Why Office Design Matters – Part 1 of 2

atWork Office Furniture

Often at the start of the year we hear ourselves encouraging personnel to develop new, more effective, methods of working together. Whether new methods are critical to your business’ success or not, a new office design may be a more important factor than you realize in accomplishing these changes.

“Because it is so tangible, a new or alternative office can be both the symbol and a key part of the reality of new ways of working.”
Excerpted from – Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performance and Results from Knowledge Workers by Thomas H. Davenport.

Davenport suggests a refreshed office design can be a visible signal from management that positive change is coming and management is taking active steps to foster the change.

The re-design should include a clear statement of management’s goals (e.g. fostering collaboration) and a visible collection of employee feedback and its incorporation into the resulting design.

Davenport summarized the relationship between office design and knowledge (e.g. office) worker productivity:

Knowledge workers prefer closed offices, but seem to communicate better in open ones.

Knowledge workers congregate in particular geographical areas.

Knowledge workers move around in the course of their work.

Knowledge workers collaborate.

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