How people work in pairs (Steelcase study)

While sorting my email, I stumbled across an email from the Steelcase newsletter in which they describe the next evolution of the personal workspace. The article describes how psychological and behavioral insights can be applied to workplace design. A nice version of the paper is available as a pdf here. The most relevant part (to my interest) is the description of the "8 Ways Pairs Work" (ther work a lot on categorisation as in how people behave in conferences which is quite informative foor designers:

  1. Talking Over the Fence: Unplanned, informal sharing across a panel or work space. Two individual spaces become one larger dyadic space as people share verbal and written information. Each person stays in his or her own personal work space, as these sessions range from one minute up to a half-hour.
  2. Progressive Dinner: Starts as a dyad, with a visitor seeking information. It quickly changes to three or more and then back to two, as people walking or sitting nearby join the party. Each person shares knowledge and ideas. The host often loses control as the group grows, until the interaction moves with the initial guest to a different space.
  3. Advise and Consent – Short Term A short, unplanned mentoring session. “Student” usually hosts the “teacher.” The host controls the computer, which supports learning by doing. Usually, the visitor will stand behind the host, which means a short visit, but the situation can feel like “backseat driving.”
  4. Advise and Consent – Long Term A planned learning session of an hour or more. Either the “student” or the “teacher” may host. When the teacher is the visitor, tools (papers, books, etc.) are usually brought along. Visitor needs a place to camp.
  5. Pumping Ideas: A co-creation dyad. Each person needs equal footing. These tend to be long, planned sessions and take place in a traditional “I” space. Can also involve “secondary guesting,” where a guest engages with others in the host’s space. The borrowed work space becomes a temporary home base for the guest.
  6. Two for the Road: When a dyad moves out of an individual work space to continue the interaction, such as when sharing a presentation. They can move to a variety of spaces: a large conference room, an enclave/mid-sized space, or even a traditional “I” space. These planned sessions are long-term and often require tools such as a laptop and projector.
  7. Reluctant Host: Unplanned, doesn't take long, and the host wants it that way. The visitor stays standing, while the host stays seated and maintains control of his or her workspace.
  8. Mi Casa, Su Casa: Tends to be unplanned, frequent and short in duration. Host is often a support person for the guest or a close co-worker. Typically, the host offers up temporary ownership of the tools and space to enable faster progress.

Why do I blog this? this kind of typology is alway interesting, it might help for our project that concerns interactive table.