Workplace or workspace?
“What is the actual difference between workplace and workspace?” A question that pops up frequently amongst employees, HR managers and even designers and architects. Let’s face it, they sure sound similar and we very often use the two terms interchangeably. It seems no one is quite sure what the exact difference is. However, it is very important to understand them both and keep them defined before redesigning either.
What's the difference between workplace and workspace?
Let’s dive right in. Workplace is the literal physical location you go to, to work, such as the building, the lobby, your office, your desk, and it embodies the employee experience and organizational culture.1
It is a foundational support for you to be able to do your work, however, it is not the place where your actual work is done, because this is called workspace which is closely related to IT.1 You can transform any place you work at, for instance at work, on the train or on the grass in the park, into your own personal workspace”.
To clarify or confuse you, even more, digital workplace is concerned with for instance creating digital meeting rooms, which is basically the digital version of the physical workplace. In turn, workspace is a component of this digital workplace.1
Workspace can also be called the workstation where your work is done.1 Workspaces can actually include nonhuman digital agents, such as a software where you plan your weekly conference calls or that very important client meeting.1
“The workplace is where you go to work; the workspace is where you do your work”.
In essence, the workplace is where you go to work the workspace is where you do your work. While they are both constantly evolving and can both be continuously improved. It is essential to understand both, and their differences and distinction, before optimizing either.
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1 Bicknell, H. (2017, October 31). 5 Ways to Distinguish the Workplace from the Workspace | Lakeside Software. Retrieved October 29, 2018, from https://www.lakesidesoftware.com/blog/5-ways-distinguish-workplace-workspace
2 Vischer, J., & Wifi, M. (2017). The effect of Workplace Design on Quality of Life at Work. In Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Research (1st ed.). London: Springer