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  1. 1. RESEARCHCONTRIBUTION ARTICLESYNTHESIS 1 // CREATING AND TESTING WORKSPACE STRATEGY Kevin Kampschroer, Judith Heergaven, Kevin Powell California Management Review, Vol.49, No.2, Winter 2007 University of California, Berkeley Working together, in a corporate environment, drives more complex cognitive processes, stronger team-based social skills are required, for lesser hierarchical overall organization. Those changes of behavior develop consequences on how the work is done in firms and administration offices. However, for companies, this evolution has little, if any, recognition in the management and organizational fields on the value of space. According to a study by MIT and the Gartner Group (M. Bell and M. Joroff, The Agile Workplace: Supporting People and Their Work, 2000.), less than 5% of the U.S. based corporations were linking both workplace design and corporate strategy, or “using the workplace as a tool for improving organizational performance”, even after massive evolution on firms organization such as cost-motivated migration toward open space planning. Although the demand for new space designs and concepts approaches reach sky rocket high limits, there is little data on how these innovations work. Even if a lot of new products, concepts and technologies are implemented in real-world work experiment, almost no knowledge is gathered on their effective impact on work or organization. In response to this situation, the U.S. General Service Administration’s Public Buildings Service (PBS) assembled a research team and retained recognized academic and private sector leaders to identify “best practice” of workplace strategies and the the most promising research tools necessary for evaluating their effect. Those methodologies are synthesized into a research program framework for «evaluating the linkages among organizational performance (Business), the attributes of the physical environment (Building), and the changes in work processes, perceptions, attitudes that result from changes to this physical space (Behavior)». A central focus of the WorkPlace 2020 program — a cooperative research effort among Public Works and Government Services, five major universities and leaders in the design field — is the development of a standardized process in the development and evaluation of workspace potential. RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  2. 2. Through a framework dividing business goals into four domains (financial, business process, customer, and human capital) to initiate discussion about each workplace project, an interdisciplinary team of consultants, researchers and designers interacts throughout the all process to develop a set of best practices. After spending time to identify for each client company the organizational goals, internal and external drivers for change, and envisioned way of developing specific working processes, a strategic brief is issued to state the specific design solutions developed to bring success in all four domains of the framework. A continuous learning approach drives those projects, to identify key elements and rapidly implement them, if applicable, in future projects. Identify and create successful workplace strategies means to clearly analyze how people do work and spend their time in the company environment. «People say they spend 60% to 80% of their time in their own workspace, but behavioral observations put that percent at closer to 40% and as low as 25%. Almost 25% of the time is spent in internal mobility (e.g., going to meetings, getting coffee, talking to someone in the hallway).» More than declaration, behavioral observations of workers must be used to both initiate discussion, or evaluate changes in use patterns. 2 // STRATEGIC WORK-SPACE DESIGN Jacqueline C. Vischer MIT Sloan, Fall 1995 «Space, buildings, and architecture are not the first things a company thinks about when it is “transforming work”.» Changes in society drives to evolving concepts on how work is conceived: employee empowerment, rethinked work processes, organizational barriers. To help employees thrive in the company’s environment, firms are examining new way to design their work spaces. There is a definite trend for corporations to consolidate all space design implications. The goal is not a cosmetic one, but definitely how employees perform their tasks in a physical space.Organizations transform themselves and the space they inhabit through adaptation of their environmental conditions (lighting, noise, ventilation…). To give ‘white-collar workers’ the physical work environment they need to actively support and help their task performance, companies are required to invest in information gathering, tools and available technologies to solve uncomfortable space that may affect workers productivity and satisfaction. By attending to the human aspect of space use, managers can gain more from money spent on office accommodation. Strategic workspace design «can potentially empower employees to take responsibility and make cost-effective decisions about their own space», encourage teamwork, help flatten hierarchies. RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  3. 3. Space design turns to be more and more essential since companies are increasingly concerned of remaining competitive, and employees are, alongside, more focused on increasing the effectiveness and productivity of their work time. Most of the time, companies are ill-informed about the development or increasing of strategic work spaces design approaches for reducing costs while keeping productivity at an optimal level. A strategic approach includes: ergonomic workplaces, group and team work space, non-territorial and shared workstations, telework and ‘hoteling’ (when employees who work outside the office most of the time occupy share office space on a ‘reservation only’ basis). Companies must design their unique strategically tailored approach to provide better work space conditions. Typical misconceptions about corporate accommodation, based on an outdated and traditionalist view of work space, can limit opportunities: e.g. space design and work environment have only a limited effect on employee effectiveness and morale; or employees do not need to participate in decision making on space design issues because building professionals know what users need in their work environment. The paper compare workspace design to information technology (IT): decisions have to be made by CEOs without clearly enough measurable data or results. Therefore, to add value through their workspace design and accommodation decisions, CEOs have to manage space design as integral to the business, not as adjunct. 3 // IMPACT OF OFFICE LAYOUT ON COMMUNICATION IN A SCIENCE-DRIVEN BUSINESS Roman Boutellier, Fredrik Ullman, Jürg Schreiber, Reto Naef R&D Management, 38, 4, 2008 Information technologies are the main drivers to innovation and creativity, alongside with human capital. Therefore, the organization of workspace in corporations has an impact on communication patterns between employees. The paper studied communication events and communication patterns, allowing the authors to state that «people communicate three time more often in a multi-space area than in a cell-space area», even if the average duration of communication events is reduce by three. The study also found that in a shared workspace environment, most of the communication events take place in the work dedicated areas, and not, if available in companies, in the relaxation areas which purpose is to develop communication. For innovation-driven companies, sharing information, or knowledge, is essential. However, important factors have to be considered, such as the ease and the willingness to share knowledge. Office layout can drive positive communication and help generate creativity. Organizational creativity is «a variety of activities in which new ideas and new ways of RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  4. 4. solving problems emerge through a collaborative effort by promoting dialogues that involve multiple domains of scientific knowledge to produce value for the organization’s mission and market» (Styhre and Sundgren, 2005). Individuals, but also workspace atmospherics are tacit sources of knowledge and creativity. Previous studies showed that intensive communication and high performance in creative undertakings are correlated (de Solla Price and Beaver, 1966, Wenger et al., 2002). The stronger ties are between employees, the freer creative process is. Communication and creativity are linked through a «connectivistic perspective» (Styhre and Sungren, 2003). Even if open spaces are a corporate trend for the four decades, there is still no scholars consensus on their overall benefits or impacts on both professional environment and employees behavior. Two line of thoughts are diverging: one stream stating that physical proximity and low barriers have a positive impact on communication and creativity; and the other stream arguing that individuals are more comfortable to interact when they can control the boundaries of their conversation. Any change in communication patterns is due to change in office structure. Multi-space concept should offer diverse space and places for working: spaces for teamwork, quiet rooms, break areas and meeting rooms. Multi-space is different from ‘traditional’ open-space since it offers different atmospherics, depending on the activity. This space organization is expected to facilitate communication and knowledge sharing, as well as it offers possibility, for demanding employees, to provide privacy when needed. The authors hypothesis is that multi-space environment drives more informal face-to- face communication events. The monitoring is done with both direct methods (observations) and indirect methods (questionnaires). 4 // INNOVATION SPACES: WORKSPACE PLANNING AND INNOVATION IN U.S. UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CENTERS Umut Toker, Denis O. Gray Research Policy, 37 (2008), 309-329 The importance of workspace characteristics for innovation process is discussed by scholars for years. Meanwhile, workspace planning for innovative work patterns has been the concern of designers and design researchers since the 1990s. New work patterns require an original workspace environment planning approach, different from the more traditional cellular offices or open-plan offices equipped with cubicles. RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  5. 5. Despite a manifest interest, there is only little empirical research done to help and guide new work environments, such as, for knowledge-based organizations, spaces to promote social interaction, idea generation and information exchange. This paper findings showed that spatial differences are associated with differences in both subjective and objective innovation outcomes. Therefore, the link between the three circles of workspace planning, communication and innovation exists. Significant face-to-face communication facilitates innovation. However, need for privacy for concentrated work must not be neglected. Mechanisms and effects are determined by a «complex interplay of the overall workplace planning approach used», as well as by the configurational properties: walking distance, shared rooms. RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  6. 6. ABSTRACT Brand story-telling through workspace design: a marketing and management tool for innovation-driven companies. ABSTRACTENGLISH Though the design of retail stores’ atmospherics is considered for decades as a key element of business to customer marketing, at the crossing lines between marketing, psychology and interior architecture, this field is still a work in progress approach when it is to take the design of corporate workspace into consideration. For innovation driven companies — from start-ups and SMEs to world-wide firms — reflect brand story-telling and self-made culture on their inner workspace architecture and organization appears to be essential to differentiate and drive new customers, users or even applicants. Today, innovation leading organizations seem to recognize the possibilities and opportunities in the spaces they create to communicate about their brand or corporate culture. From a management perspective, workspace design can also be perceived as way to shape new behavior's frameworks. Alongside the development of new work processes and typologies, the actual evolution of work environments not only reflect on companies’ external offices architecture but also on their interior design, in order to allow the creation of new management styles. Those ways of organizing teamwork through an innovative interior design, a unique furnishing style, design-based principles are today more than ever a way for companies to communicate on their singularity, and attract customers and applicants, by sharing a specific idea of what-it-is-to-work-at-our-place that people will associate to the brand, products or services of the company. This consciously cultivated social uniqueness is for companies a opportunity not only to consider their customers but also to look at their own staff as the main ambassadors of their brand. RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  7. 7. ABSTRACTFRENCH Alors que le design des boutiques d’une enseigne est considéré depuis des décennies comme un élément clé du marketing client, à la croisée du marketing, de la psychologie et de l’architecture d’intérieure, ce champ relève toujours d’une approche à l’état d’ébauche lorsqu’on en vient à considérer le design de l’espace de travail au sein des entreprises. Pour les entreprises d’innovation — depuis la start-up ou la PME jusqu’aux entreprises d’envergure mondiale — les valeurs et l’histoire de leur marque, leur culture doivent se refléter sur l’architecture et l’organisation de leurs espaces de travail pour se différencier de la concurrence et attirer de nouveaux clients, utilisateurs ou même recrues. A l’heure actuelle, les entreprises leader en matière d’innovation semblent reconnaître les possibilités et opportunités des espaces qu’elles créent pour communiquer autour de leur marque et de leur culture d’entreprise. D’un point de vue managérial, le design des espaces de travail peut être perçu comme un moyen de développer de nouveaux comportements. En parallèle du développement de nouveaux processus et typologies de travail, l’actuelle évolution de l’environnement de travail ne se reflètent non plus uniquement sur l’aspect architecture extérieur de leur locaux, mais également sur le design intérieur, et ce, afin de permettre l’émergence de nouveaux styles de management. Ces manières d’organiser le travail en équipe par un design intérieur novateur, un ameublement atypique, des principes relatifs au design, sont à l’heure actuelle un moyen pour les entreprises de communiquer sur leur singularité, et d’attirer clients et recrues, en partageant une certaine idée de comment-est-ce-de-travailler-chez-nous qui pourra être associé à la marque, produits ou services de l’entreprise. Cette culture d’entreprise unique, consciemment cultivée, apparaît pour les entreprises comme une opportunité non seulement de prendre en considération leurs clients, mais également de faire de leur propre personnel les principaux ambassadeurs de leur marque. PURPOSE Can innovation-driven companies efforts on story-telling their brand and corporate identity through workspace design be identified as a marketing tool addressed to applicants and a management tool for current employees? RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  8. 8. DESIGN / METHODOLOGY / APPROACH — Reviewing the published literature to analyze the role of workspace as an enabling resource and address the concepts of space planning, management and hiring process in corporate organizations. — Focusing on the design best practice and performance for office workplace planning. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS / IMPLICATIONS Literature essentially focus on retail atmospherics. When addressing the question of sustainable and innovating workspace design, the focus is usually centered on ergonomics and economical impacts of such design. Difficulty to get access to first source information. ORIGINALITY / VALUE Focus on the design of workspaces for innovation-driven companies as a way to story- tell about their brand, products and corporate cultures. Influence of such space design as a hiring argument for future recruitment or an embassy argument for current employees. KEYWORDS innovative work - workspace design - space atmospherics - behavioral response - corporate culture - collaborative work - co-creation - brand construction - story-telling RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  9. 9. INTRODUCTION Influence of factors such as space planning and workspace design can be assessed by innovation-driven companies as a way for those firms to translate, into palpable elements, their corporate culture and their innovative work processes. High-tech companies need to analyze and define sustainable and innovating planning of office workspace design and to review the resulting improvement or implications on economic performance, employees’ well-being and self-achievement. Recent trends are affecting office workplace design and overall organization, led by innovation-driven companies in the different high-tech clusters worldwide. Those trends have emphasized the requirement of a renovated support of the hierarchical management structure. Work environment settings, the definition of space planning methodologies, associated with creative and innovative ways of operating, working and living in the workspace environment are key drivers for innovation-based companies story-telling approach. OFFICE SPACE AS AN POSSIBILITY-ENABLING RESOURCE Successfully designed office workspace has the potential to «facilitate positive change in the organization and provide competitive advantage» (Langston and Lauge- Kristensen, 2002). Conventionally, space management was initially thought of as a set of skills able to «maximize the value of existing space and minimizing the need for new space» (Langston and Lauge-Kristensen, 2002). The primary focus of space management is not solely limited to the definition of areas and the use of existing space. It also contains a projection on future space requirements, both for uses and for users. Good space management need to identify deficiencies within the already defined space; and help employees solve space issues, that could generate undesired interpersonal issues. Therefore, «space management may be viewed as the application of management principles to an inventory of spaces and buildings to ensure that space use is maximized, and that space is distributed fairly where needed» (Brauer, 1992). RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  10. 10. INFLUENTIAL OFFICE WORKPLACE PLANNING AND DESIGN Factors that affect the way space is perceived in a corporate environment may be divided according to three families of factors: functional factors, technical factors and financial factors. Those factors translate the way an organization’s building will fit its users’ day to day operations and activities. A significant aspect of workplace planning when related to this objective states in the development of workplace solutions to offer a proper solution to the multitude of work types and ways of working: «touchdown areas that allow staff to access information quickly; bookable offices; and group collaborative workspaces such as board rooms equipped with technology to provide teleconferencing capabilities» (Pitt and Bennett, 2008). Hot-desking is nowadays a trendsetter approach that refers to the way of «compelling employees to share workstations through providing fewer workstations» (Fawcett and Rigby, 2009). By providing fewer workstations than the actual number of employees, the aim is to achieve the objective of «attaining higher workstation utilization and reducing costs» (Fawcett and Rigby, 2009). When opting for a hot-desking system of workplace sharing, workplaces an desks are assigned to employees upon arrival at the office building, adapting the employees’ disposition according to the daily needs, the ongoing and upcoming projects of the company. Then, in a corporate environment, in order to achieve professional performance and balance, functional requirements include elements such as workspace layout and organization, size of the personal workspace allocated to employees, «personal work surface area, furniture, workspace storage, shared equipment and social spaces» (Schwede et al., 2008). Shared offices are a membership-based workplace within a managed facility that typically offers a variety of non-territorial working environments. Its overall intended objective is to facilitate interaction and networking among co-workers. Sustainable planning of the office workplace With the worldwide rise of environment preservation and global warming concerns, workspace planners and managers find themselves in the front lines for energy preservation, minimal waste generation, and CO2 emissions control. Those aspects have to be taken into consideration by both planners and professionals if they expect to provide added value to their organizations, internally among employees and externally among their customers. TRANSLATE A BRAND CULTURE RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  11. 11. Innovation-driven companies are keen to translate their own brand culture in the architecture of their offices. Tech giants’ flagships are architectural monuments, whose objectives tend to translate into the physical world the economic miracle of those digital companies, born start-ups and turned into worldwide companies in a matter of years. To get access to a world recognition, and to be sure to attract the very best of world professional profiles, companies of innovation need to be sure that future employees fit with the corporate culture, values and expectations. Furthermore, innovation clusters are developing all around the world, from the Silicon Valley, to Tel Aviv, from Seoul and Japan to the United States East Coast (New York City, Boston), and even Paris. With this increase in innovation clusters, a shortage of talents and IT graduates, the competition cannot only be on the company’s name, but also on how different. Some of those clusters have also to try to motivate employees and candidates to relocate. Square, a mobile payment company created by Jack Dorsey (Twitter), but which broader objective is to rethink buying and selling experience as a whole, designed its newest San Francisco office was the purpose of influencing employee attitudes and work habits. Office design is here used to create positive outcomes for both staff and company. SPARK CREATIVITY Create vibrant and welcoming spaces. Inspire through architecture. Allocate diverse areas in order to creation communication landscapes, give Different areas have to be allocated to create communication landscapes, to give numerous opportunities to employees to collaborate and exchange ideas with others, in a diverse environment that will serve all different corporate requirements and needs. The will to imagine and implement such places has allowed the creation of many companies and architecture studios specialized in the design of such innovative working environments. Managers are consulting workplace solutions companies to help create: • effective, • efficient, • and cost-saving workplaces The architectural features of those innovation-driven companies reflect the very nature and culture of those companies: from the perfect ring Apple is building in Cupertino, Google’s new flagship in Mountain View is a mix of curved rectangles which aim at generating occasional collisions between employees, creating serendipitous ideas co- generation from people who were not necessarily supposed to meet. Such a different physical manifestation is the translation of a totally different corporate culture, and users/customers perceptions . RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  12. 12. Flagships therefore represents a reassuring marketing approach in the way they physically embodied those innovation-driven tech giants in the real world, for any potential user/customer or employee to get to learn about their specific brand culture. STYLE AS A RECRUITING POOL «Google’s business is somewhat sprawling and disheveled. They started off with search, and now they are getting into hardware, like Pixel and Google Glass. Similarly, their next campus is a thicket of ideas and places to be.» (Brian Schermer, licensed architect and associate professor of architecture at the university of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). Tech giants are engaged in a worldwide competition to recruit the brightest of the engineer and designer graduates. Therefore, one can consider that architectural design choices are made with the intention of attracting different kinds of employees, able to match with the company’s culture and the corporate specificities. «The Google vision is to recruit people who are attracted to the serendipity of messiness. Apple is tightly controlled. Maybe the Apple employee is somebody who’s attracted to that pure, shared vision: the Jony Ive1 aesthetic» (Brian Schemer). The workplace perception, the health and well-being of its daily users, the overall and external image the organization might be some of the non-professional related elements that could be taken into consideration for future employees as an application motivation. Such elements are able to provide an organization overview for external people, that can be mastered by the corporate story-telling in order to draw a positive and unique positioning for the company. This consciously designed image of the company will impact the perception its very culture and unique approach will generate: • Public image of the company might have improved since relocated to its offices? • Organization hires better professional profiles since relocated? • Employees who have a job in the company — and especially in well designed offices — drive a positive image? • Building design affects the desire for employees to stay with the organization? • Employees become ambassadors of the brand and its work approach, and believe that all buildings should be designed according the same innovative principles? • Organization reputation as an environment conscious organization improved since relocated to new offices? RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution 1 Jonathan Ive is Apple Senior Vice-President of Design.
  13. 13. STATE OF CHANGE Current trends tend to demonstrate that the long-established model of one worker per desk, working from nine to five, is not longer appropriate anymore. Evolution and changes, in the recent years, in the organizational and management aspects of workplaces, emergence of new technologies. need of new requirements for space standards and type of equipment also move forward. Flexible working — as associated to co-working spaces, telecommuting and remote work —, an aging population, extended working lives (as correlated to ever longer life expectancy) drive to the emergence of a multi-generational work environment. This multi-generational workspace, mixing newly recruited graduates with elderly, is also rising in parallel with a multi-cultural environment. Those rapidly developing elements represent an unprecedented transformation of the workforce in the 21st century. STIMULATING AND SUPPORTIVE WORKPLACE In innovation-driven companies, the innovation also appear through new management methods. Innovative leadership, adapted workspaces, encompassed vision, all those elements concord to develop an dedicated management process able to accept and integrate the rising Gen. Y, whose main motivation — according to psychologists — do not reside into their amount of earnings but on the feeling of self-achievement and balance private/professional life they can grab from their company. Such changes, if correctly and smartly implemented, can generate direct and beneficial impact on staff productivity, well-being and creativity: key elements for a successful and thriving company whose added value depend on the energy its employees will fully dedicate to their task. As patterns of work and professional life are changing, emerging new technologies are leading to even more flexible working lives. Many people are assessing the way they use their time and energy. They want to be able to keep a better balance between their working life and personal life. More more workers leave their job — even in a difficult and tensed economical context — to search and respond to the will of a simpler and more fulfilling way of life. Many are looking for other options including self-employment, more relaxed work environments (telecommuting or teleworking), or any other flexible situations. True leadership involves looking at ways to retain the best employees and to provide flexible working environments that actually make people look forward at to coming to work. For tech giants, and other innovation-driven companies, workplace is often considered to be considered as an extension of the personal life, since lot of them include in their RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  14. 14. corporate offices additional services (transportation, healthy food, fitness, kindergarten…). «Innovation is more than just a series of great ideas: it has to be a concept that is thoroughly thought through, cleverly structured and entirely practical, creating spaces and environments that imaginatively reflect the life that goes on within the business.» (Deidre Corser, Jaine Magowan, Manager: British Journal of Administrative Management, spring 2010). The emergence of mobile and digital technologies, always more integrated in our daily lives, are providing individuals with a greater flexibility as they are more and more encourage to structure and organize their working environment. Subsequently, the knowledge-based economy is growing stronger, based on ideas generated through a collaboration process. Working patterns are changing, evolving, responding to the demand of a physical and virtual environments. «At the individual scale, working environments are appropriated ad hoc and adapted to meet personal needs. New office environments are providing more services and building a sense of community through open, shared spaces. Entire live/work/play neighborhoods are emerging as a place for interaction and the development and testing of new technologies» (Whitney Jade Foutz, Patterns for working and living in the 21st Century: the real estate development for the new workplace, 2005). Managers and developers of these new working environments are advised to take into consideration key performance elements: • Provide a greater focus on both accessibility to information and partnerships development among employees • Develop mixed used of workspaces as a potential model for development • Encourage the hybridization of both the home and the workplace • Encourage the alliance of technology with the environment to provide a better use of space and time It is important to notice that new work and lifestyle patterns are emerging and increasing with the recent spread of digital technologies, though they have been fully developed for a professional purpose, or if they involuntarily and unexpectedly impact the professional life. «Changes in the demand for working environments point to a recombination of living, working, and urban spaces, and the need for a larger variety of office products to suit different needs» (Foutz). Today, over 50 percent of the working population in western nations work in offices, as opposed to 5 percent in 1900 (Francis Duffy, The New Office (London: Conran Octopus Ltd., 1997). «Whereas the industrial revolution force the separation of home and workplace, the digital revolution is bringing them back together» (William J. Mitchell). RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  15. 15. Therefore, digital revolution provides workers with options of where to live and work, how to combine both or refuse this marriage, and even define the right mix of those to elements that best suits their needs. This new and redefined economy is characterized by an increased virtualization of processes, organizations and interpersonal relationships within the corporate environment. Efficient work production no longer requires people to work together in the same physical space to access the tools, softwares and resources they need to accomplish their tasks. Production can be spatially decentralized in multiple areas or locations and reintegrated back into other aspects of life (personal life, interpersonal communication situations): «once work and life are no longer rigidly separated in space, the temporal boundaries between them can be refashioned according to different imperatives. If the demarcation between work and leisure is no longer a lengthy period of commuting, a much finer granularity of interplay between work and leisure becomes possible.» (Andrew Harrisson, Paul Wheeler, and Carolyn Whiteheard, eds., The Distributed Workplace (London: Spon Press, 2004) Otherwise, social interactions occupy the role of an innovation driver. emphasizes the importance of face-to-face meetings, serendipitous encounters and non-predicted collaborative co-creation. The working environment is turning to «a place able to reiterate and strengthen the ties and bounds between virtual and interpersonal communication» (Foutz). Nowadays, workers are easily technology-savvy oriented, easily mastering innovation. They tend to be mobile and schedule-wise self-programmable, as being able to structure and hierarchize their own tasks and modus operanti. Their days most likely include a combination of autonomous and collaborative activities, office work becoming itself more varied and creative. However, in the «corporate outsourcing strategies, less desirable or essential activities are shipped out to people and economies willing to do them for less, so the key workforce can focus more on idea generation and creative work» (Duffy). CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW WORKPLACE Individual workers have more freedom and more choice in the places they can accomplish their work. Companies are creating their own unique environments to encourage innovation, developing a thriving interpersonal set of positive relations among employees. Successful, and paradoxically sui generis, approach in workspace design for innovation-driven companies are organized around key et visible architectural elements: • Open office design and layout organized to create a flexible, evolutionary, non-hierarchical environment. RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  16. 16. • High ceilings are generally implemented, to provide a true sense of openness. • Reversed organization, placing circulation path all along exterior wall to allow everyone in the company to share windows and enjoy the benefits of natural light. • Communal spaces, spread all around the corporate office to encourage informal social interactions, key elements for companies which depend from serendipitous encounters, ideas and projects. • Emphasis is put on shared space and storage to increase mobility and sense of community. • The space is generally filled with abundant art, experiential elements providing a creative atmosphere able to maintain and develop the employees’ curiosity. (adapted from Tim Allen, Adryan Bell, Richard, Graham, Bridget Hardy, and Felicity Swaffer, Working Without Walls: An Insight into the transforming government workplace (London: DEGW/OGC, 2004) EMPLOYEES AS BRAND AMBASSADORS Though workload can now essentially take place anywhere, companies require to focus on specific factors to convince employees to go to the office. To achieve this objective, corporate management have to search the right balance between accessibility, mobility and suitability for the task at end. The old office was about hierarchy: doors and corner offices created a clear separation between executives, managers, and clerks. However, this environment was neither the most efficient nor the most effective. […] A work environment which includes a variety of zones, including quiet, private areas, allows employees to match the appropriate space to their taste.» (Foutz). Innovation-driven companies offices combine and recombine physical space, technology, communications, and associated services into an all-in-one unique solution, allowing those companies to think of their working environment as an integrated solution, providing both products, services and corporate culture. Furthermore, this kind of workplaces is `translating evolving work practices, which effects or habits may be partly unpredictable since the tech-oriented companies are challenged by rapidly changing and moving forward competitive environments. «With building lifetimes calculated at thirty to a hundred years and even interiors considered to change only every seven to ten years, architecture’s challenge to address the rapidity of organizational change is apparent» (Melissa Marsh, Design for Achieving RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  17. 17. Strategic Business Objectives, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2004). CONCLUSION The conception of a coherent external identity, when associated to a performing branding are the way innovation-oriented businesses are strengthening their corporate identity, while providing, in parallel, true differentiating benefits to both their users/ customers or their employees as considered as brand ambassadors. For those companies, the internal identity — through space organization, enhanced interpersonal relationship with the implementation of dedicated areas, the presence of art to spark creativity — is consciously designed to drive employees’ attraction. Design is used to attract the right individuals to the right company, to the one they will share common expectations. Design is used help them discover and experiment a way of functioning in a particular environment, «through an explicit denotation of corporate goals and agenda, to strengthen and promote a broad corporate culture» (Marsh) and to increase employees’ satisfaction. More than that, retention of key employees and best profiles attraction are an on-going objective for innovation-driven companies. Design occupies a cross-functional communication place, since design is used to orchestrate interactions, serendipitous encounters and co-creation between individuals who must work together for the company to accomplish its mission. RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
  18. 18. REFERENCES • Kampschroer Kevin, Heergaven Judith, Powell Kevin, «Creating And Testing Workspace Strategy», California Management Review, Vol. 49, No.2, Winter 2007, University of California, Berkeley • Bell Michael A., Joroff Michael, «The Agile Workplace: Supporting People and Their Work», Gartner and MIT, 2000 • Pitt Michael, Bennett James, «Workforce ownership of space in a space sharing environment», Journal of Facilities Management, Volume: 6 Issue: 4, 2008 • Fawcett William, Rigby Danny, «The interaction of activity, space and cost variables in office workstation sharing», Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Volume: 11 Issue: 1, 2009 • Schwede Dirk A., Davies Hilary, Purdey Brian, «Occupant satisfaction with workplace design in new and old environments», Facilities, Volume: 26, Issue: 7/8, 2008 • Corser Deidre, Magowan Jaine, «Manager: British Journal of Administrative Management», spring 2010 • Foutz Whitney J., «Patterns for working and living in the 21st Century: the real estate development for the new workplace», 2005 • Duffy Francis, «The New Office», London: Conran Octopus Ltd., 1997 • Mitchell William J., «e-topia: Urban Life, Jim—But Not As We Know It», Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1999 • Harrisson Andrew, Wheeler Paul, Whiteheard Carolyn, «The Distributed Workplace», London: Spon Press, 2004 • Allen Tim, Bell Adryan, Graham Richard, Hardy Bridget, Swaffer Felicity, «Working Without Walls: An Insight into the transforming government workplace», London: DEGW/OGC, 2004 • Marsh Melissa, «Design for achieving strategic business objectives», Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2004 • Vischer C. Jacqueline, «Strategic Work-space Design», MIT Sloan, Fall 1995 • Boutellier Roman, Ullman Fredrik, Schreiber Jürg, Naef Reto, «Impact Of Office Layout On Communication In A Science-driven Business», R&D Management, 38, 4, 2008 • De Sola Price D., Beaver D., «Collaboration In An Invisible College», American Psychologist, 21(11), 1011-18, 1966 • Wenger E., McDermott R. A., «Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge», Boston, Mass, Harvard Business School Press, 2002 RémiDeVos | MS M2C EN | Research Contribution
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