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Determining the Success Level of Open Office Workplaces within a Federal Law Enforcement Agency

Alford, Thurmond (2019) Determining the Success Level of Open Office Workplaces within a Federal Law Enforcement Agency. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

A Presidential Executive Order to reduce federal government building sizes launched a dramatic reduction in the federal government budget since the 2012 furlough and the commercial industry evolution from 1980’s style system furniture to open office workplace environments and provided the perfect opportunity for a major transformation. As a result, our research team took a closer look at the old system furniture products, conducted brainstorming sessions, invited several top furniture manufacturers to provide their examples of our concepts, and used design thinking methods to create an open office workspace solution. The success of this solution, however, was unknown. Using design thinking strategies, the purpose of this study was to determine if the open office workspace solutions have successfully provided adequate privacy, increased productivity, enhanced security, and deployed efficient storage space for a specific federal government and intelligence community law enforcement agency. A secondary purpose was to design the right mix between collaborative versus focus spaces, which will define the meaning of a Balanced Office Workplace Environment (B.O.W. E.) for the agency. The level of success was determined through key design thinking methods: Fly-on-the-Wall Observations, Affinity Clustering, a Questionnaire, Contextual Inquiry, and Prototyping. Affinity Clustering of the observation data showed an equal amount of collaborative versus focus work among employees. Questionnaire results indicated above average scores in the areas of collaboration (mean score of 3.27 out of 5), productivity (M = 3.19), security (M = 3.38), and storage (M = 2.99). However, areas for improvement are needed for focus (M = 2.76) and privacy (M = 2.15). Our goal in the future is to design additional iterations of the open office workplace solution to improve focus and privacy scores while allowing for the high score in collaboration to still remain. We believe designing spaces that allow for more client involvement, flexibility, mobility, and openness, while maintaining the ability to concentrate, will allow employees to work more efficiently and effectively in the 21st century and beyond.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Ashley Koontz
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2020 17:28
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2020 17:28
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/490

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