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Thinking activity-based work environment throughout situated acceptance

Chiara Lai (Laboratoire CRTD, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris, France)
Marc-Eric Bobillier Chaumon (Laboratoire CRTD, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris, France)
Jacqueline Vacherand-Revel (Ecole Centrale de Lyon, Ecully, France)
Audrey Abitan (Colliers International, Levallois-Perret, France)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 10 November 2020

Issue publication date: 4 March 2021




This paper aims to focus on activity-based workplaces, which offer a diversity of typologies and configurations which, instead of being attributed to users, are shared according to the needs of their activities. Indeed, this paper questions the way these activity-based workplaces configure the ways in which individuals and collectives carry out their activity.


To do so, this paper established a two-phase methodology. Three days of observation amid three different units evolving in activity-based workplaces have helped us to identify the uses that emerged from these spatial typologies. Then, a set of two interviews with eight participants have been conducted based on the four dimensions of the situated acceptance model (Bobillier Chaumon, 2013) and on picture elicitation.


The results allow us to understand how activity-based workspaces can be considered as artefacts for the activity that needs to be appropriated to allow the worker to realise his activity.

Research limitations/implications

The results provide an overview of the social and psychological consequences of activity-based workspaces on workers, their work collective and their activity. Thus, the conclusions can be mobilised in activity-based real estate projects, for example, during the design stage.


This research conducted with a situated approach based upon the study of the development of the activity proposes a change from the usual managerial approach about these activity-based workplaces, which prescribe an ideal way of working within the workplace.



Lai, C., Bobillier Chaumon, M.-E., Vacherand-Revel, J. and Abitan, A. (2021), "Thinking activity-based work environment throughout situated acceptance", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 10-25.



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