Tag: workplace design


Can seven cards change how you communicate about a project? IDEO says theirs can and they’re free.

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." "The adage has been used in countless ways since the early 1900s, and it’s still the best way I know to describe the challenge of critiquing creative work. What it means to me is, we’re using the wrong language, but it’s all we have."


IDEO went in search of a common language to describe and critique creative excellence. After much deliberation they settled on:

  • Heart
  • Beauty
  • Brains
  • Bravery
  • Magic
  • Mastery
  • Destiny

They then created a card with questions to provoke thought about each. For example, the Bravery card poses the questions:

- Does the work, and the team, embody risk taking?

- Did the work introduce a new perspective, or inspire an organization to change?

- Will the world remember this decades from now?

So instead of stumbling around for words to describe why a design doesn't quite feel right, you might say "it's not brave enough." 

It took me several re-reads to buy into their concept, but now I find myself seeing all kinds of kinds of business applications for this deck of cards from strategic planning, to product development, to workplace design, and beyond.

Workplace design survey reveals employee wants and expectations. Flexibility is key.

Workplace design survey reveals employee wants and expectations. Flexibility is key.

"Capital One has released the results of its 2018 Work Environment Survey. The survey asked full-time professionals their thoughts on workplace design and environment as it relates to their productivity, innovation, and collaboration with colleagues.


This year's workplace environment survey of 3,500 adults found:

- 85% of employees say a flexible design is important to them

- 42% Millennials say it's very important, compared to 32% of Boomers

- 30% strongly agree companies need an innovative environment to encourage innovation, another 49% agree

- 83% say flexible workplace design fosters innovation

- 80% say it enhances productivity

- 66% say design is equally (33%) or more important than location


What they expect from their next employer:

- 58% say flexible hours

- 51% say being able to work remotely

- 47% say access to the latest technology

- 31% say standing desks

- 30% say onsite fitness


What they would like to see in their workplace:

- 57% natural light

- 37% easily configurable furniture and spaces

- 36% artwork

- 30% collaborative spaces

- 25% rest/relaxation spaces

- 25% bold colors

There’s nothing standard about global space standards

There’s nothing standard about global space standards

Many of today’s companies are putting in place global guidelines that strive to create consistent work and cultural experiences.


Kay Sargent from HOK offers an excellent round-up of the challenges and opportunities for workplace design across different parts of the world. She stresses the importance of guidelines vs. standards to accommodate differences in culture, organizational structure, demographics, market conditions, legal issues, and technological factors. 

Fifth biennial benchmarking study reveals big shifts in workplace strategy

Fifth biennial benchmarking study reveals big shifts in workplace strategy

Many of what we once considered alternative workplace strategies, have now become mainstream. Now in its fifth year, this benchmarking study was conducted by Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), Global Workplace Analytics, and Haworth Inc., and additionally supported by Workplace Evolutionaries, a community of practice within the International Facilities Management Association. Over 130 organizations representing over 2.3 million global employees responded. The results were compared to longitudinal data collected across four similar surveys fielded since 2008.


The 'Once Alternative Workplace Strategies Report’, reveals significant changes in how and where people work. Some of the more interesting findings include:

  • The worry over a loss in productivity when people are able to work anywhere is entirely unfounded.
  • People impacts, rather than cost savings, are now the primary measure of success
  • Internal mobility has more than doubled since 2008; External mobility (working at home, coworking places, outside the office) has remained flat
  • Nearly half of employees are still permanently assigned to one space; no change since 2008
  • Employee involvement in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of workplace change programs has decreased significantly

The free 50+ page report can be downloaded at

Circulation space…you need more than you may think. Let’s do the math.

Circulation space…you need more than you may think. Let’s do the math.

An common miscalculation in circulation space can underestimate usable area requirements by between 9% and 20%; a very significant difference that has both practical and legal ramifications.



This article explains how a simple error in the application of a circulation multiplier in a space program can have serious consequences, putting your firm at risk for advising the client to purchase, build, or lease a space that is too small for their needs. It is a simple error, one the authors have seen made by well-known firms.

The bottom line is, if you want 30% circulation space in a 10,000 square foot area, you need multiply the program elements (e.g., offices, workstations, meeting rooms, support areas) by 42.86%, not 30%.

Page 1 of 3123