1st Edition

Creating Emotionally Intelligent Workspaces
A Design Guide to Office Chemistry

ISBN 9781138602472
Published September 10, 2019 by Routledge
118 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Emotions in the workplace have until recently been seen simply as a distraction. We often think of work as rational, logical and non-emotional. But organisations are waking up to the key role of emotions and affect at work. Emotions influence how we make decisions, how we relate with one another and how we make sense of our surroundings.

Whilst organisations are slowly embracing the pivotal role of emotions, designers and managers of workplaces have been struggling to keep up. New insights from hard sciences such as neuropsychology are presenting a radically different interpretation of emotions. Yet workplace designers and facilities managers still rely on measuring non-specific states such as satisfaction and stress.

In this book we attempt to capture modern-day interpretations of emotion, looking at emotion in terms of transactions and processes rather than simple cause and effect. We entertain the idea of an ‘emotionally intelligent building’ as an alternative to the much-hyped intelligent building. The assertion is that we should create environments that are emotionally intelligent. Rather than focusing on the aptitudes or shortcomings of individuals at work, we should place closer attention on the office environment. It’s not that we are emotionally disabled – it’s the environment that disables us! The ability of you and me to interpret, control and express emotions may not simply be a result of our own make-up. A radically different outlook considers how our workspace and workplace debilitates or enables our emotional understanding.

In the modern workplace there are many innovations that can undermine our emotional intelligence, such poorly implemented hot-desking or lean environments. Contrariwise there are key innovations such as Activity Based Working (ABW) that have the potential to enhance our emotional state. Through a series of unique case studies from around the world, we investigate key concepts that can be used by designers and facilities managers alike. No longer should designers be asked to incorporate emotional elements as intangible un-costed ‘add-ons’. This book provides a shot in the arm for workplace design professionals, pointing to a new way of thinking based on the emotional intelligence of the workplace.

Table of Contents

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction 
Leveraging the power of emotion 
What do we mean by emotional intelligence? 
Feelings or emotions? 
From ‘know-how’ to ‘know who’ 

Chapter 2: Understanding emotions in the workplace 
The ABC of the human mind 
Emotion in stages 
Types of emotion 
Positive psychology 
Emotions in practice 
Emotion, mood and temperament 
Emotion and the environment 

Chapter 3: Can a workspace motivate us? 
Form follows function 
Form follows emotion 
Evolution of the office 
What makes people tick? 
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 
Physiological needs 
Safety needs 
Affiliation and belongingness needs 
Status and esteem needs 
Criticisms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 
ERG Theory 

Chapter 4: The many faces of the Intelligent Building 
The death of permanence 
Layers within layers 
The emergence of the intelligent building (IB) 
The High-Tech Building 
The Flexible Building 
The Interoperable Building 
The Green Building 
The Arrival of the ‘Sentient Building’ 
On collision 
Emotion detection 

Chapter 5: The Emotionally Intelligent Building 
Defining emotional intelligence 
Can a workspace have emotional intelligence? 
Ability Model 
Mixed models 
Defining the Emotionally Intelligent Workplace 
Making sense of it all 
The Three Dimensions of Workspaces 
The green bus 
Putting the pieces together 
Emotional Mechanisms 
Creating the emotional palette 
An emotionally intelligent work setting 

Chapter 6: Emotion and the instrumental workspace 
Understanding the instrumental perspective 
The non-territorial office 
Laying down the law 
Fitting the person to the workplace 
User-centred design 
Nomad or vagrant? 
Replacing physical walls with psychological walls 
The emergence of Activity Based Working (ABW) 
The truly territorial office 
Behaviour Change 

Chapter 7: Emotion and the aesthetic workspace 
Being there 
Aesthetics and the senses 
Aesthetics and emotions 
Biophilia and Biomorphic design 
Neuroaesthetics and Neuroarchitecture 

Chapter 8: Emotion and the symbolic workspace 
What is a symbol? 
Symbolism and the organisation 
The production of space 
Workplace Identity 
Liminal space 
Investigating a ‘crime scene’ 
The IKEA Affect 
Our Biological Wi-Fi 
High-trust culture 

Chapter 9: Conclusions 

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Edward Finch is a freelance ‘thought leadership’ author. He obtained his PhD from the University of Reading in 1989 and was Professor in Facilities Management at Salford University (2008–2011). He acted as Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Facilities for 15 years. His writing challenges technological myopia in the workplace, suggesting that we also need to understand what it means to be human.

Guillermo Aranda-Mena is Associate Professor at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and Visiting Professor of Architecture at Politecnico di Milano, UNESCO Chair in Mantua. In 2003 he completed his PhD at the University of Reading and has since collaborated with numerous universities around the world. He continues to travel widely and divides his time between Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico, Italy and Melbourne, where he currently resides with his partner Dee and son Memo.