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The Open Office - Can it be Saved?

Posted by Alan Ruby on Oct 11, 2018

Topics: Deep Work, Collaborative Workspaces, contemplation


By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architectural Consultant

Since its advent in the 1960s, each new iteration of the open office has had its critics. The current 21st century version is no exception. Given all of its well-documented deficiencies, should we dump the open office concept and convert back to private offices as some suggest? Maybe not. A new iteration of concepts for office planning is on the horizon as described in Cal Newport’s book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. The book contains a description of Deep Work principles that seek to avoid many of the deficiencies of today’s open office.

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Has Your Office Gone to the Dogs? Mind your Open Office Manners!

Posted by Mary Talley on May 31, 2018

Topics: Open Office Design, Flexible Workspace, Collaborative Workspaces


By Mary Talley, Senior Analyst

It’s time for a few more friendly reminders from Miss Open Office Manners. In this installment, I discuss dogs in the open office, dressing for the open office, and open office wellness rooms. Enjoy.

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Dear Miss Open Office Manners, Part 3

Posted by Mary Talley on Nov 10, 2017

Topics: Open Office Design, Flexible Workspace, 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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To Open Office … Or Not to Open Office (with heartfelt apologies to Shakespeare)

Posted by Donna Chaney on Sep 21, 2017

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


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

Posted by Danny Rupp on Aug 31, 2017

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

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: Collaborative Workspaces, Flexible Workspace, Open Office Design

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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Which Management Style is Best for the Open Office Environment?

Posted by Pam Kendall on Jul 27, 2017

Topics: Collaborative Workspaces, Space Transition, Open Office Design


 By Pam Kendall, Senior Analyst

Change can be a terrifying word to some people. It doesn’t matter if it’s something small, such as changing your diet and trying to eat a little healthier, or something big like packing up your family, moving to a different state, and changing jobs. Change is difficult. And change management can be formidable. Especially when it comes to managing an open office space transition project.

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We Won't Get Cubed Again: The History of the Open Office

Posted by Ted Prestogeorge on May 11, 2017

Topics: Collaborative Workspaces, Open Office Design, Flexible Workspace

By Ted Prestogeorge, Senior Architect

With the rise in the popularity of trendy open offices, you may feel like you’re on the bleeding edge of the latest architectural style that will disappear as soon as another idea comes along. But the open office design isn’t a new concept at all. In fact, it’s been around for over a century.

It all started with the expansion of industrialism in the early 20th century, when many companies in both the manufacturing and white collar service sectors began to focus on speeding up productivity at work. The open office plan was both the fuel and the vehicle for change.

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Tomorrow's Office: How Virtual Will the Reality Be?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Mar 23, 2017

Topics: Mobile Workforce Solutions, Open Office Design, Virtual Workforce, Collaborative Workspaces

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

As an architect who focuses on space transition projects, my goal is to move an organization’s facilities from traditional to more collaborative and mobile. But I also try to look beyond today’s needs to future work practices and office designs. I believe the most effective way to look forward is to first consider past trends. Thus, I like to look backward for answers. Sometimes way back.

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Collaboration in Open Offices: Opportunity or Obligation?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Aug 25, 2016

Topics: Open Office Design, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization, Collaborative Workspaces

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architectural Consultant

Collaborative workplaces have become the new standard for companies and are synonymous with high performance and innovation. In office design, collaborative workplace cultures are supported by an open office layout that encourage employee interaction. But is that layout right for every organization, and does it always produce beneficial results?

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