has joined forces with innovative furniture designer Three H to publish a joint white paper, “The Effect of Individualized Work Settings on Productivity and Well-Being.” This thoroughly researched paper is the first in a planned three-part series of studies on the evolution of diverse office environments and how the contemporary activity-based workplace (ABW) can be tailored to support a range of employees, tasks, and work styles. While the premise of ABWs is based on the practice of allowing workers to remain mobile and flexible within the workplace, this paper argues that up until now, minimal attention and limited resources have been focused on the importance of individualizing such environments.
The paper’s authors open with a historical overview of modern-day office design, followed by summaries of studies that examine emerging trends in workplace design (including organization case studies) and, most importantly, take an in-depth look at the multifaceted and evolving relationship that exists between common personality types and the physical characteristics of the workplace. Throughout this study, the authors’ findings are based upon the existing variety of ABW types, from open bar-height workstations and semi-partitioned areas with modular walls to more traditional enclosed spaces fitted with mobile and customizable furnishings.
According to Gary Hierlihy, Three H’s vice president of sales and marketing, “The notions of personalization and customization are a perfect fit for us at a time when Three H is undertaking its two-year ‘Diversity’ program, in which we’re developing new approaches to office furniture design for evolving workplaces. The integration of the findings of this joint study represent a crucial component to how we design and shape workplace environments of the future.”
The white paper’s primary authors include Perkins Eastman Associates’ Rebecca Milne, Scott Fallick, and Katherine Gluckselig, based in New York; and designer Danya Hakky, based in Washington, D.C. The second phase of this joint Perkins Eastman-Three H study will examine a host of personality and intelligence types, using subjects in an office setting, and will study how the physical environment may be developed and altered to support both the employee and organization as a whole.
The entire white paper is available for free download at perkinseastman.com/white_papers.