Analyzing a Gap between Employee Motivation and Organization Space

Analyzing a Gap between Employee Motivation and Organization Space that affects the overall Organizational Culture


This research aims to explore and analyze the gap between the office space design and the employee’s motivation level with deep research on to finding the value of organizational space as a key factor for employee’s motivation. For this study the researcher has reviewed the good amount of literature. The researcher used both interpretivism and positivism as its research methods with both the qualitative and quantitative research designs. The researcher has taken care of all the ethical considerations and practices while at work. The data is collected through both primary and secondary methods in the form of interviews and employee productivity data and charts. The hypotheses will be tested through student’s t test and the data will be analyzed through correlation, regression and factor analysis. The proposed findings of the research are that the organization space design plays a key role for determining the motivation level of the employees.

1.0 Introduction

It has been researched that the strong organizational culture has a direct relation with the organizational productivity and innovation. And, organizational culture is directly influenced by the office design and organizational space management. (Anne Loehr, n.d.) This refers that the organizational productivity and innovation is directly influenced by the office design and organizational space management.

1.1.Research Questions

The question here arises that-

“Whether there is any gap between the motivation level of employees and office design?”

“Does an Employee motivational level towards work gets affected with the poor working conditions and office space”?

1.2 Organizational Space

Organizational space is referred to as the overall design of an office or an organization internally as well as externally. It refers to the space available for the employees to walk, to sit, ‘plug and play’ desks, leisure activities and for other purposes as required. It also includes the design of an office place in terms of color combination, fall ceilings, ventilation, flooring, cleanliness, garbage management, wallpapers and wall designs etc. For Example: A Children’s Hospital having a good play area, bright colors, cartoon characters being painted on walls, availability of toys will have better impact on a child’s recovery and overall motivation.

There have been many changes today in the face of organizational space and office designs as compared to the traditional space placements. ( 2017) Traditionally, there were no focus on aesthetics and every available space used to be engaged with something like file keeping or anything with a strong reluctance to provide a free space in an office. But, today high attention is provided towards the looks, design and aesthetics of an organization with high quality lights, AC’s, fall ceilings, floorings, wall papers and wall designs, along with a strong emphasis on the free space that provides a breathing and relaxation space to employees.

The organization space is not limited to the office design in terms of aesthetics. Apart from this, (David Craig, n.d.) a more broader approach has to be carried in order to make the work place effective, productive, innovative that could provide motivation to the employees to achieve their goals. The emphasis should be provided on the importance of people and resources connection, their radius of connections, the frequency of communication between them and different departments. Therefore, on the communications side, the organizational space should be designed as such that could reduce the wastage of time in terms of delayed communications and interactions, by placing the resources, people and departments closely who has been spotted to have the frequent and important interactions with each other.

Along with it, a wide approach should be put on the matters of whether the organization is suitable for cubicles as work stations or an ‘open plan’. The main difference between the two is that the cubicles are formal with limited interactions, group memberships and a formal communication that leads to hierarchy. Whereas, an open plan refers to informal communication, group membership, socialization and engagement at the work place.

In this research the researcher will focus on the effect of office design and organizational space on the motivation level of employees and how far they consider a good environment and ambience as a key factor towards their productivity and motivation to work better.

1.3 Problem Statement

Knowing the value of organized office space and comfortable as well as aesthetic ambience at a work place, the literature has proved its link with the increased productivity and effective communication. But, would it be having any link with the motivation of employees is a question? Or we could simply ask what level of motivation does office design gives to the employees? It could be framed like how much value does organizational space possess in terms of employee motivation?

So, the researcher is all set to view this problem statement critically and would try to find the active link between or would fill a gap between the employee motivation and organizational space that also affects the organizational culture as described in the second last paragraph of 1.2.

1.4 Objectives of the Assignment

The objectives of the study are clear and being jotted down below:

  • To measure the gap between the employee motivation and the organizational space.
  • To see the effect of aesthetic and spacious office designs on the motivation level of employees.
  • To bring the organizational work design in an integrated manner to improve the work schedule and the motivation of employees.

2.0 Literature Review

Jacob Morgan (2015) stated the characteristics of the work place and design. It is the physical ambience, people’s demographics, leisure activities, catered meals, nice ventilated Gym, office floor plan and a lounge area, to state as few. A proper care should be taken while designing the work space or an office as a small shift in the design contrary to the employee’s expectation can pose a dramatic effect on the productivity of employees. The key is to have multiple floor plans rather than focusing on a single floor plan, as adopted by the successful companies like LinkedIn, Cisco and Airbnb.

Shannon Gausepohl (2016) embarked the weakness of an open plan office where the privacy of individuals gets at halt. Due to this, many employees lose their productivity as every individual should have some of his/her privacy that should be taken care of. Morris Levy (n.d.) put up his word towards the importance of work place in one’s life. Every body works to earn living and for that purpose spends most of their time in the office. If the office environment, space and ambience is not conducive to their expectations, needs and desires, then it will certainly lay a negative effect on their productivity and innovation.

O’Neil (2008) stated that every organization should focus on having multiple work plans suited for different individuals and their different needs. This is the key to achieve highest employee productivity and satisfaction. The single work plans are monotonous and does not suit to every employee, thus reducing their productivity.

The change is the integral part of any organization. With the rise in expectations and needs, change should be fostered at several parts and time. But, employees are generally reluctant to change with respect to some fear or panic. (Allen Gerstberger, 1971) Therefore the office plan should be carefully changed and applied as it should not create a fear or panic among employees in terms of adaptation.

(Schein, 2010) The organization space design and work place should display such artifacts and values that symbolize the values and culture of an organization. The design should reveal the culture of an organization in such a way that the people out there could perceive it naturally (Harris, 2015). Max Chopovsky (n.d.) pointed out that the organization should invest in the organizational space and design as it grows in such a manner that it becomes a real manifestation of its culture.

(S. Chris Edmonds, n.d.) The organizational culture is the driving force of what is happening in a organization, whether good or bad? Organizational space and design reflects the organizational culture that in turn becomes the criteria of trust, empathy, respect and dignity between the employees in an organization. The positive environment and positive relations among the employees boosts the morale and motivation level to work harder.

Marcus Fairs (2016) has recently pointed out the strategy adopted by the It giant Google for its work place design. Google has introduces ping pong tables and slides in its every office across the globe, thus having an unbelievable negative impact on the employees productivity. This is due to the fact that the employees have started thinking their office as a playground, thus spending most of their times out there, instead of a quality and productive work. Therefore, the work place design should be balanced in approach that should be capable of keeping away the boredom of employees, but still maintaining the work as first priority.

(Haynes et al., 2000) There is lot of ambiguity towards the preference between the open plan offices or cellular ones. This confusion has led the performance of employees stuck between the two where there is attempt to match their performance with the office layout (Stallworth & Ward, 1996; Laing et al., 1998; Mawson, 2002). The motivation of the employees gets a stagnant ratio while being stuck between individual preferences. Therefore, there should be clear plan for the work space design in an organization in order to remove the confusion and boost up the morale.

There is a cost factor involved with the work space design (Gensler, 2005). The organizations with a poor work designs tend to lose on their employees productivity and hence it cost them around 135 billion pounds in Britain. In his research it has been found that better and improved working environment increases the productivity of employees by 19%. (Gensler, 2005) 79% of the employees believe the positive link between the quality of work life and their sense of job productivity. 39% people believe that the privacy and personal space accounts for good working conditions (Gensler, 2005).

Diane Hoskins (2014) stated that it is evident that the individual can produce more and efficiently when the have been given a power or autonomy to do the same. Similarly, the employees will work better and more productively when they can control their own space and maintain their privacy. Therefore, space and is well organization matters for the productivity of employees in both positive and negative manner. Whether the office space denotes an appealing aesthetic design and colors or it simple portrays or renders power to the employees, it affects the employee behavior, feeling and productivity in one or the other manner (Barclay & York, 2001, Leaman, 1993, Gaedeke, 1994).

The current study portrays the finding of a gap this literature has produced as between the organizational space design and employees motivation. Though productivity could easily deduce motivation but there is still a gap that lies of how much value does work space design puts into as an employee motivation factor.

3.0 Research Methodology

(Creswell, 2007) Most of the researcher debates whether philosophical or general are based upon ontology and Epistemology. In this report, the researcher will conduct its study on the basis of Epistemology that is the sheer application of knowledge in the field of study and research. In Epistemology, there are two philosophies (Bryman & Bell, 2015) interpretivism and positivism.

In this research report, the researcher will employ both of these philosophies as explained below:

  • Interpretivism to deduce the subjectivity by interviewing the employees of my organization about their motivation level and its connection with the office space design.
  • Positivism will be used to derive a hypothesis and a deductive reasoning to test the relationship or significance of work space design on the motivation levels of the employees.

The data collected for the above research methods would be both primary as well as secondary.

3.1 Research Design

As along with both the philosophies of Epistemology, both the approaches of research design will be implemented. The Quantitative approach will be used for positivism and the Qualitative approach will be used for interpretivism.

The qualitative research will require the close contact with the employees like through interviews to gather the data and their behavioral aspects relevant for the study (Creswell, 2007). The quantitative approach requires the data set for weekly, monthly, half yearly, or yearly productivity changes among the employees with the change or improvement in the workplace. Also, the quantification of qualitative data in the likert scale or other measuring tools will also provide relevant data for interpretivism research.

The research is also exploratory in nature as the literature gap is being filled with the help of such study. Though, a much literature is available for the link between employee productivity and the work space design. Still, the motivational aspect and work space design’s value as a factor needed to be assessed.

4.0 Research Context

The proposed research area is . It is the responsibility of the researcher to value the norms and culture of the organization by not harming anybody’s emotions, work values and work itself while collecting data and researching for the topic. The researcher should value the ethical policies and procedures of the organization and should know the relevance of the ethical considerations to be followed at a work place.

(Messick et al., 2010) The research work should be carried out within the limits of ethical practices and data protection act of the organization.

4.1 Sampling

Sampling refers to the number of employees the researcher will interview for its research out of the whole set of employees or an entire population. (Marshall, 1996) There are two types of sampling techniques: Convenience and Purposive. This research is based upon the purposive sampling as the sample will be chosen for the employees who will fit the purpose of research. For this research, the researcher will interview close to employees of .

4.2 Procedure

The data will be gathered from the employee productivity charts and through interviews. Such data will be mined thoroughly and will be tested for hypothesis. After that the data will be used for analysis in terms of correlation, regression and factor analysis in order to arrive at a conclusion.

4.3 Data Collection Methods

(Creswell, 2014) The data will be collected through both:

  • Primary method
  • Secondary method

The interviews will be conducted for 50 employees to arrive at some judgment and quant related to that in terms of percentages. As a secondary data, company’s records in terms of employee’s productivity over the years will be tested and judged as productivity is the direct outcome of motivation.

4.4 Data Analysis Methods

The data will be analyzed through hypothesis testing running a student’s t test. After that the tools such as correlation, regression and factor analysis will be run in order to identify any positive link between the motivation and office space. Also, through factor analysis the value of office space as one of the key factor towards the achievement of employee motivation will be analyzed.

5.0 Significance of Proposed Research

The research will provide a complete analysis of its work space design and its link with the employee motivation. The could work positively towards the improvement of its office space design and can achieve higher employee motivation that adds up its profits.

For researchers, it will be a good source of reference for further study.

5.1 Limitations of Assignment

The biggest limitation for this study is the ‘Time constraint’ that has limited the size of sample. The reduced size of sample makes it specific to this particular organization and cannot be generalized. The other major limitation is the lack of resources at the work place that comes under ethical considerations.

6.0 Provisional Work Schedule


Brennan, A., Chugh, J. and Kline, T. (2002). Traditional versus Open Office Design: A Longitudinal Field Assignment. Environment and Behavior, 34(3), pp.279-299.

Brill, M. (2001), “Disproving widespread myths about workplace design”, report, BOSTI Associates, Buffalo, NY.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Carnevale, D. G., & Rios, J. M. (1995). How employees assess the quality of physical work settings.

Casey, C. (1999) Come join our family: discipline and integration in corporate organisational culture, Human Relation, 3 (3): 317-39

Cocivera, T. (2011). Viewing workspace as strategic. Canadian HR Reporter, 24(8), pp. 12.

Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2014). Business research. 4th ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Cooper, D. and Schindler, P. (2014). Business research methods. 1st ed. Singapore: McGraw-Hill.

Costley, C., Elliott, G. and Gibbs, P. (2010). Doing work based research. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Haynes, B.P. (2015). The impact of office layout on productivity. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.

Harvard Business Review. (2017). Employees Perform Better When They Can Control Their Space. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].

Haynes, B.P. (2015). The impact of office comfort on productivity. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.

Loehr, A. (2017). Workplace Design Impact on Culture: Anne Loehr Interviews David Craig. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].

Office, A. (2017). A Workplace That Works: Designing an Inspiring Office. [online] Business News Daily. Available at: [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].

Fairs, M. (2017). Google has had negative effect on office design says Jeremy Myerson. [online] Dezeen. Available at: [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].

the Guardian. (2017). A well-designed environment motivates staff and can help your business thrive. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].


Ethical Work Form

This document is to be initiated by all NBS students or staff undertaking research.

Students must present this form to their Research Supervisor at the first meeting and include a copy with their final submission.

Staff must present this form to the Head of Research/Research Mentor before the research commences.

Part A: Project Detail

  1. Project title:
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  • I have read and agree to adhere to the NBS Research Ethics Procedure and the Guidance on Ethics for Researchers


STUDENT NUMBER (if applicable):



  1. Supervisor name (s):
  1. Use of human participants: Tick one of the following:
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  1. Participants: Tick the box which most accurately describes your sample:
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I consent to the aforementioned named student carrying out research on Company premises or in relation to this Company.

Senior Manager Name: ___________

Senior Manager Signature: ________

Host Company Name: ____________

  1. Compliance with the Ethics Procedures of the Host Company.

I the student have read and complied with the ethics procedures of the host company.

Signed: _______

I the Senior Manager confirm that the student has read and complied with the ethics procedures of our Company.

Signature: ________

Please include an A4 sheet to explain what you hope to achieve from the data provided on acceptance of this project.
Part B: To be completed by research supervisor/mentor.

In the case of a student, this section should be completed by your Research Supervisor.

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Supervisor/Mentor Comments: Please comment on the extent to which this proposal meets the requirements of NBS Research Ethics Procedure and the Guidance on Ethics for Researchers.

Should this proposal be considered by the Ethics Committee? Yes [ ] No [ ]

For students, referral to the Ethics Committee is at the supervisor’s discretion.

For staff, all proposals should be considered by the Ethics Committee.

If yes, please copy this form to the Ethics Committee Secretary (Debbie Christopher)

If no, please retain a copy for your records.

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Part C: To be completed by Ethics Committee Secretary

Date considered by Ethics Committee:

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