双语:开放的办公室真的能增进互动吗?

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开放式办公室近些年来越来越盛行,号称能把员工从小隔间里解放出来,打破工作场所层级结构,那么实际效果如何呢?哈佛的两名研究人员对此进行了跟踪调查,结果发现……

双语:开放的办公室真的能增进互动吗?

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For the first time, scientists have measured what actually happens with face-to-face interactions when employees start to work at an open-plan office - and their results show these modern workspaces are not as collaborative as you'd think.

在开放式办公室工作真的能增加面对面交流吗?科学家首次对此展开了研究,结果显示,这种现代办公室并不像你想的那样能够增进合作。

Two researchers from Harvard Business School and Harvard University wanted to empirically test whether removing walls at a real-world workplace really does increase interactions between co-workers.

来自哈佛商学院和哈佛大学的两名研究人员想通过实证检验知道,现实世界中的办公室如果没有了“墙”,是否真的能增进同事间的互动。

"To our knowledge, no prior study has directly measured the effect on actual interaction that results from removing spatial boundaries to create an open office environment," Ethan S. Bernstein and Stephen Turban write in the paper.

伊桑•S•伯恩斯坦和史蒂芬•图尔班在论文中写道:“据我们所知,没有任何先前的研究曾直接衡量过没有空间边界的开放式办公环境对实际互动的效果。”

To that end, they approached two multinational companies that were re-organising their office spaces at the global headquarters, and enlisted small groups of employees for two studies.

为此,他们联系了两家正在重新规划全球总部办公空间的跨国公司,并征募了一小群公司职员来参与两项调查。

For eight weeks before the office redesign and eight weeks afterward, the researchers tracked employees' social interactions using sociometric badges, and location using Bluetooth sensors.

在公司重新设计办公室前的8周以及设计完办公室后的8周时间内,研究人员分别用社交计量仪和蓝牙传感器跟踪调查了职员的社交互动情况和互动位置。

This data was analysed together with email and instant messaging info from the company's servers to measure differences in how people were communicating with each other.

研究人员分析了这部分数据以及来自公司服务器的电邮和即时通讯信息,以衡量人们彼此交流的前后差异。

What they found was a pretty staggering difference in face-to-face interactions - but not in the direction you might think.

他们发现,面对面互动的前后差异相当明显,不过也许和你所想的背道而驰。

Across both experiments, employees' social interactions in person decreased by a crazy 70 percent, while emails saw an uptick by roughly 20 to 50 percent.

在两次试验中,职员面对面的社交互动减少了70%之多,而发送的电邮数量增加了约20%到50%。

So, instead of spending more time "collaborating" with co-workers in the sprawling new space where everyone could see them, people got their heads down and tried to preserve their privacy any way they could (hello, huge headphones).

也就是说,在每个人都能看见自己的开阔办公空间里,人们不是花更多时间与同事“合作”,反而是埋头于自己的事情,试图用各种方式保护自己的隐私(比如头戴式大耳机)。

According to these results, it appears that being forced into a more open-plan environment can make people switch from chatting to others in person to sending an email or using instant messaging instead.

从结果看来,被迫在更开放的办公环境内工作,会让人们将面对面聊天改为用电子邮箱或即时通讯软件发信息。

As the team notes, it's not automatically a negative thing, but it can certainly change work dynamics in an unexpected way.

研究团队指出,这不一定是坏事,但是肯定会以意想不到的方式改变工作气场。

"That can have profound consequences for how - and how productively - work gets done," the researchers conclude.

研究人员得出结论说:“这对于如何完成以及如何有效地完成工作将产生深远的影响。”

It's really starting to look like this whole open plan shtick needs more investigation. According to the team, previous studies using surveys have shown that open plan offices can have some negative psychological effects, reducing employee satisfaction, focus, and their feelings of having privacy at work.

看起来开放办公空间的噱头确实值得商榷。研究团队指出,先前的调查显示,开放式办公室会对职员的心理造成负面影响,降低职员满意度、注意力水平和职场私密感。

And don't even get us started on hot-desking.

至于公用办公桌(办公桌轮用制)就更别提了。

You know the pain if you're one of those folks whose management once shook things up by taking away your desk and forcing you to scrounge for space in a "flexible workspace" area with weird lighting fixtures and oddly shaped furniture.

如果你曾经被管理层剥夺了固定办公桌,被迫在“灵活办公区”找一张桌子用,忍受诡异的灯具和奇形怪状的桌椅,你将会深知其苦。

Studies have shown that people forced to share workspaces reported feeling marginalised, experienced more distractions, negative relationships and uncooperative behaviour, not to mention feeling like their supervisors were being less supportive.

研究显示,被迫共享办公空间的人报告称感觉受排挤,更容易分心,人际关系不佳,难以和他人合作,且会觉得上司不待见自己。

"While these [shared workspace] environments can work well for some employees – those who are highly mobile and autonomous, for instance – the research shows that many employees do not work well in these environments," organisational behaviour researcher Libby Sander wrote in The Conversation last year.

组织行为研究员莉比去年在The Conversation网站的文章中写道:“尽管共享办公环境对某些员工可能还行——比如经常走动的自主性强的人——但研究显示,许多员工在这种环境下都无法很好地工作。”

But since companies can save money on walls, doors, and general floor space by cramming us all together, we're not sure if open plan trends are going away any time soon - so it could be worthwhile to hone your skills on how to minimise distractions at work.

不过,因为大家聚在一起工作可以让公司省下墙壁、门和占地面积的钱,我们不确定开放式办公室这股风潮何时才会过去,所以,现在只能磨炼自己的专注技能,尽量不在工作时分神。

The study has been published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

该研究发表在《皇家学会哲学汇刊B辑》上。

英文来源:Science Alert

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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