Problem

Inhibition of communication between non-proximate offices

Nature:
There is evidence that there is a considerable nuisance value in people having to communicate with those in offices more than a certain distance away. If two parts of an office are too far apart, people will not move between them as often as they need to, and if they are more than one floor apart, there will be almost no communication between the two.
Incidence:
Studies in the USA have shown that two floors distance between two departments inhibits people considerably in their interchange with others. In a three-storey university building, people were asked to name all those they knew in other departments. When departments were on the same floor, respondents knew 12.2% of the people; when they were one floor apart, they knew only 8.9% and when they were two floors apart, the figure fell to only 2.2%. Other observations showed that the nuisance value of distance can begin at less than 100 feet, if people have to walk that distance every hour or two hours. A distance of 500 feet is a nuisance travelled more than once or twice a week.
Reduced By:
Open plan offices
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Subject(s):
Communication
Date of last update
21.02.1997 – 00:00 CET