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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.

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The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Task sharing or multi-tasking—switching from focused to unfocused tasks and back—takes time. According to research, it takes approximately 15-20 minutes to recover from every interruption.

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Office Etiquette 101

Not so long ago, offices were places where legions of similarly dressed people all arrived at the  same time to sit aligned in neat rows and perform nearly identical tasks. At lunchtime, they vacated the workspace for an hour to come back refreshed and ready for an afternoon of highly predictable behavior. It was boring — but at least you knew what to expect from others and how to act.

That was then. This is now: offices are getting smaller and closer together, some people share offices and others don’t have any assigned office, and there are more meeting spaces mixed in with cubicles.

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Alternative Workplace Strategies in the Current Economy

Leading organizations have been employing alternative workplace practices (AW) for over two decades—as far back as 1989 when IBM began piloting AW options—and long before the word “Internet” became part of the common lexicon. But for many years they were mainly the practices of a select few companies. They remained mostly experimental and retained their unique identities. Today, however, alternative workplace may be shedding half its name, and becoming simply “workplace” as such practices become mainstreamed in many organizations. This is the conclusion of a study released by New Ways of Working (New WOW), a member organization focused on holistic solutions for new ways of working.

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Designing Across Generations

Can Gen-Y multi-task better than other generations?

Today’s workplaces are comprised of members of Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists. (Crocker, 2007; Cowell, 2009) Of course, people of multiple generations have always worked together. But unlike past generations—such as the farming families of the Dark Ages—the current workforce’s older and younger members’ life experiences and worldviews have little in common. This has raised the question of whether Gen-Y workers need different workspaces than their older colleagues.

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Are Gen-Y’s Brains “Modular” or “Unconscious”?

Many people assume that younger workers can process information in fundamentally different ways than their older counterparts. This paper reviews research relevant to that assumption and explores the association between office design and communication styles.

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