Constructing productivity : Investigating the types of spaces preferred for a range of work tasks

P Luscuere, G. Mangone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


The type and range of tasks that knowledge workers conduct has received considerable attention by a myriad of research domains over the last century. However, the relative value of various typical workspace types for performing a variety of typical work tasks has received relatively scant research attention. In addition, existing research indicates that natural environments may be beneficial spaces for conducting a diverse range of work tasks, yet the relative value of conducting work tasks in natural environments compared to typical work environments is still not well understood. To this end, this paper reviews the results of a survey of knowledge workers that was conducted in Delft, The Netherlands in 2012. The primary goal of the survey was to identify the types of work environments that promote the performance of knowledge workers, in regards to a diverse range of work tasks. Participants were presented with images of different physical environments, including typical work environments, such as an open floor workspace, cellular office, and lounge, as well as several different natural environments. The participants then ranked the different physical environments in descending order, from best to worst, in terms of their perception of how well the workspaces promoted their performance on the work tasks. The results of the survey indicated that knowledge workers prefer a much broader and diverse range of work environments than are currently provided in office buildings. Notably, natural environments were found to be considerably more preferred than traditional work spaces for conducting a number of work tasks, particularly creative work tasks, such as brainstorming. In addition, at least one type of natural environment was ranked as at least the third best work environment for every work task evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationARCC 2015 Future of Architectural Research
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Worker Performance
  • Creativity
  • Plants
  • Office Design

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