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Domesticated office: Designing to foster team culture in virtual workplaces

Fei Shao. "Domesticated office: Designing to foster team culture in virtual workplaces." MDes Thesis, University of Washington, 2021.

Remote work enables flexible time and space for knowledge workers (i.e. whose jobs involve developing and using knowledge rather than producing goods or services), and it has shown increased productivity compared to working from physical offices (Chavez-Dreyfuss, 2020). However, it challenges the social connection aspect of a workplace. In this study, I present plausible solutions and suggestions on how digital experience can help build company culture in a virtual environment, but also challenge the conventional workplace norms in a domestic space. I wish to open up the discussion of how telecommunication tools change workgroup relationships, and what unconventional workplace norms can evolve from the new situation. I also suggest that because remote working has brought out so many possibilities, future teams should consider allowing different levels of social engagement in workgroups and accommodate different living situations.

Additional information, including an essay about Shao's thesis, on the Graduate Showcase website.

Read about Shao's research in progress in her December 2020 Medium post.

Watch Shao's thesis presentation from June 4, 2021.

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