Environmental Psychology Article Analysis The article is on differences in perception of noise and privacy in different office types. It is written by Bodin Danielsson in 2008, Sweden.
It looks on how offices are structured differently and functions differently and how this may affect the way the employees work in them and the way they are disturbed by different noises. This may affect the employee’s psychology and even their satisfaction in these offices. In the article, different office designs are used and the employees rate their satisfaction these offices give them. From the results, the paper then focuses on the two types of privacy; visual and acoustic privacy and what people do to control it. There was is a difference in the perception in relation to the architectural and the functional features of these offices used in the study. Age, gender and job ranks, were not considered as the major contributor of these differences in the perception.
Noise is an example of environmental stressor and can act as a threat to the environment thus affecting the people who are in it. It should be considered as a factor that can affect the environment satisfaction greatly if left attempts are not employed to control it. (Carlio, J. and Gardener, D. 1992). Environmental noise can be caused by machines, man or even animals and this type of noise affects the activity of lives in it. This kind of unwanted noise can affect the psychology of man one of the effects being annoyance.
In environmental psychology, relationship between humans and what surrounds them is keenly looked at and it thus solves existing environmental problems that are at a position to affect the wellbeing of an individual in the society.
In shared work spaces, noise is considered the most environmental stressor. It is really hard to control noise if it is in open environments for example in the open plan offices which have recently evolved due to lack of space and it flexibility. (Bell et al 2001).
Noise has got very many effects on employees in an office. Some of these effects are; arousal, distraction, fatigue, and even stress. Due to these effects, an employee ends up with work overload which is no healthy in any organization and contributed to poor psychology. For example, if one is distracted he can not concentrate on the task he is meant to perform and this means that he is not going to finish it in time. When this happens repeatedly, one has an overload of unfinished work.
An individuals self identity is lost because one looses control over oneself in the process. Noise and crowding are the major source of loss of privacy in open plan offices where one cannot limit the number looking at them and can’t control on who to talk to and what to listen thus losing the control of visual and acoustic privacy.
Occupational exposure to noise has negative effects that are negative health wise. Low noise levels will have no impacts on the psychosocial job stresses and therefore should be kept this low. For example in a cell- office, one is able to control her privacy because the number of people in there is reduced and there is minimal noise from workmates.
Bell, P. et al (2001). Environmental psychology. (5th edition). USA: Harcourt college.
Carlio, J. and Gardener, D(1992). Direct and interactive effects of the physical work environment on attitude. Environment and behavior, 24 (5) 321- 326.
Bodin, D. (2008). Differences in perception of noise and privacy in different office types rosenlundsgatan 14, 118 53 stockholm: Sweden.