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Open Office Antics Getting You Down? Follow These Tips

Posted by Mary Talley on Sep 20, 2018

Topics: open office, manners, workplace etiquette


It’s time again for a few more friendly reminders from Miss Open Office Manners. In this installment, I discuss open office cleanliness, the etiquette of conducting a conference call in the open office, and how the open office can impact the chain of command. Enjoy.

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The Open Plan Office (and the Architectural Drafting Room) – Why Do They Continue to Thrive?

Posted by Alan Ruby on Sep 13, 2018

Topics: open office


By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

The form and intended function of the modern open plan office has gone through several iterations since its advent in the 1960s. With each new iteration, previous examples have been viewed with scorn. The 21st century version of the open office has not been spared a similar level of contempt. So with all its well-documented deficiencies, why does it continue to thrive?

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How Multi-tasking Kills Productivity and What to do About It

Posted by Alison Jones on Sep 6, 2018

Topics: Workplace Distractions


By Alison Jones, Lead Consultant

Some people claim that they are excellent multi-taskers. I’m not one of them. I believe multi-tasking is a flawed concept, and is more often an excuse for not devoting proper attention to any one thing. The results of tasks that have been completed while multi-tasking are generally poor. There’s a reason for this – the brain cannot actually focus on two things at once.

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Virtual Office in Paradise - Why Not?

Posted by Alan Ruby on Aug 30, 2018

Topics: home office design, virtual office, future office


By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

Our company president recently forwarded me an article that was an opinion piece on the future of the office. The premise of the article was that the bricks-and-mortar office was here to stay despite its shortcomings, simply because virtual office options are just not realistic. I had just published my own article which offered a very different viewpoint. My article touted the benefits of the virtual office. As someone who has telecommuted for 15 years from “unrealistic” virtual office settings, let me explain.

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Why Use a Professional to Install Your Workplace Security System?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Aug 23, 2018

Topics: Workplace Security


By Keith Fentress (President, Fentress Inc.) and Mike Jones (President, Major Security Consulting and Design, LLC)

So, you have the budget to install a security system in your building or office. There is certainly guidance available on what types and functions of security equipment should be included in your system. However, we would like to provide you with recommendations on what NOT to do when installing security equipment. We have seen these mistakes repeated time and again, and the result is that you end up spending more money to make your facilities less safe and secure.

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Is Your Courtroom User-Friendly?

Posted by Alan Ruby on Aug 16, 2018

Topics: Courtroom Design, courthouse architect


By Alan S. Ruby

The features of a courtroom help set the tone for the proceedings that take place within its walls. This article examines the design features that can make a courtroom feel user-friendly versus intimidating, and how a user-friendly courtroom might best support justice in a trial.

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How to Secure School Buildings [Infographic]

Posted by Keith Fentress on Aug 9, 2018

Topics: school security

By Keith Fentress (President, Fentress Inc.) and Mike Jones (President, Major Security Consulting and Design, LLC)

Unfortunately, violence in schools has been way too prevalent in recent years. Making schools more secure must be the top priority. It is our belief that the current design community is starting to understand the problem and we hope our efforts will contribute to developing useful solutions. We also hope that policymakers will embrace security changes to our schoolhouses to protect our most precious investment in the future – our children.

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8 Things to Work Out Before You Work Out of Your Home

Posted by Ron Seibel on Aug 2, 2018

Topics: Remote IT Support

By Ron Seibel, IT Manager

If your company has a telecommuting policy that allows you to work from home under certain circumstances, there are things you can do to make yourself a good work-from-home candidate from an IT perspective. In general, the best telecommuters are self-motivated, comfortable communicating electronically, and capable of troubleshooting basic IT issues with little or no assistance. The IT comfort level of the remote worker may be the most important aspect of a successful work-at-home experience.

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Don't Help your Assailant by Neglecting your Security

Posted by Keith Fentress on Jul 26, 2018

Topics: Workplace Security

 By Keith Fentress (President, Fentress Inc.) and Mike Jones (President, Major Security Consulting and Design, LLC)

Recently, we performed a routine follow-up assessment of a client’s improved security based on recommendations that we made the previous year. He claimed that his security policies and systems were all up to date and operating effectively. However, during our brief walk from the parking lot to his office, we saw a host of security issues, including a tree that was partially obstructing an exterior camera, a building exit that was blocked with boxes, and “employee tailgating,” where an employee swiped his badge to gain access to the office and several other people (hopefully employees) followed through the doorway without swiping badges.

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Reducing Space Doesn’t Always Lower Rent for Federal Agencies

Posted by Donna Chaney on Jul 19, 2018

Topics: Space Transition, Space Reduction and Utilization, Federal Rent, Office rent costs


By Donna Chaney, Senior Consultant

In recent years, space reduction projects have become increasingly popular among federal agencies, both as a way to provide an updated and more efficient office layout (think mobility, telework, hoteling, collaborative spaces, etc.), and as a way to attract a younger generation of workers. But agencies also cite a reduction in rent costs as one of the top reasons for reducing their office space, and with good reason. In 2014, it was estimated that the federal government spends $4.2 billion in rent. But does a reduction in space always translate to a corresponding reduction in rent payments? You might be surprised by the answer.

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