About GenslerOnWork

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

Search GenslerOn
Work Topics
Connect with Us
« Superstorm Sandy and the Lessons of Mobility | Main | Physical + Digital=The new reality of space »

The Challenges We Face in Open Offices

Myriad challenges arise in open work spaces.

Thanks again to the Microsoft Global Workplace Strategies (GWS) team for allowing me to share their videos about the problems that arise in open offices! Here are four more. If this is the first of my posts about their videos you’ve checked out, you might want to see this earlier post for my favorite of the videos.

GWS and their Workplace Advantage program seeks to provide work environments that enhance innovation and productivity, provide function based work spaces, attend to human factors and showcase the Microsoft brand & technologies. How does one describe the complex interrelationship between use, space, technology and personal behavior? The answer... video.

Take the call

With non reserved rooms designed for short term use…how do you keep people from just camping out in them, from becoming the office they wish they had?

Cellular decibels

Too bad this video can’t be shown on screens on public transportation! Its wild that people just don’t get it that we don’t want to listen to their phone conversations…

The Great Listener

There are nuances to policies. If there are phone rooms do we need to use them every time we do a phone call? This one pokes fun at corporate culture in a fun, underhanded way.

Take it to the hub

This one could be taken a couple of ways…I like thinking about this as old dogs new tricks. Describes how to use spaces people may not have had in previous work places.

Gervais Tompkin
Gervais Tompkin chooses to be optimistic. He thrives on collaborations with others and is more likely to diagram it than talk about it. His practice as a leader of Gensler’s consulting practice allows him to work with interesting people on worthy problems globally. Contact him at gervais_tompkin@gensler.com.

Reader Comments (3)

This is a good article. Yes there are many problems with open office. It seems to be more business focused than employee focused. Putting walls in an office is also not a good solution. Too many Closed offices will change the amount of lighting they need and the space planning. it might not be the most sustainable thing to do.
I think pods are great idea for collaboration. When some people need to talk on the phone, they should go into those pods. A balanced environment for employees can affect their abilities to concentrate more and work effectively. Enforce an office etiquette list could also be a good thing.
10.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill Chan
Could you please add a link to your earlier post with the other videos?
10.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
The Power of Introverts and the need for space designed exclusively for them

11.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterArpita

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.