While recently reading a Steelcase Inc. 360 Research report on “The Next Office,” I took note of the following:
• 91 percent of employees say it’s important to have a space where they can recharge and reenergize—but 40% say they don’t have them.
• Research shows that if people have to walk more than 65 feet to see someone, they’ll send an email instead.
• 95 percent of employees say they need space for focused work—40 percent say they don’t have them.
• Research shows workers switch between a variety of physical postures during their work – if the space lets them.
Is your office space promoting productivity? It is inspiring your staff? Could it use a major overhaul? But, are you confused by the many options?
What’s the workplace suppose to look like today? What’s the latest innovative idea? And is the latest right for you?
The New York Times (“Please, Just Give Me Some Space” March 18, 2012) recently covered how three companies were innovating in their office space. Google, DreamWorks and G.E. offered insight into the freedom of expression afforded their employees by virtue of their surroundings. These companies are innovating in the workspace and reaping the rewards in the levels of satisfaction and well being felt by their employees.
In reality, there is no special or secret formula for success. And no magic combination of open and closed that will work for all. The most important thing is to simply be true to yourself and have the courage to move beyond your comfort zone.
Explore with your team what’s important. Discover the DNA of your specific culture. How does space affect your productivity? And explore how your staff could achieve their work faster, better and more enjoyably. What would make them feel inspired to do more?
The range of spaces today should support focused work, collaboration, socializing and learning, all while simultaneously reinforcing the brand and image of the company.
It takes courage to move out of the norm, to adapt to a new environment. But if options for space utilization add opportunities for increased collaboration, increased interaction, and more inspiration. What are you waiting for?
Jo Staffelbach Heinz is President and CEO of Dallas-based STAFFELBACH. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.