Steelcase, a major leader in office, educational and healthcare furniture, along with our main vendor, has done a lot of research into the continuously evolving workspace that people are going to everyday. In a recent article, they talk about the lessons they’ve learned from reducing the square footage of the office space. Here are a few of my favorite tips that they offer:
1. Don’t Just Shrink: Smaller by itself isn’t better, it’s just smaller. Smaller and harder working space is 1) multipurpose, 2) user adjustable, and 3) can be used by two or more people at least some of the time. If a space can’t do all three, it shouldn’t be in the floorplan.
2. A Moving Experience: People sometimes spend 14 hours or more a day sitting down while working and commuting. For optimal wellbeing, workers need to be able to move, even when seated. Ergonomic task chairs are only the beginning. Height-adjustable worksurfaces, stand-up café tables, chairs specially designed for collaborative work, and even treadmills with worksurfaces are ways to put movement in the office.
3. When in Rome…Understand the local culture, work conventions, and business customs before planning a workspace outside your home turf. Social scientist Geert Hofstede posts information on five cultural dimensions for individual countries on his website, a good place to being learning about business norms.
4. Listen and Learn: Last, but really first: don’t plan any workplace without engaging with workers at all levels. Use surveys, interviews, an outside resource to help uncover internal issues and work process needs, workshops to generate ideas. Involved, engaged workers help create a better work environment and embrace change faster.
For all 11 tips, please view the article Lessons Learned by Steelcase
~ Kendal the Marketing Rep