What kind of workspace suits you best? It may depend on your personality

Feb. 23, 2023
two women on laptops conversing

Where we work has a big influence on how we work – our productivity and our fundamental well-being. But a new study emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating an ideal office space, and an employee's personality may matter for what kind of space works best.

The study, published in the Journal of Research and Personality, found that people who are more extroverted are often happier and more focused in offices with open seating arrangements, at desks that aren't separated by partitions. On the other hand, people who are more introverted and tend to worry more are happier and more focused in private offices.

"This suggests that the workspace should be designed to fit the worker, and not the other way around," said study co-author Dr. Esther Sternberg, research director for the University of Arizona's Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine and director of the university's Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance.

"Our work illuminates the importance of considering both the individual’s personality and their environment in predicting important behavioral and mood outcomes, such as how happy a person is and how well a person is able to work," said study senior author Matthias Mehl, a professor in the UArizona Department of Psychology. "In this vein, we demonstrate that when employers design and allocate workspaces, it may be beneficial to take an employee-centered approach."

Read the full article from UANews here