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Trust Me! Exploring the impact of trust in the Workplace

Posted/ 19 November 2013

A Geyer, Swinburne University of Technology and Great Place To Work research collaboration.


Download the full Trust Research FERTILIZER #4 here.


Workstyles are evolving; many no longer require employees to be physically present in a building.


It is these highly mobile workstyles that are of particular interest, especially since they are no longer confined to tech savvy companies and are being adopted by mainstream professional organisations around the globe.


What drives their success and how can we build trust with people we can’t see every day? What role, if any, does the physical environment play in establishing and maintaining organisational trust?


Today trust is recognised by many organisations as a strategic and critical competence, viewed as an important contributor to personal interactions, acceptance of new technologies, work processes and new ideas that affect workplace performance. Despite its importance, most existing research on organisational trust comes from a business, management or psychological perspective.


There has been a lack of research that explores the relationship that might exists between the physical environment and organisational trust. This research initially aimed to prove causality between the spatial attributes of a workplace and the level of organisational trust present.


We had hoped to achieve this by testing hypotheses relating specifically to space and trust, emanating from the overarching concept that the physical environment effects the building of trust in organisations.


However, for reasons explained above, through the research we recognised that causality would more than likely be impossible to prove.


As a result, the goal of the research evolved to improve our understanding of the role design plays in fostering and maintaining organisational trust; developing our understanding of people’s relationship with space and how workplace design can be improved by promoting attributes that foster trust building and reducing those that hinder it.


Fertilizer #4 was authored and published by Geyer. If you would like any further information or details regarding Geyer’s research initiatives, please contact