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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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Thursday
Dec102015

Capturing Utilization and Activity Data in the Workplace

Image © Gensler

Post two of three (See post one here)

“What’s our utilization rate?” If you work in corporate real estate, you’ve likely asked or been asked this question. While utilization is an important metric to inform how frequently a space is used, it’s important to consider another key piece of data for strategic planning: activity data. Part one of this three-part blog series discussed how capturing activity data in conjunction with utilization data can inform a strategy that considers both the cost of the space and the value it provides occupants. The insights gained from activity data can inform a workplace strategy that optimizes existing space, without necessarily increasing the amount of space.

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Thursday
Dec102015

Gensler Designed Furniture Line Wins Best of Year Award

The Tuohy WorkStyles furniture line, pictured above, received a Best of Year Award from Interior Design.

WorkStyles Collection, a furniture line designed and developed by Gensler’s Product Design practice and the Tuohy Furniture Corporation, recently received a “Best of Year” award from Interior Design magazine in the “Furniture: Contact/Case Goods” category.

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Friday
Dec042015

Good Design Alone Won’t Eradicate Mindless Meetings 

Image © Wendy Andrew-Doele

Most of our recent workplace designs have dramatically increased the amount of meeting space available to the client. This happens not only because our clients usually ask for such increases, but our utilization studies tend to substantiate the need for more meeting areas. In many ways, building a case for more meeting spaces in the modern (frequently more open) workplace is easy. Yet there is a larger underlying question that goes beyond simple space issues: what type of a collaborative culture is an organization trying to foster? More cool and tech enabled meeting rooms are usually a good thing, but more meetings are usually not. In the research we do—the surveys, focus groups, interviews and other studies—a typical refrain is that there are too many meetings and many meetings are “a waste of time.”

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Thursday
Dec032015

Does Wellness Translate Across Culture? 

Differing cultural norms make it challenging to bring the wellness concepts taken as gospel in Western countries into Eastern countries like China. But that doesn't mean Chinese workers don't value wellness. Above: a yoga room at Gensler's Shanghai office. Image © Gensler

The word wellness can be loosely translated into Chinese as 养生 (yǎng shēng), which literally means “nurturing life.” It implies a very gentle, well-rounded approach to a wholesome lifestyle. It calls to mind a sexagenarian doing tai chi at dawn or sipping herbal tea in the afternoon.

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Wednesday
Dec022015

Cost Versus Value in Corporate Real Estate

Supplementing utilization data with activity data represents both the cost and value of corporate real estate. Image © Gensler

As more companies move from dedicated seating environments to free address or mobile arrangements, questions about space utilization and cost can quickly become a greater focus. But cost alone should not overshadow the value that the right space can provide occupants. Over the years Gensler has used a variety of technologies, methodologies, and analysis methods to inform real estate and workplace strategies from both a cost and value perspective. Along the way, we’ve developed best practices and guidelines for data capture and analysis that have been applied to workplaces around the world. Gensler recently presented on this topic at the IFMA World Workplace Conference in Denver, Colorado and will be sharing it as part of a three part blog series.

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