Manhattan, New York, NY

©2017 by Justine Stohler

PAPERS

May 2018

FLEX-ABLE PERSONALITIES: HOW PERSONALITY MODERATES THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OFFICE DESIGN AND EMPLOYEE OUTCOMES

ABSTRACT
Dynamic offices that encourage collaboration and improve real estate efficiency are proliferating in knowledge worker settings. Beyond cost savings, research to date has been inconclusive on the consequences for employees. The increasingly unstructured nature of these offices, both physically and psychologically, may operate differently based on individual differences in personality. By performing secondary research analyzing data from a case study, this paper investigates the moderating effects of Big Five personality traits on the effect of a flex office on workplace satisfaction, employee engagement, and interaction-based work experience. The present study analyzes survey data collected from one site of a U.S.-based research and consulting organization. A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) is used to compare survey responses at four months after a pilot group’s (n = 53, 55% female) transition to a flex office with a control group in a traditional cellular office (n = 65, 42% female). Drawing on perspectives from the Five Factor Model, personality-based self-regulation, and Person-Environment Fit, this paper hypothesizes that higher ratings in personality traits of Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Extraversion and Agreeableness will support positive outcomes for employees in the pilot versus the control. Results indicate that employees who rate highly in Conscientiousness and Agreeableness, independently, have better overall work experience in flex offices versus employees who rate moderately on these dimensions. Highly conscientious employees have significantly more awareness of their colleagues’ expertise and their departments’ activities in a flex office versus a traditional cellular office. Findings from this study can inform strategic innovation, change management, recruitment, real estate development, office design and future research in Organizational Behavior, Ergonomics, Self-regulation and Environmental Psychology.
KEYWORDS
Workplace; Big Five; Office; Organizational behavior; Design; Environmental Psychology; personality; Personality psychology
COMMITTEE CHAIR
Hua, Ying
COMMITTEE MEMBER
Loeckenhoff, Corinna E.

September 2017

EFFECTS OF ACTIVE SITTING CHAIRS ON SHORT-DURATION COMPUTER TASK PERFORMANCE, POSTURAL RISKS, PERCEIVED PAIN, COMFORT AND FATIGUE

ABSTRACT
This study evaluated the effects of active and static sitting chairs on short-duration computer task performance, postural risks and perceived pain, comfort and fatigue. A repeated-measures, within-subjects study was conducted, in which 16 participants performed 40 trials of a computer-based homing task in four seating conditions. Computer task performance was operationalized using mousing and typing speed as the measures, postural risk was evaluated using the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). Perceived scores for pain, comfort and fatigue were reported through a survey administered at baseline and after each seated task condition. Results suggest that for short-duration computer tasks, active seating does not reduce mousing and typing speed; postural risks for musculoskeletal disorders do not significantly differ in comparison to static seating. Additionally, while there is reduction in perceived levels of comfort for active seating, the perception of pain and fatigue do not change significantly.

September 2017

EFFECTS OF ACTIVE VERSUS STATIC STANDING ON SHORT-DURATION COMPUTER TASK PERFORMANCE, POSTURAL RISKS, PERCEIVED PAIN, COMFORT AND FATIGUE

ABSTRACT

This study evaluated the effects of active versus static standing on short-duration computer task performance, postural risks and perceived pain, comfort and fatigue. A repeated measures, within-subjects study was conducted in which 16 participants performed 40 trials of a computer-based homing task in two active standing versus a static standing condition. Computer task performance was operationalized using mousing and typing speed as the measures; postural risk was evaluated using the Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA). Perceived scores for pain, comfort and fatigue were reported through a survey administered at baseline and after each standing task condition. Results suggest that for short-duration computer tasks, there was no significant difference in typing speed between active and static standing. However, mousing speed was significantly higher in static standing compared to a specific active standing condition. Overall levels of perceived pain, comfort and fatigue did not differ significantly between active and static standing.

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