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GenslerOnWork examines the modern workplace and how design can help us become more engaged and productive as we earn our living.

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See what’s ahead for design in 2014 with the Gensler Design Forecast 2014 (PDF).

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Thursday
Apr172014

Best of Both Worlds: Quiet and Collaboration at GSA’s Headquarters

Sound masking technology coupled with thoughtful design mitigates noise at GSA headquarters at 1800 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. Image © Gensler

How do you create a work environment that is quiet for individual focus work yet promotes collaboration?

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Tuesday
Mar112014

Maybe the Focus Problem is a Collaboration Problem

In order to enable focus at the office, meetings need to be run in a more effective manner. Image © Gensler

Every week it seems a new article hits newsstands condemning the open office, a system supposedly designed for extroverts which allegedly squanders the potential of introverts. We can all identify with this feeling: the sense that our individual work is under siege by distractions. That’s because it often is. But articles about this subject tend to have a sense of fatality or nostalgia, as if business operations and the economy have condemned us to suffer this loss of focus along with other emotional indignities. That feeling of fatality has been bothering me.

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Wednesday
Feb262014

Vertically Challenged: Stairs, the Final Frontier

The central staircase at Gensler's Washington, D.C., office seamlessly connects the first and second floors, allowing the two separate spaces to almost function as one. Image © Gensler

We workplace strategists and designers have learned how to create office layouts that optimize space utilization, flexibility and efficiency. We maximize the choice of settings in which office workers can go about their business. The layouts work pretty darned well on the horizontal dimensions of a building floor and the time dimension: as tasks morph over the hours of a day, our activity-based designs provide alternative work settings. We provide privacy or connectivity, as appropriate, for focus, collaborative, learning or social activity.

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Thursday
Feb062014

Pop-Up + Co-working = TechHub

TechHub's new offices. Image © Rueben Derrick, Gensler

“Pop-up” has rapidly become one of the most pervasive design trends in recent years. It’s about engaging customers where they least expect it. It’s about surprise, wit and the freedom of being temporary. At some level it calls back to our childhoods where our imaginations, given a few essentials queues, could transform any space into a place of wonder… at least for a little while. This trend has given us pop-up shops, pop-up restaurants, but can it be applied to the professional work environment?

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Tuesday
Feb042014

Reinventing the Workplace: [Re]Work

Image © Gensler

Ongoing research on the evolution of knowledge work establishes a causal relationship between employees’ ability to focus and their productivity. Workers report having the ability to block out distractions at work are 57% more able to collaborate, 88% more able to learn, and 42% more able to socialize in their workplace. Collaboration and engagement with others stills drives innovation and productivity, but for employees to effectively collaborate, they must first be able to effectively focus.

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