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

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The Office Strikes Back

The office is striking back. After years of unprecedented technological, economic and societal change, companies are re-establishing the physical work place as the first choice place to work for a liberated and mobile workforce. The next decade will see even more change in the world of work, and I believe it will have even more of an impact on office design than what has taken place in the last 20 years.

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Exploring Workplace Culture, Style, and Trends to Define a Personal Workspace

As a workplace strategist, I spend my days learning how the design of workspace can influence and engage people to share ideas and build relationships. A trend I’m seeing is activity-based planning, which means that people in a workspace can choose where to work based on what they need to do at any given time. For this to work, there needs to be variety of spaces for interaction and focused work.

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Distractions, part 3 or “Knock Twice and Barge In!”

I apologize for the long gap between my blogs on this subject…frankly, I have been distracted working on projects about distraction in the workplace! My fascination (some might call it an obsession) with workplace distractions is the result of surprising observations stemming from a study we did several years ago, looking at the work processes of two different organizations. One was a law firm, the other a bio-tech company. We wanted to know where employees did their focused concentration work. Each organization was full of knowledge workers, and the work setting provided for their focus work was individual offices with fully closing, wooden doors.

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The Unsung Office Hero

With startling consistency, predictions of the future workplace envision open, densely populated office environments full of constant interaction, collaboration, and teamwork. In this vision of tomorrow, the cubicle and private office are extinct, and dynamic, barrier-free workplace layouts spur innovation and push employees to perform at their highest levels. That’s great if you’re an extrovert who feels comfortable spending the majority of the day interacting with colleagues, but for the estimated 25 percent* of the population who are introverts, that future workplace is a daunting prospect.

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Focus on Focus

Gensler office

The places where we work have dramatically changed over the last thirty years. At the extreme, we have gone from private offices in the 60’s to open work benches that are not dissimilar to workspaces from the Industrial Revolution, a time of wrenching change, challenges and opportunities much like today. So much of this change has been driven by the need to facilitate communication, enhance collaboration and break down the silos that have paralyzed many organizations.

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