Conflict and Office Layout

May 2, 2017 - M Erickson

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There are so many different office layouts to select from nowadays; each with advantages for distinct worker mindsets. Others commercial fitouts are well suited to allowing workers to get on with their work uninterrupted while some may be geared towards encouraging collaboration and team working. Does sex have anything related to how well you work in office environments that are particular? It’s not something that automatically comes to mind when picturing unique room layouts; after all, any office design should cater for the workplace as a whole, not just one particular gender.

The Role of the Office Layout
A study which was carried out in June last year takes a closer look at how different office layouts change both females and males working in them, highlighting a distinct fascination with the quantity of disagreement reported by people of each gender.

It looked at how different office layouts affected workers found that sex appeared to play a bigger role than anticipated and psychologically.

The office design which sparked the most interest in the study was the ‘combi office’; a room which boasts both open plan and private offices in a single space. Although many businesses favor this style of room layout as it allows workers to choose where they work, boosting their productivity and happiness, it was one of the very most commented on in this study.

Researchers found that 16.2% of girls who supposedly worked in a combi office environment revealed that they had conflicts with other workers compared to 14.7% of girls who worked in offices with different layouts. Additionally, they highlighted that girls were more prone to complain that combi rooms were too noisy and distracted for their sake to work in than men; 56.3% of women reported this compared to 50.5% of male employees.

What Does This Mean?
Does this mean that sex has a huge influence on how well you work in particular office layouts? Perhaps. The researchers couldn’t outright say that gender was the underlying key to why more women complained of disagreement in particular office plans. Instead, they reasoned that rather than their understanding of the environment and differences in gender, it was “differences in patterns of interpersonal relationships” which resulted in more contradictions at work. The researchers remarked that “It is confirmed that women receive more social support than men on the job and that visibility “closeness and audibility have already been revealed to be crucial elements for support in social networks.” So, although this study found that more girls favored possessing a more quiet, more private office space than men, it couldn’t entirely determine that sex was the reasoning behind it.

Worker well-being that is complete and productivity ought to be your main focus in regards to committing to an office refurbishment, thus make sure that you’re sufficiently catering for your entire workforce, not just one portion of it!

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