Office Design: How to Build a Better Office
So why are the offices of so many companies dark, crowded, ugly or poorly designed?
Research shows that a well
Designed office is one of the easiest and most costly offices
Effective ways to retain workers and improve their productivity.
GE, Microsoft and major insurance group health companies on the West Coast are just a few major organizations that get bottom returns
Smart, line benefit for workers
Continuing to read, we will explain how companies of any size can improve performance and profits by using a revamp or relocation.
Adjust your current space goal: understand-or poorly —
You are using an existing floor plan.
Bad office layout is not natural.
Even five years ago, an office configuration suitable for the way the business is carried out may not be relevant.
Gervais Tompkin, vice president of Gensler\'s San Francisco office, said the best way to find out if your office is dysfunctional is to conduct a formal study.
His company created a \"Portrait of activity\" by tracking employees for several consecutive days, a picture of the mode of traffic around the office.
Did you do it?
The three key ways to collect information, Tompkin said, are to track the path of employees through the office;
Visit the meeting room and desk area every half hour to determine how they are used;
And ask employees to keep track of their actions and report how they spend their time.
What to look for here is: the layout of the space layout research building is to help or hinder the staff from completing the work.
Tracking workers for a few days will find wasteful movement and inefficient spatial organization.
Red flag: the collaborative space is concentrated on the far end of the building. people who work highly together will not naturally contact their colleagues on weekdays. employees will spend a lot of time in the conference room, space Use of printers, copiers and fax machines to understand how often people use existing space.
Go to the cubicle and meeting room every half hour to see what\'s going on.
Red flag: an area is always empty, and an area is always crowded. The workers are vying for certain furniture or equipment without using other equipment. Carefully observe whether the workers used their
Is the environment supporting their process or are they forced to bypass it?
Red flag: The staff meet at the coffee shop because they can\'t find the use drop-
In the space on the other floor, because the area around their desk is too wide, they take the lights from home to avoid strong fluorescence. If your research reveals some red flags, it\'s time to hire an architect and learn how redesigning can improve space efficiency.
A 2006 study by GE Commercial Finance shows that improper use of office space actually hinders the company\'s relationship with its customers.
SharonGaravel, vice president of global operations and quality for GE Capital Solutions, said that commercial customers were not satisfied with the time required for loan processing, so the financial group launched a question on how the process works
The study identified a major problem: the physical location of key employees.
The loan approval takes 22 different handovers and 2 miles walk, which means the loan approval is delayed for several months. Franchise-
Lendingoperations are distributed on two buildings with different teams
Law, sales, transaction-
Located on different floors.
\"This is mainly because we are organized by department,\" Garavel said . \".
\"We decided to organize our business in different ways.
Instead of isolating employees
GE has created a new cross-functional department.
As a result, staff no longer need to move back and forth between departments or send documents.
After the actual re-allocation of employees, the loan processing time dropped to less than a month and only 7 handover was required.
Engage your employees in process goals: Discover ahead of time what they need and keep them in the loop to avoid a bounce.
It\'s dual to involve employees in the redesign. edged sword.
On the one hand, in order to create a space that is more conducive to their work, it is essential to understand how they operate.
On the other hand, ask what they want that leads to unrealistic requirements.
When you collect input, you try to solve all the problems, but none of the designs are perfect for everyone.
Once a new design is selected, let the staff know what will happen, especially if it changes a lot.
Make sure employees understand why the company makes every specific change.
For example, if you remove people from the office and put them in the cube, remind the staff that the office now offers other benefits:
Dining area or service facilities such as concierge service, exercise bathroom shower during lunch time or better cafeteria.
Gensler\'s Tompkin says two types of redesign create \"cultural resistance\": a shift from closure to closure
The two companies are merging and creating a new culture. With anoffice-to-
In the case of Cubes, the company needs to increase the proportion of meeting rooms from one meeting seat per three people to one meeting seat per two people.
After the merger, managers should remind employees of the importance of their role, reassure them that their importance is still going on, and then provide a reasonable business for why they have to move their desks or give up space.
\"If the physical environment is not good --
It scolds, smells, or distracts workers.
The staff will not work very well.
Not many shoes-
\"Shiny will change that,\" said Tompkin . \".
\"It\'s the pyramid of Maslow --Psychology 101.
\"Tompkin refers to the hierarchy of human needs outlined by Abraham Maslow in 1943.
According to Maslow, humans seek to meet the hierarchy of the five needs, starting with the most basic physiological needs, through security, love and belonging, self-esteem and self-promotionactualization.
Tompkin asserts that employees will not be able to tap their higher self in the office if they feel unhealthy.
For more information on applying Maslow theory to business, see our book introduction video \"Peak: How Great Companies get their magic from Maslow.
\"Decide what your goals are: list the top priorities you want to redesign.
Once you \'ve discovered your biggest problem, decide which ones you want to attack.
Both Tom mpkin, director of interior architecture at Michael Willis architects, and Bill Olechnowitz, recommend that companies that evaluate the office\'s redesign project identify four or five priorities, such as enhanced collaboration or more effective use of space.
Health organization in Washington
Headquartered in insurance company with 10,000 employees in more than 50 buildings
What should the design objectives of the company be?
The company recruits employees to track their habits and finds that 40% of all compartments or offices are unoccupied at any given time.
Many of the staff are on the streets of conference rooms or Starbucks, where they can see tech companies more easily.
Others switch between multiple buildings and facilities.
Executive Director of Administrative Services Williams Biggs asked his assistant to track his whereabouts.
It turns out that he spent less than 5% of his time at the company\'s headquarters.
\"This is an epiphany for many company leaders,\" said Biggs . \".
\"Our work has moved from individual to team --based.
We need to pull the groups together loosely and tear them down, but it is difficult in our space.
According to this study, group health identified three design goals: first, more meeting space is needed for the office.
Secondly, as workers spend more and more time outside of them, the size of the compartment may be reduced.
Finally, mobile workers like Biggs need \"touch-
They can check their email there.
Mail and make phone calls when visiting different departments of the company.
In office design, architects and designers constantly re-examine the changing workplace to solve problems and meet needs.
Some of their innovations play better than others.
Here are the latest ideas on what works and what doesn\'t: If your goal is to keep employees and improve productivity: Out: corner office for executives: Executive Office inside, workers flocked to the windows instead of giving the boss all the views and natural light, putting the executive office in the center of each floor, seat ranking-and-fileworkers —
Those who spend more time at their desks
On the open space next to the window.
If your goal is to co-operate spontaneously: go out: random seats and collaboration zones
When the collaboration area is scattered between the cube clusters, the noise prevents the cube-
Residents who have completed their work.
Instead, allocate small spaces with doors-
Sometimes called \"equal foot\"
Workers can quickly squeeze together without leaving their work area or booking a meeting room.
If your goal is to move the workforce: traditional, unified
Satellites and airdrops --
Not all workers need offices of the same size
Especially those who spend a lot of time on other websites.
Make the office smaller and leave room for \"Touch\"
Provide \"hotel\" or \"hotel\" work area for visitors from other offices.
If your goal is to balance privacy and collaboration: Out: open desktop space, minimal separation: the lower cube wallstrading cubes are too isolated, but at dot-com boom —
Only use Minimum partition to separate staff-
Proved too noisy.
Companies can simply reduce cubic walls from 6 feet to 4, providing enough privacy and visibility.
Ask yourself, it\'s time to move the target: weigh the advantages of redesign or \"regrouping\" with moving to a bigger place.
Once you have identified the lack of logic in your workplace, it is time to evaluate what can be done.
Depending on the scope of your question, your imagination and your budget, the next thing you have to decide is whether it\'s better to recreate the existing space or move.
\"Usually stay where they are as long as possible.
It\'s a very expensive move, \"said Charlotte Vader Holt, creative director at tanggram Studios, California. based office-
Furniture design has developed headquarters for companies such as Red Bull and NeoPets.
Wiederholt said that when companies explode at the seams, the solution is usually to \"restack\": regroup the compartments into smaller spaces --such as a six-by-
Six instead of eight. by-eight —
So that more people can sit on the floor.
Of course, there are also disadvantages to large-scale redesign.
They are usually so aggressive, noisy, lengthy and confusing that a company may need temporary space during design execution, which is why some companies decide to move to pre-configured spaces than to pass through the area
Wiederholt says companies that now know they control the growth model usually have access to short-term leases --
This means it is easier to leave the crowded space than in the past.
When are you going?
Experts say that if you still don\'t have the excess 5 to 10% unused square feet after restacking, you may need to move.
Similarly, Gensler architect Tompkin said that if it is not suitable for architecture on the most basic level,
Temperature control, air quality or lighting-
A company is renting instead of owning, and moving can be the only way to solve these problems.
Technically, how many offices do you need?
Here are the recent guidelines for two facility experts
Executive office space of the International Institute of facilities management: 241 square feet (
Down from 291 square feet in 1987)
Senior Professional: 98 square feet call center staff: 50 square feetCambridge, Massachusetts. )
President/CEO/Chairman: Vice President, 250 to 400 square feet: 150 to 250 square feet executive: 100 to 150 square feet staff: 80 to 125 square feet meeting room: 25 to 30 square feet per person (
15 square feet per person (theater seats)
Lunch Room: 15 square feet per person with food-
About a preparation space
The third reception area in the dining area: 150 to 350 square feet of feetKeep TweakingGoal: improve your design over time by constantly asking for feedback and adjustments.
After the office renovation, it was easy for the company to sit down and be happy that they were \"done.
But over time, bigger challenges may need to be addressed.
If the employee does not accept the new design after a few months, you cannot force it.
The final solution may be to use unused areas for other purposes.
The best way is to acknowledge the issues and explain how you plan to deal with them.
Remind employees that this does not mean that the design is a failure: it is an attitude that requires a large-scale, expensive overhaul in five or ten years.
Continuous adjustment is a healthier, cheaper and more flexible way to keep the space up to date.
Of course, some of the difficulties of adjustment are psychological, not physical.
This is especially correct if the company\'s office design or relocation is carried out after the merger or acquisition
The combination of cultural and physical space changes can upset employees.
Architect olechnowitz says HR may need to be involved in order to massage the self that is used to a larger or more luxurious space.
In a recent report called the innovative workplace strategy, the United StatesS.
The General Administration of Government has provided a list of \"signs of productive workplaces.
\"If you\'re after overseeing the redesign
Mortem, or if you plan to see how the workplace continues to function on a regular basis over the next few quarters, here is a list of elements that GSA recommends checking: Space equity: does the worker have enough space to complete the task?
Health: Does the workplace provide clean air and water, plenty of manual and natural light, and freedom not to be disturbed by noise and smell?
Flexibility: can the workplace be adjusted quickly to suit the industry
Comfort: Can workers adjust the level of light, temperature, furniture and sound to their preferences?
Connection: Can on-and off-
Do site staff share the same network and data and communicate easily?
Do workers who often change their working mode have connections?
For example, working from home, rotating between offices in the \"hotel\" cubicle?
Reliability: technical system and physical factory system (
Hot, cold, water)
Reliable and consistent?
Does it need to be upgraded as the office continues to expand?
Sense of Place: Does the decoration and atmosphere of the workplace reflect the company\'s brand or mission?
Does the workplace create a culture suitable for working there?