In this paper, we show how office design features, interior architecture, furnishings, and technology can be designed to “nudge” people towards behaviors and decisions that reduce stress and positively influence their well-being. The potential to leverage workspace to prevent health problems and promote well-being could improve the lives of millions of people and reduce costly healthcare expenses for people and organizations.
While many higher education institutions are investing in new buildings and spaces in a functional response to these challenges, there is a greater opportunity for future success by integrating the brand of the institution throughout campus buildings and interior spaces.
Research shows that the change initiatives that are crucial to organizational success fail 70 percent of the time. This sobering statistic should be a wake-up call to leaders. Failure of this magnitude comes at a great cost in time, dollars, and morale. This issue stresses the need to manage transition better, especially in a time when constant change is becoming the norm.
Without an integrated feedback capability embedded in the workspace, sensing and adapting to changing employee needs is cumbersome. However, technology is evolving to meet this challenge. Haworth believes new technologies can make work better by helping people be their best, and soon we’ll see employees drawn to the office in their search for increased well-being, engagement, and effectiveness.
How buildings, people, and organizations perform in the workplace affect one another and ultimately the corporate bottom line.
Changing business needs means changing organizational structures, which in turn means changing spaces.
Employers need open and interactive spaces to encourage collaboration, and such spaces can introduce distractions. Distractions, however, sabotage focus, and focus work is a necessary part of collaborative efforts. How can we solve this conflict? Approach workplace design so that it encourages both collaboration and focus work: Offer employees a variety of workspace options,
choice over where, how, and when to best work, and control over workspace features and furnishings. Make the workplace
legible and clutter-free so employees won’t waste effort navigating the workplace. Lastly, include “recharge” spaces; focus
work takes intense effort, and it requires breaks.
Coworking evolved when the home office proved to be an insufficient space for freelancers seeking collaboration with likeminded, independent people. Coworking spaces provide a productive, creative, and satisfying work atmosphere, not just for
freelancers, but also for corporate organizations.
The planning approach for the future will need to emphasize the
“legibility” of space. Legible offices offer planning configurations that are easy to understand, easy to navigate, and where the spaces’
intended uses are clear and obvious.
Today it’s more critical than ever for organizations to attract
and retain top talent, and one component that can be used for
recruiting, but is often overlooked, is the workplace.
The scope of traditional office ergonomics is limited to individual work within the primary workspace. Active Ergonomics is a new approach in which good ergonomic principles are applied to all elements of workplace planning, group and individual workspaces, furnishings, and technology.
The effects of seating can be especially detrimental if done for extended periods of time without any posture changes.
Newer research suggests that introducing standing postures at work
can reduce spinal shrinkage, fatigue, and discomfort, without reducing productivity.
What’s the Difference Between Creativity and Innovation?
Overall, the inexorable shift from simple digitization to innovation based on combinations of technologies is forcing companies to reexamine the way they do business. The bottom line, however, is the same: business leaders and senior executives need to understand their changing environment, challenge the assumptions of their operating teams, and relentlessly and continuously innovate.