The Impact of Shared Versus Individual Office Space on Therapist Appraisal of Their Work Environment
Objective: The primary objective was to investigate the impact of shared versus individual office space on therapist appraisal of the work physical and social environment, and overall appraisal of working conditions.
Method: Therapists (n = 59) from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Western Australia were surveyed about their appraisal of the social and physical work environment, in addition to their overall appraisal of working conditions.
Results: Compared to therapists with individual offices, therapists occupying shared office space reported lower appraisal of the work physical environment and lower overall appraisal of working conditions. No difference was found between groups for appraisal of the work social environment. Additionally, when statistically controlling for office space, both the appraisal of the social and physical environment made an independent contribution to the prediction of overall work satisfaction.
Conclusion: This research reveals that shared office space can negatively impact therapist appraisal of their work environment and reduce overall appraisal of working conditions. Additionally, results reveal the high importance of the physical environment for staff satisfaction in a mental health service.