Mutterings of a consultant

April 2, 2008

Workplace design

Filed under: worklife — grantfrear @ 8:56 am
Tags: , , , ,

We are currently planning to move to a new office.  This is a significant event on a number of fronts.  Not only is it a hugely expensive exercise and requires a huge commitment, it also provides an opportunity to review culture and the role that the workplace/environment plays in recruitment, retention and performance.

The first of many decisions has been made.  When confronted with the decision to move to a part of the city that is in the middle of urban regeneration or a main street location we decided for the safe option, main street it is.  While there is great potential in developing areas of cities the amount of unknowns was simply too much.  In my mind this is just the start.

Tradition 1 – 0 Contemporary

The next frontier is the fitout.  We currently have a very traditional workplace.  It looks somewhat like a filing cabinet for people.  It encourages order, conformity and following tradition.  Much has been written about the role of the environment in creating a culture.  For example innovation seems to thrive in open plan, non-hierarchical environments.  While for a time it seemed the battle in workplace design was Funky vs. Functional.  Now it seems that you can have the best of both worlds, Funky and Functional. 

The following pictures should provide some food for thought.  These are images of the Google offices in Zurich, a city that has a strong brand of tradition.

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