Design and people are of course inextricably linked. First, one creates the other, but also one defines the other. A bit like an aquarium, say, which needs fish to actually be an aquarium rather than a glass box of seaweed and rocks. Don’t almost all built spaces need people in them, using them, to make the shift from being a structure to a productive, endearing place to work? It seems obvious that we should intricately study people, behaviour and psychology before designing a working place.
So, how deeply do commercial designers study these factors? Looking at the average centre core, sea-of-grey-desks workplace – not enough. The workspace we’re being asked to concentrate, collaborate, and engage in says nothing about what we need as human beings to achieve all of this. Those involved in providing workspace will argue that in the economic environment, workspace is an easy cost-cut. Heads of property the world over look for ways to increase density and standardize – and this factor drives cookie-cutter space plans. The monotony of these leads people in them to carve out individuality by adorning their workstation with Hello Kitty, with a favourite chair, or even hanging on – with territorial animal instinct in some cases – to a cupboard-like office. But dig deeper into any organization and we find that there is also a strategic agenda to drive innovation, customer service or speed to market. All of these require teamwork and creative energy. Mix in the rise of mobile technology and we find a challenging situation. If we can work anywhere, why would we choose a heartless office? I haven’t met a head of property who can justify fitting out, cleaning and cooling empty space.
Can we have our cake and eat it too – grow the business and leverage the cost of workspace? By understanding people, and the behaviours we want to encourage, I believe we can. The process of designing a workplace is equally critical to the outcome if you’re headed down this path. “Get the brief right” – we’ve heard that before. I think of “get” in this sentence as being like “gather.” Gathering the brief right means engaging people in a measured and specific way. By drawing upon psychological methods typically reserved for more therapeutic settings, you can tailor a sharp program to design solutions that match the business agenda. This process can also involve watching behaviour and space use, but then looking far and wide for precedents, not just to other workplaces but relatable experiences, to explore the options.
The design outcomes are full of movement and choice, allowing people to be introverted or extroverted, supporting concentration, creativity and collaboration in spaces designed for those tasks. It’s not about personalizing your desk, but personalizing your day and selecting the right places to do the best work. This new space drives behaviour and supports growth in the business. The accountants among us may reel at creating such abundant environments, but they can be highly efficient. Challenging one-grey-desk-per-person can make savings in space, but challenging how people use space can also increase flexibility and impact operating costs.
So, does it work? Cost saving is just the bridesmaid in comparison to the bride. The real gain is in the business results organizations are recording when they go down this route. Macquarie Group’s activity-based workplace at One Shelley Street in Sydney, designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects and Woods Bagot, is a good example of a goal-driven workplace. Their post-occupancy results reveal compelling percentage leaps in a range of hard and soft metrics, positioning the brand as visionary, innovative, agile, and leading the pack. Not all case studies like this adopt the most radical end result, but they have all recorded the real business benefits of aligning their workplace closely to their vision. This shift has supported growth in organizations that Woods Bagot is working with, including Eversheds Lawyers in London, GPT Group, Google, Department of Treasury and Finance in Victoria, and the BDA with plenty more in the pipeline.
The key is linking human behaviour to your vision as an organization – what your people do is your business, so support it wisely.
Managerial and Organizational Behavior - Office Space: A Case Study
4866 WordsJul 28th, 200720 Pages
AbstractThere are four major influences that can impact an organization's structure. With the movie Office Space as an example, the way employees handle change, paradigms, power, and politics will be analyzed. Theories will be cited of what techniques can be initiated to ensure effective organizational management and behavior. Office Space is a great example of irrational management and bizarre human behavior. The executives at the fictitious company in the movie, Initech, do not demonstrate successful managerial organizational skills. Great respect is paid to the impact that organizational change can encompass.
Managerial and Organizational BehaviorOffice Space: A Case StudyOrganizational behavior can be defined as "individual behavior…show more content…
Many of these attributes are present in non-fictional organizations as well. The way we handle change, paradigms, power, and political behavior, will all affect the way a department or company will run. I feel the way we react to change is the biggest issue. Change occurs every day, at work and at home; although, sometimes we are not conscious of it. Sometimes it is not significant enough to make a drastic impact.
Managing ChangeOrganizations are changing nearly daily. It has become the standard in most organizations (Nelson, Quick, 2006). The presence of continuous change appears to be the only constant in organizational life today. One area that continues its transformation of organizations is the design itself. The way in which companies are configured today is changing (Buhler, 2000). Change can be as dramatic as downsizing or a merger, or it can be as minute as hiring more staff. Either way, it still has an impact on employees.
"The contingency approach to the structure of current organizations suggests there is no 'one best' structure appropriate for every organization" (Buhler, 2000, p. 15). Rather, this approach contends the best structure for an organization fits its needs for the situation at the time. The best structure for an organization may change over time-as the "situation within which the company operates changes and the environment changes" (Buhler, 2000, p. 15). The key is to