Member Query: Redesigning Work Space in Academic Settings

Beth Mertz (bmertz@thecenter.ucsf.edu) writes:

Do any of you do research on, or know of research on, the reorganization of work spaces through open floor plans (i.e., such as has been done in technology sector such as the HP open floor plan, no offices, or offices without doors, etc) in the University context? Specifically, has anyone experienced, studied, or know of a university that has shifted a social sciences department/research group, including faculty, post docs or RAs and admin staff, from traditional office/cube type set up to one of these open floor plan – no offices, everyone gets an ‘equal’ space (regardless of your rank, title, etc) with ‘huddle rooms’ for group meetings or private phone calls. We are seeking evidence (anecdotal or published) that looks at the issues such a transition might raise, or outcomes of such an experiment. Alternatively, do any of you within a social sciences research group have experience with departments  moving to new or remodeled space that worked very well? What was the redesigned space like?

Thank you for any feedback or leads to data/experiments of this type that you can provide.

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