Strategic Blueprint: Balancing Cost-Effectiveness with Support for Corporate Change & Flexibility
In recent years, organizations have increased their attention to facilities management — due in large part to a perceived need for increased consolidation in the procurement, specification, and project management of corporate office environments. As the cost of corporate real estate remains high, many companies consider facilities in terms of organizational efficiency and cost-cutting initiatives. However, this approach may need fundamental revision to keep up with the torrid pace of change within the knowledge economy.
In many corporations, the traditional view has been that in order to improve the bottom line, facilities costs must be kept to a minimum. One effect of this approach has been to increase the density of workers within office environments. Quite literally, many organizations measure building performance or efficiency in terms of how many workers they can accommodate with the least amount of floor space or technology support.
While this approach serves to maximize short-term returns on investments and assets, if the impact of employee turnover, absenteeism, and less-thanoptimal productivity are included in the measurement, the perspective that facilities costs represent mere red ink changes dramatically. If turnover or absenteeism drops — or productivity increases — even a few percentage points, the positive impact on the bottom line can be substantial, depending on company size. Over a ten-year period, the costs of employees’ salaries and benefits will be fully five to 13 times the costs of the initial investment in construction, furniture, interior furnishings, and equipment, plus building operations and maintenance, depending on proportion of leased to purchased real estate. The fact that personnel costs still represent the primary corporate expenditure — well ahead of facilities costs — suggests the need to treat space as an investment rather than as overhead. The potential for bottom-line impact from facilities has much more to do with support for knowledge work than with merely trimming costs. Read more by downloading this whitepaper from Haworth.
Understanding The Power of Coworking
Coworking evolved when the home office proved to be an insufficient space for freelancers seeking collaboration with likeminded, independent people. These spaces provide a productive, creative, and satisfying work atmosphere, not just for freelancers, but also for corporate organizations. As more and more corporations realize that coworking offers great potential for fostering innovation it raises many questions. Where are the roots of this potential? How can they be transferred to different types of businesses?
Fraunhofer IAO, one of Haworth’s many research partners around the world, conducts research around new ways of working. We have summarized their findings, which reveal that coworking has great potential to fundamentally change knowledge work and catalyze innovation in the future.
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While working in teams may not be a new concept, in recent years there has been a steady shift way from independent, heads-down work toward more collaborative, team-based activities (Brand, 2008). Even in businesses that have traditionally focused on the individual, the value of collaboration — whether for brainstorming or socializing — is finding growing support. But how best to support collaboration in a particular environment? The key is in understanding how the organization’s culture informs its specific collaboration needs.
HEALTHCARE: Tips For Improving Clinical Design
Lets explore some tips for improving clinical design in healthcare. The nationwide shift toward outpatient (ambulatory) care continues to rise at a steep rate to meet demand. As a result, the growing prevalence of outpatient care facilities has taken on tremendous importance for today’s healthcare providers.
From 1992 to 2012, outpatient visits to community hospitals in the U.S. rose from roughly 367 million visits annually to more than 678 million visits a year. Reports state that by even the most conservative measures, the amount of money being spent on outpatient construction is expected to grow nearly 20-30 percent in the next decade.
Ultimately, the goal of more effective clinic design is to improve the quality of outpatient care and increase efficiencies among medical team members. The insights shared within this whitepaper will help the healthcare industry make more enlightened design decisions when planning a floor plan that helps reach healthcare goals.
Collegiate Design: The New Driver for Workplace Design
When making the jump from collegiate to corporate environments, recently hired graduates are often “lost in transition.” 82% of them in fact. Not only are new hires baffled by the relevance of their physical space (“cube farms”), but also by the work styles expected of them.
In order to support the work styles of the newest workforce, collegiate design may influence the next evolution in workplace design. Corporations competing in the race for talent should borrow design and workspace planning concepts from institutions of higher education. This whitepaper from KI explains why collegiate design is the new driver for workplace design.
Race For Talent: Communicate Company Values Through Design
Today it’s more critical than ever for organizations to attract and retain top talent, and one component that can be used for recruiting, but is often overlooked, is the workplace. It’s more than just desks and chairs. Research shows that the work environment accounts for up to 25% of job satisfaction. Offering workers an attractive package that includes fair compensation is one way to help keep workers satisfied. The next step is for organizations to invest in a well-designed workplace that communicates its commitment to company values and brand….
Workplace Trends Influencing Law Firms
Over the past decade, the amount of workspace devoted to conference, training and breakout areas has increased by almost 20% while individual workspaces are losing ground. With smaller footprints, shorter leases and less square footage available, a new way of thinking about how space is designed and utilized is emerging. Demands for more efficiency, collaboration, attracting Millennial talent and implementing new technology are just some of the issues that companies are dealing with. For continued success in the future, law firms will need to evolve, acknowledge these trends and behave more like a contemporary business.
Movable Walls & Raised Floors: Optimizing Adaptable Workplaces to Meet Changing Business Needs
Floors and walls, typically, are immovable objects. Within traditional construction, they are placed with great effort. Thus, space owners are often reluctant to change floorplan configurations because of the significant initial investment during construction. Unfortunately, the inflexibility of workspaces can impact the organization in negative ways, further depleting resources and reducing the organization’s ability to change. But we have a solution for that!
Erogonomics Cost Justification
According to research, upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms among computer users are reported to be as high as 63%. Making changes to the work environment to improve the safety and health of workers will often reduce a company’s costs, improve productivity and quality issues, and decrease the chance that employees will file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Don’t Sit Still: Promoting Back Health While Seated
Research has found that 75 percent of work in industrialized countries is performed while seated (Pynt et al, 2008). Some workers sit for long periods of time while others get out of their chairs at least a couple of times per hour. Either way, it is important for all workers to understand how to keep their back healthy while seated and how appropriate seating and movement can help avoid lower back discomfort and support proper back health.