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Article

Andrew Laing

Suggests that the trend towards desk sharing is the result of theneed to think of the office as a full‐time productive resource. Presentsspace occupancy survey and several…

Abstract

Suggests that the trend towards desk sharing is the result of the need to think of the office as a full‐time productive resource. Presents space occupancy survey and several concepts of space sharing. Examines cases where innovative desk sharing solutions have actually been implemented. Considers the contradictory implications of desk sharing and the future of the office in terms of new locations, new technology, new forms of organisation, increasing support space, raising productivity, and finally new forms of facilities management.

Details

Facilities, vol. 8 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Book part

Matthew R. Griffis

This exploratory study, a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Western Ontario in 2013, examines the materially embedded relations of power between library…

Abstract

This exploratory study, a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Western Ontario in 2013, examines the materially embedded relations of power between library users and staff in public libraries and how building design regulates spatial behavior according to organizational objectives. It considers three public library buildings as organization spaces (Dale & Burrell, 2008) and determines the extent to which their spatial organizations reproduce the relations of power between the library and its public that originated with the modern public library building type ca. 1900. Adopting a multicase study design, I conducted site visits to three, purposefully selected public library buildings of similar size but various ages. Site visits included: blueprint analysis; organizational document analysis; in-depth, semi-structured interviews with library users and library staff; cognitive mapping exercises; observations; and photography.

Despite newer approaches to designing public library buildings, the use of newer information technologies, and the emergence of newer paradigms of library service delivery (e.g., the user-centered model), findings strongly suggest that the library as an organization still relies on many of the same socio-spatial models of control as it did one century ago when public library design first became standardized. The three public libraries examined show spatial organizations that were designed primarily with the librarian, library materials, and library operations in mind far more than the library user or the user’s many needs. This not only calls into question the public library’s progressiveness over the last century but also hints at its ability to survive in the new century.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-744-3

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Book part

Heather Groves Hannan

Merging library traffic from dispersed service points into a combined services desk is not new, and many reasons prompt this move. George Mason University, Virginia’s…

Abstract

Purpose

Merging library traffic from dispersed service points into a combined services desk is not new, and many reasons prompt this move. George Mason University, Virginia’s largest public research institution, combined a total of 10 service desks located in four libraries on three distributed campuses. To consolidate services and reduce costs, the Mason Libraries established a “one-stop” service point in each library. With the goal of “one-stop” service point in each facility, the Mason Libraries recrafted physical spaces, reviewed policies, procedures, and workflows as well as revised staff roles and responsibilities.

Methodology/approach

This chapter explores why institutions embark on redesigning the traditional library service desk; discusses how changing service needs impact desk space; and addresses the effect on public services personnel. Observations are based on highlights from the evolution of George Mason University Libraries’ goal of a “one-stop” service point in each library to provide more efficient and consistent user-focused interactions and services.

Findings

As a manager of one of the facilities, the author provides insights on achieving a “one-stop” service point.

Originality/value

This chapter considers library staff needs, in concert with internal effort to not only refine user services influencing changes, but also revisit policies, procedures, and workflows to align staff roles and responsibilities. Mason Libraries is one of a few university library systems trying to implement single service points in all libraries.

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Book part

K. Megan Sheffield, Susan L. Silver and Lily Todorinova

The case study in this chapter describes the planning and implementation of a single service desk or “one desk” model, merging the circulation and reference desks at a…

Abstract

The case study in this chapter describes the planning and implementation of a single service desk or “one desk” model, merging the circulation and reference desks at a large academic library. The transition to a single service desk model was proposed as a way to utilize library staff more efficiently and effectively. The project included a literature review, interviews with libraries that had recently moved to a one-desk model, and a recommendation that included a method as well as timeline for implementation. As a result of the recommendation, three committees were formed to lead the transition, each with representation from both the circulation and reference departments. One committee oversaw the physical implementation and assessment, while the second committee created training program for all staff teaching core competencies for both reference and circulation. The third committee recruited student peer research leaders as part of a pilot program for student assistants. Through the implementation process, the chairs of the three committees concluded that implementing a single service desk involved much more than just moving furniture and relocating equipment. Combining two departments with distinct organizational cultures was the key to making the transition successful. The details of the implementation can be used as a model for other libraries of any type contemplating a similar transition.

Details

Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-054-3

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Article

Kendall Goodrich, Mark Benden, James Munch and Wakiuru Wamwara

This study aims to examine the impact of college students’ health and wellness orientations on the perceived importance of health benefits for an innovative new brand of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impact of college students’ health and wellness orientations on the perceived importance of health benefits for an innovative new brand of standing desk, which is hypothesized to positively affect students’ attitudes and intentions. Research in this domain for the college student market is sparse.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted among business students at a large Midwestern US University, with class credit offered for completion. Of the 325 students given the opportunity to participate, 210 completed the survey.

Findings

Health motivation is positively related to calorie reduction importance, whereas wellness orientation is positively related to back health and cognitive enhancement. Calorie reduction and potential cognitive benefits significantly affect attitudes toward standing desks, which positively impact intentions to use, pay a school usage fee and buy the product.

Research limitations/implications

Different health orientation factors are associated with specific health benefits, providing greater insight into consumer attitudinal motivations for health-related products. Future research can further evaluate the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

Marketers can tailor more effective communications based on underlying consumer motivations for health-related product benefits, resulting in better marketing outcomes.

Social implications

Obesity is a growing societal issue, which could be ameliorated by improved daily behaviors, including the use of standing desks to assist in countering sedentarism.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, neither academic research has yet examined standing desk purchase decision factors for the college student market, nor the effects of different health orientations on perceived health benefits.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article

Amira Mohamed Eladly, Mohamed Gaber Abou-Ali, Aida Mohamed Sheta and Sherwet Hussein EL-Ghlomy

The apparel industry is a labor-intensive industry, which depends mainly on the performance of the worker. The purpose of this study is to present an ergonomic redesign of…

Abstract

Purpose

The apparel industry is a labor-intensive industry, which depends mainly on the performance of the worker. The purpose of this study is to present an ergonomic redesign of the sewing machine workstation, with different sewing table heights and inclination angles, based on the operator’s anthropometric data.

Design/methodology/approach

A flexible ergonomic sewing table has been designed, four main workstation-setting factors were studied; sewing desk inclination angles – X_1, height – X_2, sewing machine type – X_3 and operator’s body mass index (BMI) – X_4, with three levels for each factor, except sewing machine type, which only has two levels. The study was undertaken to specify the limitations and advantages of each combination tested. Different measurement techniques were used; subjective information, production rates – P, working postures (head, neck and trunk inclination angles in the kinematic stage) were measured.

Findings

Sewing operators’ sitting posture angles in the kinematic stage were affected more or less by their anthropometric measurements and the type of sewing machine. These two factors should be taken into consideration when ergonomically redesigning the sewing machine workstation.

Practical implications

A new ergonomically redesigned sewing machine table can be incorporated into garment factories, taking into consideration the BMI of the operators to improve their productivity and reduce musculoskeletal disorder complaints due to incorrect operators’ posture.

Originality/value

An important correlation was found between the sewing operator’s anthropometric body measurement – BMI and the type of sewing machine (with significant R^2 = 0.8385 and 0.9764 with both the head and neck inclination angles O_H, O_N, respectively).

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

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Article

Jennifer Hall, Tess Kay, Alison K. McConnell and Louise Mansfield

Prolonged workplace sitting can harm employee health. Sit-stand desks are a potential workplace health initiative that might reduce and break up the time office-based…

Abstract

Purpose

Prolonged workplace sitting can harm employee health. Sit-stand desks are a potential workplace health initiative that might reduce and break up the time office-based employees spend sitting in the workplace. However, little is known about the feasibility and acceptability of providing sit-stand desks. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study sought stakeholder employee views surrounding sit-stand desk implementation within two UK-based non-profit organisations with open-plan offices. This paper draws on qualitative semi-structured interviews with 26 stakeholder employees and 65 days of participant observations. Data were analysed using thematic analysis, and organisational cultural theory framed the study.

Findings

Stakeholders employees’ positioning of sit-stand desks as a workplace health initiative reflected their perceptions of the relationship between sit-stand desk provision, employee health and organisational effectiveness. Perceptions were shaped by the nature and context of the organisation and by occupation-specific processes. Relatively fixed (e.g. organisational structure) and modifiable (e.g. selecting products compatible with the environment) factors were found to restrict and facilitate the perceived feasibility of implementing sit-stand desks.

Practical implications

The findings offer several recommendations for workplaces to improve stakeholder employee attitudes towards sit-stand desk provision and to increase the ease and efficiency of implementation.

Originality/value

Whilst extant literature has tended to examine hypothetical views related to sit-stand desk provision, this study consulted relevant stakeholders following, and regarding, the sit-stand desk implementation process.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article

Peter Benjamin Cooper, Konstantinos Maraslis, Theo Tryfonas and George Oikonomou

The purpose of this paper is to develop a model to harness occupancy sensing in a commercial hot-desking environment. Hot-desking is a method of office resource management…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a model to harness occupancy sensing in a commercial hot-desking environment. Hot-desking is a method of office resource management designed to reduce the real estate costs of professional practices. However, the shortcoming is often in the suitability and appropriateness of allocated work environments. The Internet of Things could produce new data sets in the office at a resolution, speed and validity of which that they could be factored into desk-allocation, distributing seats based on appropriate noise levels, stay length, equipment requirements, previous presence and proximity to others working on the same project, among many others.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilises primary data from a commercial office environment in Central London (numerical building system data and semi-structured interviews) to feed a discrete events simulator. To test the hypothesis, the authors look at the potential for intelligent hot-desking to use “work type” data to improve the distribution of individuals in the office, increasing productivity through the creation of positive “work type environments” – where those working on specific tasks perform better when grouped with others doing the same task. The simulation runs for a typical work day, and the authors compare the intelligent hot-desking arrangement to a base case.

Findings

The study shows that sensor data can be used for desk allocation in a hot-desking environment utilising activity-based working, with results that outweigh the costs of occupancy detection. The authors are not only able to optimise desk utilisation based on quality occupancy data but also demonstrate how overall productivity increases as individuals are allocated desks of their preference as much as possible among other enabling optimisations that can be applied. Moreover, the authors explore how an increase in occupancy data collection in the private sector could have key advantages for the business as an organization and the city as a whole.

Research limitations/implications

The research explores only one possible incarnation of intelligent hot-desking, and the authors presume that all data have already been collected, and while not insurmountable, they do not discuss the technical or cultural difficulties to this end. Furthermore, final examination of the productivity benefit – because of the difficulty in defining and measuring the concept – is exploratory rather than definitive. This research suggests that not only human-centric smart building research should be prioritised over energy or space-based themes but also large-scale private sector collection of occupancy data may be imminent, and its potential should be examined.

Practical implications

Findings strongly suggest that the hot-desking may cost more in lost productivity than it gains in reduced rental costs and as such many commercial offices should revaluate the transition, particularly with a view to facilitate intelligent hot-desking. Companies should begin to think strategically about the wider benefits of collecting occupancy data across their real estate portfolio, rather than reviewing use cases in silos. Finally, cities should consider scenarios of widespread collection of occupancy data in the private sector, examining the value these data have to city systems such as transport, and how the city might procure it for these ends.

Social implications

This paper raises positive and negative social concerns. The value in occupancy data suggested herein, bringing with it the implication it should be collected en mass, has a noted concern that this brings privacy concerns. As such, policy and regulation should heed that current standards should be reviewed to ensure they are sufficient to protect those in offices from being unfairly discriminated, spied or exploited through occupancy data. However, the improved use of occupancy data improving workplaces could indeed make them more enjoyable places to work, and have the potential to become a staple in company’s corporate social responsibility policies.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need for better understanding the specific uses of occupancy data in the smart building mantra. Several sources suggest the current research focus on energy and rental costs is misguided when the holistic cost of an office is considered, and concepts related to staff – although less understood – may have an order of magnitude bigger impact. This research supports this hypothesis through the example of intelligent hot-desking. The value of this paper lies in redirecting industry and research towards the considering occupancy data in smart building uses cases including – but not limited to– intelligent hot-desking.

Details

Facilities, vol. 35 no. 13/14
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

Timothy Peters

This paper is a case study of the decision at Central Michigan University to take librarians off the reference desk. Departmental data on reference desk traffic and other…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is a case study of the decision at Central Michigan University to take librarians off the reference desk. Departmental data on reference desk traffic and other ancillary functions of the reference department was used to make the case for removing the librarians from the desk. Data collected since the decision was made has supported the decision to move to an on-call reference desk staffing model. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The department reviewed and analyzed data on reference desk transactions of all types from previous years to inform its decision making. Data trends and an analysis of the nature of the questions asked at the reference desk were instrumental in the analysis.

Findings

The department determined that the statistical data justified the removal of the librarians from the reference desk. Data collected since moving to the on-call model supports the earlier decision.

Originality/value

This paper provides libraries considering their own desk staffing models with a discussion of another library’s decision-making process and evidence of a successful migration to a new reference service model.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article

Amy Gratz and Julie Gilbert

The purpose of this paper is to investigate student use of the reference desk at a residential college, so that academic libraries can better understand the role of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate student use of the reference desk at a residential college, so that academic libraries can better understand the role of in‐person assistance to meet the information needs of students.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey respondents answered open‐ended questions related to ways they ask for help in the library; data were coded and analyzed for salient trends. Photo diary entries and interviews with smaller groups of students were also used to illuminate findings.

Findings

Students express a need for the kind of help provided by the reference desk in terms of how students use and describe the desk. Usage patterns can also be predicted in terms of class year, gender, and major, indicating a way for the library to provide specific outreach to students who underutilize the reference desk.

Research limitations/implications

The study investigates student use of the reference desk at a single institution. The unique characteristics of the institution might limit the implications that can be drawn from the study's conclusions for institutions that are not residential and do not serve a primarily traditional‐aged college population.

Originality/value

As information and our users move increasingly online, libraries must consider the value of reference desks. Findings at a residential institution demonstrate the value‐added benefit of this service in helping students with their research.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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