Open plan offices as sociotechnical systems: What matters and to whom?

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  • Author(s): Smith-Jackson, Tonya. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US, Smith-Jackson, Tonya. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US, ; Middlebrooks, Rodney. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US; Francis, John. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US; Gray, Tiara. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US; Nelson, Kaleb. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US; Steele, Briana. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US; Townsend, Kionda. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US; Watlington, Cedric. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, US
  • Source:
    Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, Vol 54(4), 2016. pp. 807-823.
  • Publisher:
    Netherlands : IOS Press
  • Language:
    English
  • Document Type:
    Journal Article
  • Publication Type:
    Journal; Peer Reviewed Journal
  • Additional Information
    • Address:
      Smith-Jackson, Tonya, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University, 1601 East Market Street, 419 McNair Hall, Greensboro, NC, US, 27411, tlsmithj@ncat.edu
    • Source:
      Work
    • Physical Description:
      17
    • ISSN:
      1051-9815 (Print)
      1875-9270 (Electronic)
    • Keywords:
      Open plan office, sociotechnical systems, office work, work system design, office layout
    • Abstract:
      Background: Open plan offices have proliferated for the past several decades with more and more workers being concentrated in office buildings. Several studies have identified a number of negative factors associated with open plan offices, and those include noise, speech interference, lack of privacy, and a perceived loss of control over work. While negative factors have been identified several times in the literature, many studies rely on either surveys or highly controlled environments. Objective: The objective of this study was to use a quasi-naturalistic environment based on a scaled world model to test three hypotheses of the impacts of office interference on editing and web navigation performance and mental workload. Method: A mixed factor design was used that utilized continuous speech recordings, discontinuous speech recordings, and a quiet condition. Individual differences questionnaires were administered to measure focused attention, stress, and cognitive failures. After task completion, participants recorded mental workload ratings. Results: Participants had higher performance accuracy in the document editing task across the speech interference conditions. Mental workload ratings were higher in the web navigation task in the discontinuous speech condition compared to the continuous speech condition. In contrast to the hypothesis, those reporting stronger focused attention performed more poorly across all speech conditions. Overall, the results were mixed. Conclusions: OPO work design must focus on individual differences among workers to determine how to customize design to facilitate performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
    • Subject Terms:
    • PsycINFO Classification:
      Occupational & Vocational Rehabilitation (3384)
    • Population:
      Human
      Male
      Female
    • Location:
      US
    • Age Group:
      Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
    • Tests & Measures:
      Cognitive Failures Questionnaire   DOI: 10.1037/t00791-000
      Expanded Tellegen Absorption Scale   DOI: 10.1037/t26005-000
      Perceived Stress Scale   DOI: 10.1037/t02889-000
    • Grant Sponsorship:
      Sponsor: Office Ergonomics Research Committee
      Recipients: No recipient indicated
    • Methodology:
      Empirical Study; Interview; Qualitative Study; Quantitative Study
    • Physical Description:
      Electronic
    • Publication Date:
      Accepted: Jul 22, 2015; First Submitted: Mar 3, 2015
    • Publication Date:
      20161027
    • Copyright:
      All rights reserved.. IOS Press and the authors. 2016
    • Accession Number:
      http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/WOR-162362
    • Accession Number:
      2016-45641-005
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      SMITH-JACKSON, T. et al. Open plan offices as sociotechnical systems: What matters and to whom? Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, [s. l.], v. 54, n. 4, p. 807–823, 2016. DOI 10.3233/WOR-162362. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2016-45641-005. Acesso em: 25 nov. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Smith-Jackson T, Middlebrooks R, Francis J, et al. Open plan offices as sociotechnical systems: What matters and to whom? Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation. 2016;54(4):807-823. doi:10.3233/WOR-162362
    • APA:
      Smith-Jackson, T., Middlebrooks, R., Francis, J., Gray, T., Nelson, K., Steele, B., Townsend, K., & Watlington, C. (2016). Open plan offices as sociotechnical systems: What matters and to whom? Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 54(4), 807–823. https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-162362
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Smith-Jackson, Tonya, Rodney Middlebrooks, John Francis, Tiara Gray, Kaleb Nelson, Briana Steele, Kionda Townsend, and Cedric Watlington. 2016. “Open Plan Offices as Sociotechnical Systems: What Matters and to Whom?” Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation 54 (4): 807–23. doi:10.3233/WOR-162362.
    • Harvard:
      Smith-Jackson, T. et al. (2016) ‘Open plan offices as sociotechnical systems: What matters and to whom?’, Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 54(4), pp. 807–823. doi: 10.3233/WOR-162362.
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Smith-Jackson, T, Middlebrooks, R, Francis, J, Gray, T, Nelson, K, Steele, B, Townsend, K & Watlington, C 2016, ‘Open plan offices as sociotechnical systems: What matters and to whom?’, Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 807–823, viewed 25 November 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Smith-Jackson, Tonya, et al. “Open Plan Offices as Sociotechnical Systems: What Matters and to Whom?” Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, vol. 54, no. 4, 2016, pp. 807–823. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3233/WOR-162362.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Smith-Jackson, Tonya, Rodney Middlebrooks, John Francis, Tiara Gray, Kaleb Nelson, Briana Steele, Kionda Townsend, and Cedric Watlington. “Open Plan Offices as Sociotechnical Systems: What Matters and to Whom?” Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation 54, no. 4 (2016): 807–23. doi:10.3233/WOR-162362.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Smith-Jackson T, Middlebrooks R, Francis J, Gray T, Nelson K, Steele B, et al. Open plan offices as sociotechnical systems: What matters and to whom? Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2020 Nov 25];54(4):807–23. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2016-45641-005