At Atomic Object, we’ve always been big fans of the open office floor plan. Our offices consist of wide-open rooms with table groups where team members can easily work together. This environment allows spontaneous brainstorming sessions and problem-solving discussions to occur naturally throughout the day.
One thing that I really love about the open office setup is being able to hear bits and pieces of what other teams are doing throughout the day. When working on an application, it’s not at all uncommon to run across a problem that someone else has already addressed. If you know the right person to ask, sometimes you can save yourself a great deal of time and headaches just by having a discussion with a coworker. The open office environment helps make this possible. Read more on Improving on the Open Office Environment with Slack…
When Atomic Object was searching for a new office space, it made me think about what makes a good work environment and if there were any research studies that supported my personal experiences. I did some research, and what I found changed the way I view how people work together.
Along with lots of nuts-and-bolts, DIY design ideas, the book offers excellent perspectives on some of the important lessons of workplace design. Here are the “Insights” that most resonated with me as I head into the redesign of AO Grand Rapids: Read more on Space Matters – Workplace Design Insights…
But I recently read David Zax’s FastCompany article, In Defense of Sitting, a humorous counter argument (“Sitting may kill you. But at least you’ll die doing something you love.”) to the widely-published judgement that standing while at task is surely the key to eternal life.
What the summer of 1975 did for sharks, what the fall of 2001 did for anthrax, the last few years have been doing for that seemingly innocuous object: the chair.
New Technologies, New Behaviors is a research summary recently published by Herman Miller. I found it to be an interesting review of three specific tech trends and the impact they are having on our use patterns and workplaces:
In early 2011, for the first time in history, smart phones outsold personal computers. In fact, by February of 2012, 88 percent of the U.S. population carried a mobile phone. Between December of 2011 and January of 2012, the number of adults who owned a tablet computer nearly doubled, and tablets will likely outsell laptops within the next five years.
Unified Communication Channels
The proliferation of technological devices and applications in the workplace has had the paradoxical effect of actually creating more barriers to communication, at least in the short-term. With tablets, smartphones, laptops, email, instant messaging, video, and social networks, people have many ways to get in touch with each other. But not all the devices, apps, and services are able to talk with each other.
Natural Forms of Interface Natural user interfaces (NUI), allow people to interact with technology in many of the same ways they interact with people: through speech, gesture, and touch.
New user interfaces are not only transforming the way we interact with our devices, but also the ways in which we interact with each other. Researchers are finding that “the increased ability for natural expressions of behavior, such as gesture and posture, extend the possibilities for communication and collaboration.”
Steelcase’s recent issue of 360° Magazine, titled Culture Code, shares a big body of research on workplace culture across eleven countries. The following is a sampling of three interesting workplace culture perspectives (by country) from this research.
A few years ago, I bought a height adjustable work table so we could experiment with standing work postures versus sitting working postures. A few people tried the stand up table, but it took awhile for anyone to really stick with daily use.
As any friend of Atomic knows, we have a great open office environment and matching open culture. But not all open offices are created equal. My previous employer had the layout of an open office, but not a truly open environment.