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Blog

Open Office Design in Cities Left Behind

Posted by Alan Ruby on Dec 7, 2017

Topics: Open Office Design, Space Transition, Facility and Architectural Studies

 

By Alan Ruby, Senior Architect

Do all urban areas offer the same potential for applying open office concepts? Or could the urban success gap be a limitation? This article explores those questions and offers some insight to help derive answers. But first, let’s consider the urban success gap.

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The Greatest Challenge in Managing Remote Employees: Inflexibility

Posted by Keith Fentress on Nov 30, 2017

Topics: Mobile Workforce Solutions, Virtual Workforce, remote manager, Home Office

 

By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

There are many challenges to remote work, including setting up boundaries between work and home life, having a dedicated office space, and helping employees feel connected to the organization. In this article, I propose what I see as the greatest challenge in managing remote employees – inflexibility. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge advocate of the home office and still dream of the day when telecommuting is the norm. But inflexibility is an issue I struggle with both in my own work habits and in managing a team of remote employees.

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How to Combat the Spread of Germs in the Open Office Environment

Posted by Keith Fentress on Nov 24, 2017

Topics: open office

 

By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

I was in the grocery store the other day when a pharmacy announcement came on. “The holiday season is upon us. Come to the pharmacy to get your flu shot. In just a few days you will be mingling with family and friends who will be carrying germs, so get your shot today.” I made a beeline for the pharmacy and got the small prick of a shot and the cotton ball taped to my shoulder. I proceeded to strike up a conversation with the pharmacist who told me that when people go back to work after the holidays, especially in those “newfangled offices,” they mix all those germs together from everyone’s families. She went on to say that there is typically a wave of sickness after the holidays that spreads throughout the office. After hearing this, I would’ve had a dozen more shots if it would prevent me – and my family – from getting sick.

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Why You Should Go All-In on a Telework Policy

Posted by Danny Rupp on Nov 16, 2017

Topics: Space Transition, Mobile Workforce Solutions, Telework, Remote IT Support, Telecommuting Policy

By Danny Rupp, Web Developer/Architectural Designer

So after months – or even years – of deliberation and back and forth with employees, you’ve decided to allow telework in your office. But where do you begin? Do you just let people start working from home on random days? How will everyone know what is expected of them? Are there guidelines that employees should follow? And how do you balance the needs of the office and ensure that the spirit of the telework program is understood and followed?

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Dear Miss Open Office Manners, Part 3

Posted by Mary Talley on Nov 10, 2017

Topics: Flexible Workspace, Open Office Design, Collaborative Workspaces


By Mary Talley, Senior Analyst

Following up on the success of my second Miss Open Office Manners column, here are a few more letters and my responses. Enjoy.

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Courtroom Design for Handicap Access

Posted by Ted Prestogeorge on Nov 2, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Renovation/Construction/Economics, Courtroom Design

 

By Ted Prestogeorge and Alan Ruby, Senior Architectural Consultants

Reconciling accessibility requirements with objectives for visibility between trial participants in a courtroom can be a challenge for court planners and architects. This blog focuses on courtroom design requirements and possible solutions for accommodating handicap access for trial participants.

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Remote Workforce? 5 Disaster Recovery Steps to Take Now

Posted by Ron Seibel on Oct 26, 2017

Topics: Mobile Workforce Solutions, Remote IT Support, remote manager, Home Office

By Ron Seibel, IT Manager

In the literal wake of this summer’s string of natural disasters, including hurricanes and floods in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, as well as out-of-control wildfires in California, maintaining safeguards for your remote employees is critical. Even if none of your employees telework, you most likely have policies and protocols in place to protect your corporate data and office environment when potential disaster is impending. When you add remote employees to the mix, similar protocols should be developed and followed to ensure Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity (DR/BC) among your remote locations after the unthinkable happens.

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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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