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Abstract

The present study examined how online faculty members structure their workspace in their homes and how their work situation affects their home environment. The case study’s goal, guided by an extension of Vischer's user-centered model of the work environment, was to address this research gap through interviews and using PhotoVoice, a technique in which participants take photos and are interviewed about them. Eighteen faculty members from a large online university were recruited through ads in the faculty newsletter. The inclusion criterion was that the individual must only work online. Interested individuals completed an email interview and emailed a photo of the area they considered work. Each participant was interviewed about his or her responses and photos for 15–20 min on the telephone. Many participants consciously separated their home and workplace through either utilizing a separate room/area or maintaining a work schedule that separated work and home through time management. However, the technology required for conducting their work (e.g., computer, printer, etc.) also played a strong role in the choice of maintaining a separate workspace; especially for full-time faculty. The use of PhotoVoice offered insights into how participants perceived and thought about their workspace. Of concern, for some faculty members was the surroundings within their defined workspace; having their books available and a beautiful view from their window were mentioned.

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