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Designs to Make You Work Harder

Source: Author: Sue Shellenbarger READ FULL ARTICLE AT

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The joy of a private office—it's something 89% of senior managers in the U.S. have celebrated. Soon after, though, there's the realization that the space feels cut off from the action. At times, the four walls can feel like barriers to keeping in touch with colleagues.

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Is there a way to make that same office a more inspiring, productive space that actually aids communication?
To that end, four design firms were challenged to configure a 15-foot by 15-foot space for a hypothetical midlevel executive. The office should look good, of course, but the firms were asked to envision a space that could inspire ideas and increase productivity.
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Each firm came up with imaginative spaces—understandable when given a blank slate and unlimited budget. Yet the vastly different "perfect office" designs offer common themes.
All the designers created virtual fishbowls, building in two or more glass walls and even, in two cases, having one glass wall fold or slide open to create shared space. This openness allows the executive "to be seen by other people," and to show leadership and earn trust, says Kursty Groves, a New York-based consultant to businesses on designing creative workplaces.
Each firm's rendering highlights different work zones within the office to accommodate different tasks, from concentrating on a project to meeting with colleagues to sitting back to reflect. Also, most of the firms aimed to integrate the latest wireless technology and environmental controls into desktops or key pads, making them nearly undetectable to the eye.
What's out, based on the firms' concepts, are towering status-symbol executive desks and trophy-laden "ego walls." Capacious drawers and closets for storage are mostly absent too, reflecting the paperless trend.
Of course, the definition of a perfect office depends on the occupant. With about...

Full article: Designs to Make You Work Harder

More About: Productivity office design company culture

Jun 21 2011 submitted by Katie Baldwin

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