Modeling Social Interactions in Real Work Environments

Vanini, Salvatore and Gallucci, Dario and Garg, Kamini and Giordano Cremonese, Silvia and Mirata, Victoria and Bettoni, Marco (2015) Modeling Social Interactions in Real Work Environments. In: HotPlanet 2015 - 6th International Workshop on Hot Topics in Planet-Scale Measurement, 7th September 2015, Paris. (Submitted)

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We present a study for modeling the behavioral patterns of employees and keeping track of the social interactions among people in a real work environment. The main advantage of our approach to capture social interactions in a work environment is the use of on-the-shelf tools and devices - like smartphones available on the market - and the utilization of the discovered patterns for the optimum distribution of employees in a office building. We carried out an experiment in our building at Fernfachhochschule Schweiz and captured data about physical proximity, virtual interactions (i.e., email exchange) and individual performance satisfaction of 20 employees for 8 working days, during their working hours. The objective of the experiment was to investigate the interaction patterns of employees in relation to four aspects: quantity, space, performance and organization. Besides confirming the existence of different social interaction types, we also provide insights in how distance between office spaces affects type and amount of social interaction. Further, we describe the in influence of contacts among workers on their performance. Finally, our analysis emphasizes the importance of an employee's role in terms of number of physical and virtual interactions.

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