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开放式办公室不利员工互动

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2018年07月12日

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Open office plans are often adopted with the noble intention of increasing collaboration, communication, and fostering team friendships, yet study after study suggests that workers simply don’t like this type of environment.And now, a study by researchers at the Harvard Business School adds further evidence to the value of walls (to hide behind) after finding that employees at two large Fortune 500 companies actually engaged in less face-to-face contact after switching to entirely open workspaces.

现如今,开放式的办公室常常被采纳,其目的是为了增加团队之间的合作、交流。但研究表明,职员们其实根本不喜欢这种类型的环境。哈佛商学院的一项研究进一步证明了墙壁的价值,因为他们发现:在转换到完全开放的工作空间后,两家世界500强企业的员工彼此之间的面对面接触实际上变得更少了。

开放式办公室不利员工互动

As described in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Ethan Bernstein and Stephen Turban sought to conduct a real-world comparison of people’s behavior in different types of offices after a good number of theoretical investigations had concluded that open layouts reduce communication.

正如《皇家学会哲学会刊》所报道的,伊桑·伯恩斯坦和斯蒂芬·特尔班博士试图对不同类型办公室中人们的行为进行一次比较。

For their two-part examination, they first recruited 52 employee volunteers from an organization, given the pseudonym OpenCo1, and asked them to wear a device known as a sociometric badge every working day for three weeks before the workspace remodel, then every working day for three weeks after the transition about three months later. The sociometric badge captures when wearers are face-to-face with others (using an infrared sensor that registers contact with other sensors), if a wearer is talking or listening to another using a microphone, and captures spatial location and movement/posture using a Bluetooth sensor and accelerometer, respectively. Data was gathered in 10-millisecond intervals.

为了进行两部分的测试,他们首先从一个组织中招募了52名员工作为志愿者,要求他们在每个工作日都随身佩戴一个称为社交计量徽章的装置。当佩戴者与其他人面对面交流时,社交计量徽章就会捕捉到这一过程。研究让志愿者先在独立且封闭的空间里工作了三周,然后将其工作环境转变为开放的办公空间,又跟踪调查了三周的时间。

To quantify communication not occurring in person, the participants gave permission for the researchers to review the number of emails and instant messages (IMs) sent during those periods.

为了量化那些非面对面的通信,研究人员审查了志愿者在这段时期内接收和发送的电子邮件和即时消息的数量。

The second part of the study was a similar assessment of 100 employees at "OpenCo2", yet these subjects were followed for eight weeks before and after open-plan renovations.

研究的第二部分是对另一家公司100名员工的类似评估,只是这些志愿者总共被跟踪调查了8个星期。

In both field studies, the data revealed that face-to-face interaction dropped substantially after the switch to un-walled workstations.

在这两项研究中,数据表明:处于开放的办公环境之后,员工们面对面互动的次数大幅度减少了。

“Contrary to common belief,” the authors wrote, “the volume of face-to-face interaction decreased significantly (approx. 70%) in both cases, with an associated increase in electronic interaction. In short, rather than prompting increasingly vibrant face-to-face collaboration, open architecture appeared to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact instead over email and IM.”

作者表示:“与普遍的看法相反,面对面交流的次数反而减少了大约70%,电子交互也相应增加了。简而言之,开放的办公环境并没有促进日益活跃的面对面协作,反而使得人们更加依赖电子邮件和即时通讯进行互动。

“While it is possible to bring chemical substances together under specific conditions of temperature and pressure to form the desired compound, more factors seem to be at work in achieving a similar effect with humans. Until we understand those factors, we may be surprised to find a reduction in [face-to-face] collaboration at work even as we architect transparent, open spaces intended to increase it.”

“你可能只需要特定的温度和压力这两个因素就能使化学物质结合在一起成为新的化合物,但是想让人们结合得更紧密比这要复杂得多,我们需要考虑更多的因素。”


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