This chapter discusses the individual office employee’s experience of the physical office environment; its influence on the individual employee and in the prolongation on the organization to which the employee belongs. Since most organizations and businesses operate in a physical environment and the physical office environment sets the conditions for the activities performed, its impact should be recognized. The office experience has an impact through its functional, social, and symbolic implications on interaction and cooperation among employees; thus office experiences are fundamental at both an individual and an organizational level. Research on how the work environment influences employees is found in numerous fields such as architecture, organizational and management theory, social and stress medicine, as well as environmental and social psychology. Although this chapter touches upon all those fields, its focus is on the interior experience of office environments among employees. The aim is to discuss how the office environments influence employees, with an interdisciplinary approach to the subject. The special focus is on the part of the research presented in it that investigates the influence on employees’ office experience by different office types. When comparing the employees’ experiences of different office environments it is important to use the variety of office types that exists in office design today, instead of only comparing a vaguely defined open plan office to a single room office. According to the research, the architectural and functional features that define the existing office types have a great impact on office employees in different respects, such as employees’ health status, job satisfaction, and office experiences. Therefore, this chapter discusses how research results can be used in the professional practice of office design.
Elservier , 2008. 605-628 p.