Contact an A+D consultant in your area to learn more about, or schedule a CEU presentation.
There are many distractions in the workplace that affect productivity. Surveys indicate that noise tops that list, and it's a very subjective issue; meaning that managing expectations is just as important as implementing an appropriate solution. This presentation is an opportunity to share some of what we have learned from our projects that can help improve the acoustical environments. By reviewing the basics of sound control, you will learn about the options available to minimize distracting noise, and improve the overall acoustical quality of the space.
Call centers are moving from the back room, to center stage. For some organizations it is discovered that the call center operation can be a profit center, not just a cost center with a shift from reducing cost to being front line for product and service offerings to customers. Organizations continue to better understand the importance of employee recognition, as call center employees what to be part of a team. Additionally, organizations see the importance of a “fit” healthy environment. This presentation will review the top ten trends that we have seen influencing the design of call centers. We will also share design principles and thoughtstarters based on our research globally.
Global organizations that design and manage their work environments to respect cultural values often realize substantial benefits—attracting and retaining talent, allowing distributed teams to be more productive, promoting employee wellbeing, and much more. As global businesses seek to implement a workplace strategy, their offices have become stages for playing out cultural differences. Many organizations try to export the same workplace strategy that worked at home, without always considering how those spaces will be perceived within a different culture. We all need desks and chairs, right? What could be so different?
As work becomes much more collaborative it is taking individuals out of their owned spaces, into shared or temporary work settings. The impact of the migration presents workers and their employers with a whole new set of ergonomic challenges. Ones that are proving as harmful as those faced with the introduction of the desk top. There is a need to arm our mobile workforce and the companies that employ them with ergonomic information that will help everyone make smart choices about how and where work happens. Ergonomics for a Mobile Workforce is a course designed to show individuals how to evaluate their risks and make the right choices about their work habits. It also illustrates ways to design work environments which can anticipate the variety of individual and task needs. The goal for both being to prevent injury before it happens.
In North America, the trend to bench has been catching on fast because it’s a hard-working solution that addresses converging business realities, especially: 1) today’s workplace culture that prefers collaboration and networking to closed-off cubicles; and 2) the pressing need to curb real estate costs and adapt spaces quickly to changing business conditions and needs. Steelcase began conducting primary and secondary research on benching in 2008, including in-depth case studies with 10 clients, six in the U.S. and four in Europe.
As residents of the world’s hottest centers of economic growth, young people in India and China are breaking new ground while surrounded by traditions. Providing the best workplaces for these workers starts with understanding what their generation is all about. To better understand the newest generation of workers in these two important countries, Steelcase completed primary research projects in India and China in 2010, building on methodologies and insights from a previous study of Generation Y workers in North America. That study, completed in 2009, documented a significant influence on both work and the workplace that’s underway in the U.S. due to Gen Y characteristics and their pervasive influence on the other three generations of workers in North American workplaces.
This seminar focuses on the findings of secondary and primary research conducted by Steelcase, which included observation studies with clients that helped to identify innovation behaviors and processes in actual work settings. Adopting methodologies from anthropology and other social sciences, Steelcase’s Applied Research Consultants and WorkSpace Futures teams, in collaboration with architects, designers and corporations worldwide, are discovering new insights into the types of spaces that work hardest to support meaningful interactions, foster collaboration, and deliver on innovation.
Our perspective about the changing dynamics of the world, work, workers and the workplace is based on the same research process that our Workspace Futures team uses. We conduct extensive secondary research, as well as review all of the primary research Steelcase has done, and conducted interviews with key executives. We study all of these macros trends and then look for patterns as we synthesize all of the available data. Then we study the implications of this on the workplace, and the key issues that are resulting and need to be solved for. In this study we will provide you an overview of the key trends and workplace issues, as well as some ideas we have on how to think about, and design for, the kind of workplace that organizations need to thrive in this interconnected world we'll live in. We refer to it as an "interconnected workplace" and we’ll show you a concept and framework that we have developed in order to support the ideas we believe are relevant and significant.
The Steelcase WorkSpace Futures team recently conducted research on the area of corporate learning. The central question for the projects was, “In an ever changing, connected economy, how will learning spaces evolve?” Customers participating in the research were from industries such as consulting, financial services, technology, and manufacturing. This exploration builds on our extensive research in the area of higher education and classrooms along with our learnings from our workplace and hospitality studies. As well, we’ve learned quite a bit from our own corporate learning environment, the Steelcase University Learning Center.
Today’s design has been influenced by designers from many different places with vastly different backgrounds. This is an opportunity to focus on Danish designers, specifically Hans Wegner, and how craftsmanship, drive for perfection, and simple but clean designs have influenced modern design. Through this course you should expect to gain an intimate understanding of the Danish Masters, who they are, and how their modern yet classic designs continue to seize the design world’s attention today.
Private spaces are constructed in buildings every day. Traditional, fixed construction does a fine job meeting the initial needs of a space. Moveable walls are a flexible, sustainable, cost-effective alternative to traditional construction. This course is an opportunity to learn how moveable walls not only provide a solution with built-in flexibility, but also provides first-cost effective alternatives to conventional construction that simplify the planning and construction process. A solution that considers life-cycle costs and the inevitability of the needs of a space changing all while being considerate of the earth as well.
There are a lot of good things about the current approach to office ergonomics. However, emerging trends and new insights are calling into question the traditional view of ergonomics. Businesses today are taking a more proactive approach to employee wellness in the workplace. But has office ergonomics kept pace? Up until today, ergonomics in the office has been somewhat reactive, focusing only on the physical science and the prevention of injury. Today, we look to expand the ergonomic lens to one that includes the impact of three different, yet related sciences—physical, cognitive, and social—making a “complete” ergonomic workspace and program look vastly different than what it’s ever been before.
The rapid pace of technological innovation, emerging globalization, a volatile economy and diversity never before seen are driving unprecedented change in the workplace. Understanding what is happening and how it impacts workers, the workplace and companies is critical to developing competitive advantage in a these challenging times. Our research is based on evidentiary truths. The way people work has indeed changed, and it will continue to do so. It is a constantly evolving change and we have to stay ahead of the trends. By understanding what is new we feel we can better anticipate impending change and be better prepared for the future of work. In this presentation we want to share some of the reasons, the reactions, and the realities of the new work day.
Standard sources of information such as annual reports, brochures and organizational charts provide hard facts about an organization that help a designer begin the planning process. However, Steelcase, along with many leading design firms, believes that understanding the complexities of relationships and work processes is crucial to a successful design outcome. Uncovering this type of information is possible by employing observation techniques and organizing what is “seen” in ways that are useful to the client and the designer.
We realize this is a somewhat provocative statement. But with the growing attention on the issue of worker wellbeing, and the rising awareness of the economics of the issue, perhaps questions like this will help to cause a ‘reset’ in terms of thinking about how the workplace can actually help. We know there are studies about how the workplace can hurt, so maybe it’s time to start thinking about what it takes to create an environment designed for the holistic wellbeing of the people who work there. There’s a growing effort to consider how we can become more resilient … to rebound from a negative situation by actually becoming better than where we started. So we believe we have a responsibility to not just stem the rising cost of healthcare, we believe we have a responsibility as employers and global citizens to help people be healthier than they are now. Let’s talk about how your companies or your customers are addressing this issue. Some might call it wellness. Others call it something else. What approaches are you seeing?