Blog

3 Keys to a Successful Open Office Space Transition Project

Posted by Pam Kendall on Oct 19, 2017

Topics: Space Transition, open office, open office space transition project

 

By Pam Kendall, Senior Analyst

First a Starbucks on every corner… now open offices seem to be popping up everywhere! Are they just the latest trend or are they here to stay? No one really knows, but I can guarantee that if your company is thinking about making the move to an open office, you’ve come to the right place.

How do you keep your employees happy? How do you make sure your staff members continue to produce quality work? How does your company thrive in an open office? These are all important questions when considering a space transition project or when you find yourself smack dab in the middle of one.

Let’s discuss the 3 keys to helping you make it through unscathed.

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Is working from home killing your social life? 4 tips to stay engaged

Posted by Alison Jones on Oct 12, 2017

Topics: Virtual Workforce, Telework, Home Office

 

By Alison Jones, Lead Consultant

The other day, a colleague floated me an article about the Japanese concept of ikigai, which essentially translates into your “reason for being.” To achieve full ikigai, four parts of your life must align: your passion, your mission, your profession, and your vocation. When this happens, your life is lived with joy. The article goes on to talk about five areas of the world, sometimes referred to as Blue Zones, where people live the longest and seem to achieve ikigai. Okinawa and other longevity hotspots around the world have been identified as the Blue Zones. Studies show that one of the most important characteristics shared by these Blue Zones is a very high degree of social engagement.

As someone who has worked from a home office for 20 years, this got me thinking. Is working from a home office blocking my path to ikigai? Am I missing out on essential social interactions that could be happening every Monday through Friday from 9 to 5? And from a broader perspective, is the widespread use of the home office turning us into recluses who lack social skills, as we shave years off our lives?

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Nobody Puts Judge in a Corner (Bench)… Or Do They?

Posted by Matt Hemphill on Oct 5, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality

 

 

By Matt Hemphill, Senior Architect

In my experience as a courtroom planning consultant, I’ve had the opportunity to plan for many types and styles of courtrooms. While there are many different issues regarding courtroom designincluding sightlines, furniture options, and access requirementsthe focus of this blog will be on the core element of the courtroom: the location of the judge's bench. Whether you are constructing a new courthouse or renovating within existing space, the location of the judge’s bench is one of the first things to consider when designing the courtroom. The placement of all other components within the courtroom depends on the placement of the judge’s bench. And in the vast majority of cases, a center bench is ideal. But when space is limited or irregularly shaped, a corner bench may be a better option.

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Working from a Home Office: Preparing for the Apocalypse

Posted by Trish Lomonosov on Sep 28, 2017

Topics: Telework, Telecommuting Policy, Home Office

 

By Trish Lomonosov, Senior Analyst / Planner

Pop quiz: What do the inauguration, rail shutdowns, a visit from Pope Francis, a major weather event, and large-scale protests all have in common? If you answered, “a crippling commute that requires end-of-the-day libations,” you are correct! We have all likely dealt with an apocalyptic commute that has nearly driven us to the brink of insanity. Thankfully, decision-makers in many organizations have had the foresight to balance the needs of the organization (GET WORK DONE!) and the employee (MAINTAIN SANITY WHILE GETTING WORK DONE!) on days like this by allowing employees to work from home. Some organizations are taking this a step further and are developing telecommuting policies that allow employees to work from home offices on a more regular basis. I would argue that this is a wise decision!

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To Open Office … Or Not to Open Office (with heartfelt apologies to Shakespeare)

Posted by Donna Chaney on Sep 21, 2017

Topics: Flexible Workspace, Open Office Design, Space Transition, Collaborative Workspaces

 

By Donna Chaney, Senior Consultant

Open workplaces are all over the place these days and with elements like employee work lounges, collaboration pods, and even nap rooms, what’s not to like! Yet despite all the benefits of open offices (and the many innovative concepts), there are just as many criticisms of this type of layout. This got me thinking – why do open offices work for some organizations and not others? And is the pendulum swinging back in the other direction, towards a more traditional layout? Will the walls that have been torn down be going back up before long?

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3 Principles for the Remote Manager, Plus a Secret

Posted by Keith Fentress on Sep 14, 2017

Topics: Mobile Workforce Solutions, Virtual Workforce, Telework, Remote IT Support, remote manager

 

 

By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

This article focuses on the remote manager – and I’m not talking about the guy sitting down the hall in the big corner office who is psychologically distant and intimidating. I’m talking about the manager supervising staff members who are spread across multiple remote locations - something I’ve been doing for 30 years.

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Can Teleworking Solve Your Small Business Staffing Problems?

Posted by Alan Ruby on Sep 7, 2017

Topics: Space Transition, Mobile Workforce Solutions, Virtual Workforce, Telework

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

The monthly unemployment rate gets a lot of attention from the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and of course from the Federal Reserve. But there is another side of the employment coin that does not get as much attention. Still, it is a concern that is equally important to our nation’s economic well-being: filling empty positions with qualified employees to maintain full productivity.

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An Open Office Design Can Provide Privacy: Fact or Fiction?

Posted by Danny Rupp on Aug 31, 2017

Topics: Flexible Workspace, Open Office Design, Space Transition, Mobile Workforce Solutions, Collaborative Workspaces

By Danny Rupp, Web Developer/Architectural Designer

Several years ago, I worked on a survey of employees for an organization, including a number of lawyers. Nearly unanimously, their replies indicated that they could not work in an open office because they required privacy for their jobs. That certainly seems reasonable. After all, there’s a lot of occupations, lawyers included, that require privacy or private spaces to function. Or so I thought, anyway, until I started working recently with a space transition team that helps organizations move from traditional offices into mobile and open office space with the goal of reducing the amount of space required per person. This experience has changed my opinion on this issue. I firmly believe that you can absolutely get privacy in an open office. Let’s talk about how.

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Dear Miss Open Office Manners, Take 2

Posted by Mary Talley on Aug 24, 2017

Topics: Flexible Workspace, Open Office Design, Collaborative Workspaces

By Mary Talley, Senior Analyst

I had an interesting conversation last week with a friend who works in an open office. Her coworker apparently marinates herself in perfume that smells like buttered popcorn and coconut before coming into the office. So I decided that now is the time to follow up on my first workplace manners column, pronto. Here are some letters and my responses. Enjoy.

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Blending In: How Can a Courthouse Design Reflect the Community?

Posted by Kurt Schlauch on Aug 17, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Renovation/Construction/Economics, Courthouse Aesthetics, Courthouse Processes and Planning

By Kurt Schlauch, Senior Consultant

I recently participated in an “industry day” for a new county courthouse project located in the community I grew up in. The event featured county officials and key stakeholders presenting information on the project background, intended timeframe, and selection criteria. One of the key selection criteria was how well the design connects to the history and character of the local community. More than just visually fitting in with the surrounding area, the architectural style must reflect the values of the citizens it serves and remind them of what makes their community unique.

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