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The Workplace May 1, 2007

Posted by wilson7 in Employees, Organizational Environment, Workplaces.

Do you think the way an office is set up has a direct correlation to employee moral, productivity, and job satisfaction? An April 2006 survey of more than 2,000 office workers commissioned by Gensler, a leading design firm, illustrates both the problems and the promise of workplace design. Nearly half of the respondents said they would work an extra hour a day if they had a better workplace environment. More than 90 percent reported that their office space affected their attitudes about work and that a different setup could make their companies more competitive. Yet employers seemed blind to the potential: Only 38 percent of workers said they would be proud to show important customers their workspace. About a third complained that it didn’t promote health and well-being. And almost half thought that creating a productive workplace was not a priority at their companies. It was a study by the Buffalo Organization for Social and Technological Innovation, that showed how the physical design of workspace had a direct effect on job satisfaction, productivity, and profitability in settings ranging from high-rises to laboratories. Companies with workplaces that encouraged more informal mingling of employees, for example, outperformed those that sequestered their staffs in amaze of cubicles.

General Services Administration decades ago: Of the total cost to a company for running an office building over a 30-year life span, the initial construction represents just 2 percent; operating expenses come to about 6 percent.

The remainder goes to paying the workers inside. The point should be obvious: People are the biggest cost inside a work environment, so leveraging your human capital ought to be near the top of your priority list. But, of course, it isn’t. What type of work environment would you like to be apart of? Are you a cubicle type of employee or more interactive?  If you were an employer what type of office would you set up?



1. Lady - May 1, 2007

I would definitely want to be apart of an work environment that encourages informal mingling and doesn’t confine their employees to their cubicles. This is the type of environment that I will search for when interviewing for jobs in the future. Similarly, I would strive to promote the same type of environment if I was an employer. I do believe that workers are more productive if they feel more comfortable and not under pressure to perform.

2. silviamocanu07 - May 3, 2007

The quality of the work environment is directly connected to employee productivity levels. Encouraging interaction among employees creates a positive environment and it enables each employee to feel part of the company, which will certainly benefit the organization.

Personally, I am against the cubicle concept because it restricts communication (and that is when some of the best ideas emerge) and they create a sense of seclusion, instead of fostering a teamwork oriented approach, which is what would be desirable to any organization today. The cubicle approach has a negative connotation and is reminiscent of Orwell’s “1984”.

3. collage9 - May 3, 2007

I think the production of employees definitely correlates to the type of environment they work in. I know if I was stuck in a cubicle all day I would probably hate my job and not be very motivated to do well. I think having a workplace that creates a more relaxed environment and promotes employee interaction is very beneficial. A good example of this is Google. At their Googleplex, employees share office spaces that are filled with couches, rubber exercise balls, and even dogs. By creating a relaxed and interactive environment Google has created a workplace where their employees love to work, as evidence through their ranking as the top company to work for by Fortune.

4. Brian Mulligan - May 8, 2007

I know from experience this past summer that the workplace has a major effect on your morale and productivity. I was stuck in a cube with abosolutely no one around me (sligthly depressing). To reach my boss, I would have to walk about 200 feet to reach her if I needed any help with reports and analysis. Vice versa, she had to walk to me if she needed something from me. All of my bosses or co-workers were all a long walk and it seemed very ineffecient. I would have liked a more interactive work area, where I could communicate with all of my co-workers and superiors.

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