Beyond the Workplace Zoo
Humanising the Office
This book begins by outlining the common design mistakes with the modern open plan office and the industry focus on the cost that has resulted in the ill-fated Workplace Zoo. The requirements of office-based workers according to psychological theory and research are then explained. Dr. Oseland references historical studies in psychophysics to describe how to design environmental conditions (acoustics, lighting, temperature, indoor air quality) that enhance performance by supporting basic physiological needs. More contemporary research in environmental psychology investigates how cognition affects our interpretation and response to physical stimuli depending on personality, context, attitude, and other personal factors. This in turn informs individual requirements for the environmental conditions as well as group needs. Studies in evolutionary psychology and biophilia are also referenced.
The latter part of the book turns to workplace solutions and focuses on how to plan, design, and manage offices to accommodate our innate human needs now and in the future. The importance of designing for inclusivity is also recognized, including accommodating cultural, gender, and generational differences along with designing spaces for neurodiversity. Dr. Oseland’s proposed workplace solution the Landscaped Office is a revived and revised version of Burolandschaft with a contemporary twist. The impact of workplace trends, such as agile working and hot-desking, is also explored and found to complement the workplace solution, resulting in the Agile Landscaped Office.
This book is key reading for professionals, and post-graduate students, in business, interior design, architecture, surveying, facilities management, building services engineering, HR, and organizational or environmental psychology.