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.
Designing for focus at work
Employers need open and interactive spaces to encourage collaboration, and such spaces can introduce distractions. Distractions, however, sabotage focus, and focus work is a necessary part of collaborative efforts. How can we solve this conflict? Approach workplace design so that it encourages both collaboration and focus work: Offer employees a variety of workspace options, choice over where, how, and when to best work, and control over workspace features and furnishings. Make the workplace legible and clutter-free so employees won’t waste effort navigating the workplace. Lastly, include “recharge” spaces; focus work takes intense effort, and it requires breaks.
Laptop Computers and Ergonomics
Laptop computers were not originally designed for long-term use. But with all of the advancements made in technology, more and more people are using laptops as their main computers. Working on a laptop can put a user in some awkward postures. That’s why this paper will discuss ergonomic guidelines for setting up a computer workstation when using a laptop computer.
Benching is more than just a piece of office furniture; it’s a method of working. It is most appropriate when designing environments that need to be creative, flexible, adaptable, and energized (Wassenaar, 2011). While benching can be applied in many situations, it is best suited to dynamic, interactive, social work styles and not as effective for a task or a workplace that requires quiet, privacy, confidentiality, or work involving deep concentration.
Compelling Branded Environments in Higher Education
The world of higher education faces many challenges. Ever-increasing tuition is prompting students and their families to take a close look at the value being offered by the schools being considered. Rising costs are compelling many students to consider alternatives to the traditional four-year university, including competitors that offer online education. Even in traditional institutions, emerging technologies and the wider variety of teaching and learning styles demanded by Generation Y students and offered by younger faculty are creating pressure for change in everything from design of pedagogy to student unions. In the midst of all these challenges, the overriding need to attract and retain top students and faculty and to offer a high quality teaching and learning experience has never been greater. While many higher education institutions are investing in new buildings and spaces in a functional response to these challenges, there is a greater opportunity for future success by integrating the brand of the institution throughout campus buildings and interior spaces.
The goal of today’s office ergonomics is focused on fitting the workspace and technology
to the individual. However, the very nature of work is changing. Technology has freed people to work anywhere, and a growing proportion of that work is collaborative and social. But traditional office ergonomics does not address group work or spaces. These emerging space types are being created with no ergonomic guidance. This situation offers a great opportunity to apply ergonomic principles broadly throughout the workplace to create safe and productive settings for both individual and group work—no matter where it may occur.
Why Daylight and Views Matter
As the movie title “A Room with a View” suggests, people seem inherently drawn to an interesting view—natural or otherwise. In fact, they’ll even pay significantly more for it.
In an office setting, the word “view” not only refers to what users see outside the office windows, but also to a user’s perception of an interior space. Everything from the dimensions and materials to options the user sees impacts this interior view; and therefore affects opinions of the space.