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360 magazine issue65


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Economist Pankaj Ghemawat stirred up controversy when he wrote “just a fraction of what we consider globalization actually exists… [and] globalization’s future is more fragile than you know.” But how …

Economist Pankaj Ghemawat stirred up controversy when he wrote “just a fraction of what we consider globalization actually exists… [and] globalization’s future is more fragile than you know.” But how can that be? We live in a wired (and wireless) economy where a designer in Amsterdam collaborates with an engineer in Silicon Valley under the supervision of a Parisian manager, to manufacture goods in Shenzhen for the Brazilian market. Isn’t this world supposed to be “flat,” as Thomas Friedman famously declared?

In reality, much of our work is distributed across distant places, and leading organizations identify globalization as one of their key strategic goals. But the potential power of our globalized economy has yet to be fully realized. “In 2004 less than 1 percent of all U.S. companies had foreign operations, and of these the largest fraction operated in just one foreign country… None of these statistics has changed much in the past 10 years,” states Ghemawat in his book “World 3.0.” The incongruous state of globalization is nowhere as apparent as in the physical workplace. Workers’ behaviors, preferences, expectations and social rituals at work around the world can vary vastly, yet many multinational firms that expand to far-flung corners of the world simply replicate their workplace blueprints from home. Should today’s work environments become globalized into a cohesive form? Or should they remain locally rooted? The global business world has shed a bright light on cultural differences and generated an extensive examination of values and behaviors around the world. Yet despite obvious differences in the design and utilization of work environments, little attention has been given to the implications of culture on space design. As a result, leaders of multinational organizations often don’t realize that, when used as a strategic tool, workplaces that balance local and corporate culture can expedite and facilitate the process of global integration.

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  • 1. Leadership Momentwith LexJet CEOArthur LambertA new space, revitalizedemployees and record sales.Issue 65Exploring workplaceresearch, insightsand trends360.steelcase.comSustainability SpotlightSustainability workshops cultivateout-of-the box thinking aboutthe future.Q&A with PankajGhemawatIs your business a trulyglobal enterprise? Probablynot as much as you think.Culture CodeLeveraging the workplace tomeet today’s global challenges
  • 2. Learn how media:scaperemoves barriers to an increasingly complex and competitive world, where creativity and innovation arevital, people—everywhere—need to work more collaboratively. The family of media:scape™products brings together people, information and space in a way that augments theirinteraction and amplifies their performance.Collaboration amplified.FrameOne with media:scapemedia:scape standing-height tablemedia:scape loungemedia:scape mobilemedia:scape mini
  • 3. 2 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 3Global integration is a strategic business goal in today’s interconnected and interdependenteconomy. The workplace is an underutilized asset that organizations can leverage to accelerate thecomplex process of integration. Leading organizations that understand the role culture plays withinthe physical work environment can use space as a competitive advantage.In response to this challenge, the Steelcase WorkSpace Futures team recently completed a studyof 11 countries to better understand culture codes in the workplace. Their insights can helporganizations incorporate important values, employee behaviors and larger cultural contexts intowork environments that work around the world.about this issue
  • 4. | Issue 65 | 5Eles eum as apiet velecae. Nemolorrovitis recatibus vellaccum conseacercipsusa peribeatem volorporibusIPAD Ad360 Magazine is published by Steelcase Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2012. Cover and design by Plural, in collaboration with Steelcase.Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form unless you really want to help people love how they work—just ask us first, okay?CULTURE CODEThe Steelcase WorkSpace Futures team recentlycompleted a cultural study of 11 countries tobetter understand cultural codes in the workplace.Their insights inform how to reflect and incorporateimportant values, employee behaviors andlarger cultural contexts into work environmentsaround the world.18 Q&A with Pankaj GhemawatIs your business a trulyglobal enterprise?Probably not as much asyou think, says economistand author. But its timeto think that way.136 LeadershipMoment withArthur LambertLexjet CEO shares howtheir new space hasrevitalized employees,helped to boost salesto record levelsand cultivated a greatcustomer serviceexperience.140 Meet the ExpertsThree of the country’sleading authorities sharetheir thoughts on designingactive learning spacesand improving educationenvironments.148 A GermanCelebration ofNew IdeasAs part of Steelcase’syear-long, worldwidecentennial celebration,event brings togetherdiverse thinkers to lookahead to future businessinnovations.Join the conversationConnect with Steelcasevia social media and letus know what you’rethinking. Or email usat 360magazine@steelcase.comSearch “Steelcase 360Magazine” on the newstand.Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 3.2 or later.DepartmentsContents24Same but DifferentBy comparing work environments in 11 countries,the study identified distinctions and similarities.The opportunities and challenges in these differentcultures demonstrate how a thoughtfully-designedworkplace can foster trust, improve collaborationand ultimately help an organization go global fasterand more effectively.An Exploration ofEleven CountriesInsights into therelationship betweenworkplace behaviorsand the work environ-ment for each of the 11countries and what ittells us about them.10235Exploring workplaceresearch, insightsand trends360.steelcase.com360 on the ipadSearch “Steelcase 360 Magazine” on the newstand.Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.FIND THE “STEELCASE 360”APP FOR FREE ON Perspectives 16 Trends 360124 LessonsLearned146 DesignApps152 Atoms Bits126 Insights Applied
  • 5. 6 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 7Meet some of the people who contributed informationand ideas to this issue.The Culture Code Teamperspectivesperspectives“More businesses than ever are global and that means people have the opportunityto work with others from all over the world. There is a fascinating dimensionto that, but it can also be frustrating because you have to embrace new ways ofthinking,” says Catherine Gall, research director, Steelcase WorkSpace Futures.This was the driving force behind Culture Code, a research study Gall and theinternationally-distributed Workspace Futures team recently completed that examined11 countries to better understand culture codes in the workplace and how companiescan leverage these insights to provide effective work environments in a globalbusiness world (pg. 24).Ilona MaierStrasbourg, France“Evidence points to an increasing shiftin preferences and behaviors as an economygrows and its society changes. Severaldistinct approaches exist side by side.Understanding the disparities of a society inmotion is more important than makinggeneralizations.”CATHERINE GALLParis, France“Global organizations today are heading in thesame direction, were just at different points onthe journey.”Melanie RedmanGrand Rapids, USA“As companies embrace the idea of being trulyglobal, connecting people—both withinand outside the organization—will become themost important function of the workplace.”Wenli WangShanghai, China“User-centered research and the insights itgenerates are fundamental for formulatingdesign principles that lead to new applicationsand new products for different markets.”Annemieke GarskampAmsterdam, Netherlands“I’m focused on creating dynamic workspacesby linking the design of the physical space tothe ambition of the organization.”Sudhakar LahadeGrand Rapids, USA“The world is definitely more interconnected,but that doesn’t mean ‘one size fits all.’Understanding the differences of cultures ismore important than ever.”Izabel BarroS Rio de Janeiro, Brazil“I am particularly interested in the challengesassociated with multicultural innovation,knowledge capital, new ways of working andchange management.”Yasmine AbbasParis, France“As neo-nomads, we’re mobile—physically,mentally and digitally…When you movefrom one culture to another, you adapt andmake cultural adjustments. The more youmove, the more you adjust.”Beatriz ArantesParis, France“I’m a Brazilian global nomad based in Paris,and have split my life between eight differentcountries.”perspectives
  • 6. 8 | Issue 65 | 360.steelcase.comwhat if achair couldimprovestudentsuccess?We believe it can. So we designed the node™chair with that goal inmind. a.m.Lecture8:27 a.m.Small group project8:45 a.m.Large group discussionand interactive lecture
  • 7. | Issue 65 | 1110 | Issue 65 | 360.steelcase.comStudents from architectural schools in Spain recentlyparticipated in a contest sponsored by Steelcase where theywere asked to design new approaches to address theneeds of an interconnected world. This is the second yearwhere students have been asked to explore a designproblem through this contest.“We had a great response—42 projects were submitted from27 universities,” says Pocina. Students could participate on their ownor in groups up to four individuals. Criteria for judging includedoriginality and sustainability, as well as how well the project supportedthe design of principles of an interconnected workplace: optimizingreal estate; enhancing collaboration; attracting, developing and engagingpeople; building brand and culture; and supporting wellbeing at work.“The contest was created to supportthe development of architectureand design students, giving themthe opportunity to connect withprofessionals”— Alejandro Pocina, president, Steelcase Spain PortugalThe projects werejudged by a jury madeup of renownedSpanish architects,including:Edgar GonzálezGerardo AyalaRamón EsteveLuis VidalFermín Vázquez42projects250submissions27universitiesEL ConcursoStudents in SpainExplore Design Solutions
  • 8. | Issue 65 | 1312 | Issue 65 | 360.steelcase.comSTEELCASE OFFICE BAG THE OTHER WORLD“Creating an oasis of work in any part of the globe was our inspiration.”1st Place WinnersMaría Lozano CorreaSergio Del BarcoPablo Magán UcedaRaúl Olivares Chaparro(Universidad Alcalá De Henares)2nd Place WinnersPaloma García de Soria LucenaMaría Carretero FernándezPilar Fernández Rueda(Universidad de Sevilla)The students created a changeable andcustomizable space, that is portable andapproaching the immaterial. Basic tools aregrouped into a single mobile element(computer, wifi, light, chair) and containedin a ‘backpack’ equipped with an inflatablemechanism that allows easy setup.Inspired by Escher’s “Other World”,environments are presented from differentpoints of view, toying with perspectiveand generating the idea that the floor, theceiling and the walls are all interchangeable.“The walls themselves can be transformed into floors orceilings depending on the users needs.”
  • 9. 14 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 15A MATERIAL DIFFERENCE.Make an environmental statement.Rich colors and deep woven textures.Made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester.Easy to maintain, highly WORKING UNIT 3rd Place WinnersTamara De Los Muros SevillaJuan José Cobo OmellaBeatriz Rodríguez Martín(Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)Students created a “Personal WorkingUnit” (PWU). These PWUs facilitate acomfortable and linked worldwide workfabric where people can work on theirown or join two or more PWUs in order tocollaborate.“Personal Working Units inflated with helium are able to fly overthe stressful city roofs, or float over the water.”
  • 10. 16 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 17Living On VideoTRENDS 360Video has become ubiquitous in both our personal and professionallives. Driven by the convergence of technology—smaller, better,cheaper—and sociology—people are social by nature and often preferface-to-face interaction—video traffic is increasing exponentially.In our personal lives video helps us stay connected with family andfriends. In our business lives, video is becoming a critical tool toto help us connect with teams and individuals.Everywhere we are living on video.70%of all data traffic will be mobile video,up from 52%.11 Source: The Cisco®Visual Networking Index (VNI)Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update55%of all consumer internet traffic will bevideo traffic, up from 51%.22 Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index, Forecast +Methodology, 2011- 201672%of the total video traffic is expected tobe web-based video conferencing, upfrom 61%.2Traffic is up4 billionviews per day on YouTube.44 Source: YouTubeBehaviors are changing62%of employees regularly collaborate withpeople in different time zones andgeographies. As collaboration increases,so does the need for video and digitaltools to facilitate interaction.33 Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, 200940 millionconcurrent Skype users in April 2012.55 Source: Skype dataWhile the use of videoconferencing hasgrown, people are increasingly uncom-fortable with the experience. Interestingly,their dissatisfaction is not only withthe virtual experience, but also with thephysical one. The places people experi-ence video often add to the problems.72%people say they notice their physicalappearance on the screen.658%people say they look tired, or washedout due to the lighting conditions orcamera quality on their computer, whenon a videoconference.6Room for ImprovementWhat role can design play in deliveringan improved video experience? How canwe create ‘destinations’ that augmentthese human interactions? Learn more at: Need to be Designed60%said that they need small, private spacesfor one-on-one videoconferences, plusspaces for large group videoconferences.66 Source: Harris Interactive Survey conducted on behalfof SteelcaseFuture of Video Experience66%of survey respondents say they woulduse video conferencing if it were as simpleand convenient as using the phone.636%agreed that their workplace doesn’tprovide privacy to have a one-on-onevideoconference.6By 2016 By 2016 By 2016trends360trends360
  • 11. 18 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 19QA withPAnkaj GHEMAWATPankaj Ghemawat was born in Jodhpur, India, educated at Harvard,teaches global strategy at IESE Business School in Barcelona, and consultswith businesses around the world. In his new book, “World 3.0: GlobalProsperity and How to Achieve It”, he argues that contrary to another best-selling book the world is not flat, that local culture, geography, and bordersstill drive individual and corporate behavior.Q: In “World 3.0”, you explain how globalization is farless advanced than many believe.The truth is in the data. Only 1% of postal mail crossesnational borders. Less than 2% of phone calls involveinternational calls. Just 18% of all internet traffic isrouted across national borders. On Facebook, 85% offriends are domestic. Then take a hot topic like trade.Some people say the U.S. consumes so manyproducts made in China that that the country couldcure its unemployment problem just by cuttingimports from China. In reality, the percentage of U.S.personal consumption expenditures accountedfor by products from China is between 1.3% and 2%.Do most companies overestimate how globalbusiness is?Globalization is one of those things that we all feel weexperience in our daily lives, so we don’t feel anyneed to check the data. I like Daniel Patrick Moynihan’sHow can companies understand and work withinternational differences?The three As: adaptation, aggregation, and arbitrage.Adaptation involves strategies for adjusting tocross-country differences; in other words, when inRome, do as Romans do. For example, WalMartschanging its business model for India by managingsupply and logistics and leaving its local partnerto own and operate the stores. Aggregation is theidea that although things may be different, sometimesyou can group them together and do a little bit betterthan just tapping country-by-country scaledeconomies. WalMart put a regional office in Asia,and while the countries are different, there’s arguablygreater homogeneity, and greater geographicproximity between, say, WalMart’s operations in Asiathan between two randomly selected countrieswithin the Wal Mart system. So by putting in aregional headquarters, you realize economies inGhemawat received his bachelor and doctorate degrees from Harvard, and becamethe youngest full professor in Harvard Business School where he taught for 25 years. Hehas worked at McKinsey Company and is currently the Anselmo Rubiralta Professor ofGlobal Strategy at IESE.“You may not be asglobal as you think”quote, “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, butnot their own facts.” I use facts to build a casegrounded in reality, rather than something that fits withhow we might, in a fanciful mode, imagine the worldto be.Why do highly experienced, well-travelled companyleaders underestimate how different countries andculture are as places to do business?Some people running very successful companiesunderestimate how difficult operating abroad will be.Companies usually go overseas when they run out ofroom to grow at home, presumably because theyhave been somewhat successful. And it’s perhapshuman, however misplaced to assume that if we tookcare of all our rivals at home, other countries, lessdeveloped, shouldn’t be that difficult. But borders,geography, and local culture still matter a great deal.terms of overhead support, managerial time andtravel and so forth. The third strategy for dealing withdifferences is not to adjust to or overcome them,but to use an arbitrage strategy: to exploit differences,such as buying low in one country and sellinghigh in another. Generally companies should selecta combination of these strategies, tailored to theirindustry, position, and capabilities.Distributed teams are a fact of life today. How cancompanies help people in different countries andcultures work together?First, make sure that there are an adequate numberof people with experience working across differentgeographies, and not all of them working in theirhome countries. Managers should circulate through aglobal organization. Do they have foreign workexperience? The data that I’ve seen that worries methe most is that at U.S. companies in general, it’s
  • 12. | Issue 65 | 2120 | Issue 65 | 360.steelcase.comWorld3.0GlobalProsPerityandHoW toacHieve itPankajGHemaWatH a r v a r d b u s i n e s s r e v i e W P r e s stakes longer for expatriates to make their way up thecorporate ladder. It’s usually the people that stayedwithin sight of the corner office, at home. How youidentify people, train them and move them around isimportant. It takes a lot of time because you haveto win internal credibility. You can’t do this as anafterthought and you have to figure out, is mycompany serious about doing this? The stakes arehigher now. For the first 20 or 30 years after WWII,there was a correlation between per capita incomeand market size. So the largest markets for manyproduct categories were typically going to be thesame list of rich countries. In the last 10 or 15 years,for many product categories that’s changed. Thosedistant, different markets that were kind of small anduninteresting are now key customers. In manycompanies, the organization will have to becomemore diverse to support emerging market growthstrategies, and that diversity will create more internaldistance that will need to be bridged.How helpful is technology in bridging distance?We have to become much smarter about the way wemanage interactions among diverse, far-flungemployees. Few companies have gotten very far atexploiting new collaborative tools —they could domuch more to leverage technology to improve internalcommunication. We also know we need to spendtime with other people because that’s when youget to toss around the idea that you had on your ownthat turns into a business innovation and you propel itforward. Research shows that electronic communica-tion needs periodic reset through face-to-facemeetings. Even if two people have a pre-existingrelationship, if they try and get large complex projectsdone over a long period of time just electronically,there’s inevitably going to be some drift in theirperceptions of each other. Trust declines sharplywith distance.How can companies better understand distant marketsand customers?For the really large companies, probably the mosthelpful place to start is pointing out that they may notbe as global as they think they are. Traveling abroadjust isn’t enough. A survey of executives concludedthat it takes at least three months immersed in alocation to appreciate how the culture, politics andlocal history affect business there. We all need tobecome more aware of the world around us, and tomake people more curious about what’s out there,what’s different. That’s what’s lacking in many cases.The Global Attitude Protocol is a good way to beginto measure what’s needed (opposite page).°What’s YourGlobalAptitude?How aware are you of the world’s peoples andcultures? Are you taking advantage ofopportunities of get to know the world better?Take this quiz, a simplified version ofPankaj Ghemawat’s Global Attitude Protocolfor assessing an individual’s exposure tothe world’s peoples and cultures. Answer eachstatement with one of these responses:strongly disagree, disagree, neutral/notrelevant, agree, or strongly agree.Figure your score:-2 points for each strongly disagree-1 for each disagree0 for neutral/not relevant1 for agree2 for strongly agreeTotal of 20+ implies no (serious) gap,10-20 some gap, below 10 a significant gap,and below 0 a huge gap.Quiz results, say Ghemawat, “may suggestways to improve your awareness of the world.An understanding of distant places doesn’tdevelop automatically; it takes personalinitiative. As journalist Walter Lipmann saidnearly eighty years ago, ‘The world that wehave to deal with is out of reach, out of sight,out of mind. It has to be explored, reported,and imagined.’”š š š š šš š š š šš š š š š š š š š šš š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š šš š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š šdisagreeagreestronglydisagreestronglyagreeneutral/notrelevantI speak multiple languages.I have lived in countries other than my home country.I enjoy traveling to and getting to know people from different partsof the world.Some of my closest friends are of nationalities different from mine.I think I would enjoy working in a country in which I haven’tpreviously lived.When I travel/live in another country I try to learn about the political,legal, economic, etc. nstitutions of that country—and how theydiffer from my own.When I travel/live in another country, I try to learn about the culturaltraditions of that country —and how they differ from my own.I think I can develop an opinion about a person independent of anypreconceived image of his/her national culture or religion.I am comfortable working with people located in different countries.I am comfortable working together with people from differentcultures and backgrounds in the same location as me.I understand the socioeconomic/political ramifications of worldevents and can evaluate how they might affect my business orinvestments.I read newspapers and magazines with significant internationalcontent (e.g., International Herald Tribune, Economist, Fortune).I listen to the world news on international TV channels (e.g., CNNInternational, BBC World Service, Al Jazeera).I have used the Internet to expand my access to internationalnews and commentary.When I travel/live in another country, I make some attempt to lookat local media as well.
  • 13. | Issue 65 | 23Hosu–by Patricia UrquiolaCOALESSE.EU
  • 14. | Issue 65 | 2524 | Issue 65 | 26 Defining the Code 34 An Exploration of Eleven Countries 102 Same But Different: Mapping the Patterns of Work Culture 110 Unlocking the Code: What multinationals are doing to address cultural challenges in the workplace 122 The Research TeamThe Steelcase WorkSpace Futures research study of 11 countriesreveals what organizations need to know about the role of culturein high-performing global workplaces.Leveraging the workplace to meettoday’s global challengesCulture Code
  • 15. Culture Code:Defining the | Issue 65 | 2726 | Issue 65 | 360.steelcase.comDefining the CodeEconomist Pankaj Ghemawat stirred up controversy when he wrote “just a fractionof what we consider globalization actually exists… [and] globalization’s futureis more fragile than you know.” But how can that be? We live in a wired (andwireless) economy where a designer in Amsterdam collaborates with an engineerin Silicon Valley under the supervision of a Parisian manager, to manufacturegoods in Shenzhen for the Brazilian market. Isn’t this world supposed to be “flat,”as Thomas Friedman famously declared?In reality, much of our work is distributedacross distant places, and leading organiza-tions identify globalization as one of theirkey strategic goals. But the potential power ofour globalized economy has yet to be fullyrealized. “In 2004 less than 1 percent of all U.S.companies had foreign operations, and ofthese the largest fraction operated in just oneforeign country… None of these statisticshas changed much in the past 10 years,” statesGhemawat in his book “World 3.0.”The incongruous state of globalization isnowhere as apparent as in the physical work-place. Workers behaviors, preferences,expectations and social rituals at work aroundthe world can vary vastly, yet many multina-tional firms that expand to far-flung cornersof the world simply replicate their workplaceblueprints from home. Should today’s workenvironments become globalized into a cohesiveform? Or should they remain locally rooted?The global business world has shed a brightlight on cultural differences and generatedan extensive examination of values and behaviorsaround the world. Yet despite obvious differ-ences in the design and utilization of workenvironments, little attention has been given tothe implications of culture on space design.As a result, leaders of multinational organizationsoften don’t realize that, when used as astrategic tool, workplaces that balance localand corporate culture can expedite andfacilitate the process of global integration.
  • 16. 28 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 29The Geographyof TrustThough globalization can appear to be a scaryprospect for some, it is an inevitable anddesirable direction for many business leaders.Globalization can be a force of interculturalinterchange and increased productivity. TakeIBM, for instance.The computing giant holdsonline chat sessions among employees from75 nations to discuss the company’s prioritiesin so-called “jam sessions.” Think how muchknowledge can be harnessed when your organiza-tion successfully engages knowledge fromworkers of all backgrounds and cultures.Imaginehow much stronger the organization canbecome when it brings together value creationfrom around the world.So what can organizations do to accelerateglobal integration more rapidly and effectively?First and foremost, it’s important to betterunderstand and address the notion of trust.Citing 5th century Greek historian Herodotus,Professor Ghemawat declares that people“trust their fellow citizens much more than theydo foreigners.” Ghemawat goes on to arguethat trust decreases as the differences betweentwo peoples’ languages and proximity in-creases, adding that “differences in howmuch people in a given country trust peoplein other countries greatly affects cross-border interactions.”Companies cannot afford to ignore the trustissues stemming from cross-culturalencounters. “If businesses really respectdifferences, they will improve their busi-ness performance in ways that also bettercontribute to society at large, fostering aclimate of broader trust and confidence.”When designed to foster cross-cultural col-laboration and innovation, work environmentscan help build trust—the currency of collabo-ration—among coworkers, and between em-ployees and managers. Establishing trust isparamount to success abroad—and can beaccomplished by studying the local culturaltraits that outwardly manifest themselves inthe workplace.Steelcase WorkSpace Futures began thisstudy in 2009 with Office Code: BuildingConnections Between Cultures and WorkplaceDesign that explored the central questionof how cultural differences manifest them-selves in the way work is done; what workersneed; and how workplaces are or should bedesigned.The publication studied patterns of behaviorsand design tendencies in six European nationsto demonstrate how various cultural dimen-sions manifest themselves in the work environ-ments. By investigating the key cultural factorsthat shape the workplace, this exploratorystudy identified the forces that shape the workenvironment today.Responding to businesses’ increasing needand desire to integrate global operations, in2011 Steelcase WorkSpace Futures continuedwith the second phase of the ongoing project,Culture Code. Collaborating with a diverseroster of business leaders, designers andsocial sciences experts in Asia, Europe, Africaand North America, Steelcase has built uponthe earlier study to further understand culturecodes in the workplace. By focusing on theinterplay of typical work cultures and work-spaces in 11 nations, the research has yieldedspecialized insights into how to reflect andincorporate important values, employee behav-iors and larger cultural contexts into the workenvironment.More important, the study has resulted in aset of filters that can be taken beyond the11 countries in the study and applied aroundthe world to decode the spatial manifestationsof culture.BalancingGlobal + LocalThe global/local tension is well-known to multi-national organizations. What can be globallystandardized and what needs be kept local doesnot follow universal laws.Designing and managingwork environments globally requires a deepunderstanding of cultural ramifications and is abalancing act.The way in which we perceive and use spaceis a vital and culturally variable dimension.But most people are not aware of this until theytravel to another country and are confrontedwith an altogether different notion of space (i.e.:amount and kind of light, noise, smells, objects,people). Underlying how space is organizedare subtle,unwritten rules.Anthropologist EdwardT. Hall, known for his study of people’s relation-ship with their direct surroundings, observedthe same paradox about culture: “Culture hidesmuch more than it reveals and, strangelyenough, what it hides, it hides most effectivelyfrom its own participants.” Therefore, under-standing the cultural significance of space isessential in managing the global/local equation.Fortunately, there are some common threadsthat run through all cultures.An intentionally designed workplace is a power-ful tool for driving global integration within anorganization. Understanding the local culture anddrawing strengths from each location helpsorganizations build a corporate culture that worksaround the world. Diverse cultural preferencespose different barriers as well as opportunities forcollaboration. Cross-cultural collaboration isthe driving force behind value creation today. Inorder to foster creativity and collaboration, theimplicit and explicit cultural codes embedded inthe workplace must be deciphered and leveragedto the organization’s advantage.Culture Code:Defining the CodeThe GlobalVillage Inside theWorkplace
  • 17. 30 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 31The work of Geert Hofstede and Edward T.Hall, Jr., social scientists who conductedbreakthrough intercultural research, is inte-gral to Steelcase’s Culture Code study of therelationship between culture and the work-place in countries around the world.By analyzing data collected from IBM em-ployees in more than 70 countries dur-ing 1967-1973, Hofstede, a Dutch professorand researcher, developed the first empiri-cal model of dimensions of national cul-ture, described in his 1980 book “CulturesConsequences.” Subsequent studies andpublications by Hofstede and colleagueshave extended and updated the original IBMstudy. Hofstede’s findings and theories areused worldwide in psychology and manage-ment studies.Hall was an American anthropologist andcross-cultural researcher who developedthe concept of proxemics, a term he coinedto describe how people behave and react indifferent types of space. With the publica-tion of Hall’s 1976 book,“Beyond Culture,”proxemics became widely regarded as animportant subcategory of nonverbal com-munication. His definitions of “High Context”and “Low Context” as a metric of culturehave been particularly influential in a widerange of communication and organizationalbehavior studies.Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions—PowerDistance, Individualism Collectivism,Masculinity Femininity, Uncertainty Avoid-ance and Long-term Short-term Orien-tation—plus Hall’s High and Low Contextcommunication scale create a framework forSteelcase’s investigation of the factorsthat influence workplace design in differentcountries and cultures.Hofstede HallThe researchers are quick to point out thateach of the cultures studied is rich anddiverse and that every insight may not applyto every country or company. Sweepinggeneralizations can be misleading. Thevalue in identifying broad trends andpatterns of behavior rooted in culture is toraise cultural empathy and help inform thedirection of workplace design, so people inglobally integrated enterprises can buildtrust and work together more effectively.Key MethodologyBetween 2006 and 2011, Steelcase set out to delineate the connection between spaceand culture in 11 countries —China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Morocco,the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, and the United States.Dutch social scientist Geert Hofstede’s seminal works on cultural differences providedone of the core frameworks for the inquiry. The researchers combined his work with thatof anthropologist Edward T. Hall Jr., who developed the concept of proxemics, whichexplored how people react and behave within defined spaces. By synthesizing Hofstede’sdimensions and Hall’s theory, Steelcase uncovered new insights into cultural influenceson the workplace. The researchers observed over 100 workplaces in 11 countries, usingsix dimensions from Hofstede and Hall.Culture Code:Defining the CodeThese models provide a practical foundationfor understanding the differences betweennations and their attitude toward work/life.How do cultural differences manifest them-selves in interpersonal relationships, confronta-tional situations, or verbal and nonverbalcommunications? Can workplace design helpreconcile cultural differences and foster trust?Steelcase’s team of multicultural researchersconducted workshops, interviewed businessleaders, designers and social scientistsand benchmarked findings in 11 countries. InIndia alone, the researchers visited 12 multi-national and homegrown companies to high-light emerging design philosophies. In additionto site visits, a total of 30 workshops were car-ried out in four different continents, bringing ex-perts from different fields to offer insights intodesign practices from varying vantage points.
  • 18. 32 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 33Power Distance Index (PDI)Is power distributed evenly (consultative) ordisproportionately to a few (autocratic)?Individualism vs. CollectivismDo people identify themselves as individuals oras members of a group?Masculine vs. FeminineDoes the culture show more male (competitive)or female-like (cooperative) behaviors?Uncertainty ToleranceWhat is the culture’s attitude toward uncertainand ambiguous situations?Long-term or Short-term OrientationIs the culture more concerned with immediateprofit or future benefits?High or Low ContextDoes the culture require indirect, implicitcommunication (high context) betweenindividuals or a more direct and explicitapproach (low context)?Power Distance Index (PDI):This index measures how equally or hierarchicallypower is distributed in any given culture. Incultures with a high PDI, an individual worker hasless chance of exerting power. In such autocraticplaces, the ideal boss plays the role of a goodparent with decisive and authoritative power—withphysical spaces to represent such authority. Incontrast, consultative countries see everyone par-ticipating actively in the decision-making process.While some might mistake one end of the spectrumas superior to the other, these values are actuallyneutral, merely reflecting what most employees findappropriate. An employee in a more autocraticwork culture can be just as content as their counter-parts in consultatiave cultures, as long as theirexpectations are met.Individualism Collectivism:In a collectivist society, strong integration in groupsis valued over individual achievement. In suchcultures, confrontations are to be avoided and, toa large extent, being in harmony with the groupis a universal law. On the other hand, an individualistsociety expects self-reliance and autonomy from itsworkers. Promoting frank exchange of opinionsis a crucial challenge for managers in such societies.Masculine Feminine:Hofstede considered masculine and feminine traitswithin cultures, though these monikers may seemmisleading. Masculine—or competitive—culturesfoster performance-oriented goals. On the otherhand, feminine—or cooperative—societies placegreater importance on personal relationshipsand collaboration. In such countries, work/life balanceis one of the foremost priorities.Uncertainty Tolerance:The fourth scale measures a culture’s tolerance lev-els for uncertainty. In uncertainty-tolerant societiespeople tend to handle unpredictable situations well:ambiguity and diversity are prized values. Thesecultures prefer limited rules and are more comfortablewith change and facing unknown situation. Security-oriented cultures, on the other hand, seek solutionswith clear rules and preventative measures. Theparadox is that cultures with a low tolerance foruncertainty may ignore the rules they’ve established,but feel better that the rule exists.Long-term or Short-term Orientation:This dimension gauges a culture’s temporalperspective. A short-term oriented society tends toemphasize immediate results and value free time.It focuses on the present while also respecting tra-dition. Conversely, long-term oriented culturesare concerned with the future, upholding traits likethrift and perseverance.Low or High Context:This dimension from Hall’s research explores thepowerful effect that cultural conventions haveon information exchanges, included its unstated rulesand styles. In High context cultures (HCC), anunderstanding of unspoken rules of engagement isrequired, therefore indirect implicit communication isessential. In Low context cultures (LCC) a directand explicit approach is key to cooperation betweenindependent individuals.Six Dimensions of CultureCulture Code:Defining the CodeAutocraticIndividualistMasculineLow ContextConsultativeCollectivistFeminineUncertaintyTolerantSecurityOrientedShort-termOrientedLong-termOrientedHigh Context
  • 19. 34 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 35An Explorationof Eleven CountriesSteelcase researchers compiled reams of dataon each workplace in every country theyvisited. After an initial understanding phase inwhich they gathered relevant secondaryresearch, the team moved into the observationphase in which they used a variety of ethno-graphic techniques to study the activities andinteractions of workers in diverse environ-ments. This data was synthesized into keyfindings for each country. The following sectionincludes insights from those observations,findings from the secondary research, scoreson the Hofstede/Hall dimensions as wellas thought starters and considerations foreach country.RespectingCultureNew paradigms of knowledge creation haveprofoundly transformed our ways of working.Information is created corroboratively in a widearray of spaces around the world. Yet evenas information technology has made the virtualworld prominent, the physical space remainscrucial in fostering trust, creativity, sharinginformation and shaping a company’s identity.In addition, in the next decade, for the firsttime in 200 years, more economic growth isexpected to come from emerging marketssuch as Brazil, Russia, India, China or SouthAfrica, than from developed markets.* Inthis new global marketplace, work and workersare shifting locations, and working acrossorganizations, time zones and physical/virtualspaces. As a result, cultures are colliding.Business leaders, real estate professionals,architects and designers need new waysto think about how to design for global andlocal values.” People think and see the worlddifferently because of differing ecologies, socialstructures, philosophies and educationalsystems that date back to ancient Greeceand China and has survived in the modern world,”observes Richard E. Nisbett, codirector, Cultureand Social Cognition, at the University ofMichigan. Understanding the tension pointsbetween global rationalization and local identityis key to providing users globally with highperformance work experiences.Today’s interconnected economy requiresextensive knowledge of the markets in whichbusinesses operate. Understanding how thecultural issues translate into the workspacehelps organizations to leverage the physicalenvironment—an often under-utilized asset—intheir efforts toward global integration. In fact, itcan be a prerequisite to success. Ghemawatsummed up the purpose of this research whenhe wrote: “For many companies, the greatestchallenge may be fostering the human capacityto connect and cooperate across distancesand differences, internally and externally. Howmuch would your profitability increase if youcould broaden circles of trust and cooperationacross departments, countries, and businessunits so people really work together rather thanagainst each other? What if your people couldstretch their perspectives to care more deeplyabout customers, colleagues and investors?People can broaden their sympathies to bringthem a little closer to us, with inspiring results.”While the needs of organizations are asunique and varied as the countries in whichthey operate and “one size does not fit all”.The conceptual drawings and design consider-ations for each country share ideas fordesigners who seek to balance the organiza-tional culture with local culture. This initialexploration will be followed by ongoing studyand prototypes of spaces that reflect andrespect the local culture code.36 China42 France48 Germany54 Great Britain60 India66 Italy72 Morroco78 Netherlands84 Russia90 Spain96 United StatesCulture Code:Defining the Code*The Great Rebalancing, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2010.
  • 20. 36 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 37Fast-forwarding the pace of progressThe pace and scope of economic growth in China defies descrip-tion. Rising prosperity has fueled one of the largest rural-to-urbanshifts in history—at least 300 million Chinese have moved intocities during the past 20 years—and by one estimate at least 50,000new skyscrapers will be built in China’s cities during the next 20years, according to McKinsey Company.As businesses from all over the globe are pouring into China tobecome part of the action, competition is stiffening and the tempoof change keeps accelerating. The Chinese government is on aquest to move the country beyond being just the world’s manufac-turing center; to drive continued economic growth, China is tryingto develop a services and a knowledge-oriented economy. Innovationis the new buzzword, and it means evolving centuries-old culturaltraditions as well as the Chinese approach to education. There’s agrowing difference between attitudes and expectations of oldergenerations and those born after 1980.NOTABLE Businesses in China, includingmultinationals, must spend a significantamount of front-end time cultivating guanxiwith clients. A distinctly Chinese concept,cultivating guanxi is more complex thanrelationship-building as practiced in the West.Guanxi is about understanding the responsi-bilities intrinsic in each role within a relation-ship, and it can take years to develop. Withoutguanxi, a business can’t be successfulin China.Country PRofilesCHINAChina
  • 21. 38 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 39Gender EqualityMedium scores for gender equality and humandevelopment, 28th in the world.Gender participation in the labor forceSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011Ambitious young Chinese women are makingstrides in the workplace and government.Job SatisfactionJob-hopping is common due to talent scarcity.Many workers are attracted to multinationalsbecause they provide opportunities to workabroad. There’s a recent trend for youngerworkers to prefer state-owned enterprises dueto benefits, stability and shorter working hours.Key FactsChinaScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows China as a society that acceptshierarchy and is influenced by formal authority. People are highlydependent on their society and tend to act in the interests of theirgroup versus themselves.Work Dynamics​Flexible work arrangements and/or mobilework are the exception due to inadequateinternet infrastructure, small homes andcultural norms.Maintaining harmonyand showing respect tosuperiors is highlyvalued; employees arereticent to express theirown ideas, though that’sbeginning to change.Collaboration can be strong within depart-ments, but limited interdepartmentally becausetrust is stronger within close-knit groups.Employees tolerate dense work environments.A paternalistic leadership model meansworkers’ immediate supervisors are expectedto be hands-on and personable. Managers areexpected to socialize with employees.Workers expect explicit directions on tasks.Qualified workers switch companies easily.Work HoursChinese people are among the longest workingin the world; the workday is officially set at8 hours, but at least 25% put in 9—11 hoursevery day.Source: NetmanLong lunch breaks provide time to eat, rest oreven take a nap to re-energize.Quality of LifeOverall life satisfaction in China is low, despiteunprecedented economic growth andincreasing life satisfaction among those withhigher incomes. Only 9% of populationconsider themselves thriving, 14% suffering.Among Asian nations, 41 countries scorehigher in wellbeing and only 5 score lower.Source: Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedLow context High contextAutocratic/ConsultativeHierarchy means harmonyMost Chinese companies are hierarchical.Before economic reform in the late ‘70s, busi-nesses were run by the state according tocommon principles. Workers were simply ex-pected to complete their tasks and decisionswere made at the top. Today, privilege and re-spect are still dependent on rank, and peopleaccept hierarchy as a means to maintain har-mony and order.Employees look to their managers for mentor-ship and guidance; most are cautious aboutvoicing ideas and opinions. Attitudes aboutpower are slowly starting to change due tooutside influences and as younger, Western-trained executives assume leadership roles.Individualist/CollectivistTrust trumps allBusiness in China is about relationships, linkedto the traditionally collective nature of its cul-ture. Once people establish a relationship, bothparties are bound by rules of behavior, whichentail rights and responsibilities—a complexsystem of etiquette known as cultivating guanxi.Trust is highly personal and earned. Thereforeit exists only within your in-group (department).Relationships are cooperative within in-groups,but interdepartmental collaboration may bevery low or nonexistent.Masculine/FeminineQuiet strengthChina is a masculine culture—success-orient-ed and driven. Many Chinese routinely sacrificefamily and leisure time in order to work.Yet most find it difficult to admit to being com-petitive in the workplace. Competition is moreobvious between departments than amongindividuals. Overly aggressive words and pos-turing are shunned. Strength is displayedthrough decisiveness and earned achievement.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedAmbiguity and pragmatism: facts of lifeThe Chinese are tolerant of uncertainty, andthis serves them well in the dynamic natureof their economy today. They are comfortablewith ambiguity, and their language reflectsthis. Many directives and rules in China retainthe spirit of Confucius: worded so vaguely thattheir purpose can’t be immediately grasped.As a result, adherence to rules can be flexibleto suit situations, and pragmatism frequentlyguides actions.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedPatience and flexibilityPersistence and perseverance are normal inChinese society. People tend to invest in long-term projects, such as education for their chil-dren and real estate. Doing business in Chinais about putting in the time to learn about yourclients, developing relationships and gainingpersonal trust. Establishing guanxi with theright people is widely regarded as the best wayto navigate through the business environment.Low Context/High Context“Yes” may not mean “yes”Chinese culture is high context. Language isfull of ambiguity—it’s considered rudeto say “no,” for example, even if you disagree.To resolve conflicts or navigate sensitivesituations, it’s common to use third parties asgo-betweens.Communication can’t take place outside of re-lationships. People rely on unspoken signals formeanings and often “read between the lines.”Therefore, videoconferencing can be far moreeffective than a phone call for distance com-munications, and small group discussions areoften more successful than large ones.67%80%womenmenCountry PRofilesCHINA
  • 22. 40 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 41Considerations for addressing THE five key workplace issuesOptimize Real Estate Chinese workers will tolerate fairly denseworkstation planning, which affords extraroom for alternative spaces. A more progressive interpretation of executivespaces could include a smaller footprint, elim-inating the traditional private retreat for restor study, and creating zones for individualwork and for receiving guests both inside andimmediately outside the private office.Enhance Collaboration Including videoconferencing spaces that areeasy to use will help foster collaboration withcolleagues distributed in other areas. For highcontext cultures such as China, non-verbalcues are critical to build effective communica-tion and trust. Centrally locate collaboration zones to en-courage inter and intra-departmentalcommunication.Attract, Develop Engage Chinese workers change jobs often, and aworkplace that reflects modern values withdesirable amenities is becoming a tool to at-tract talent. Younger workers desire a better work experi-ence and appreciate informal areas to social-ize or relax.Build Brand Activate Culture Brands are highly valued in China. Make sureto provide zones to reinforce brand messagesnot only for visitors, but for employees as well. A range of collaboration spaces should beintegrated in work areas to foster newbehaviors among workers and develop aculture of innovation.Enrich Wellbeing Natural light should be equally available toworkers and leaders. Transparency and access to a variety ofspaces will help employees to stay engagedin their work and have a stronger sense ofbelonging.Change is accelerating in China and work-places need to keep pace. Hierarchy continuesto be embraced by workers to maintain harmonyand order. Executive and manager officesare important symbols of respect and order.Due to cultural norms of reticence and taskorientation, collaboration is a significant behav-ioral change for Chinese workers. Yet attitudesabout space are shifting as outside influencesexpose Chinese organizations to new waysof working. Spaces that promote collaborationand innovation should be blended with tradi-tional views of hierarchy.Thought StartersChinaCountry PRofilesCHINAProgressive spaces in Chinaare exploring ways to fostercollaboration in semi-en-closed spaces, close toleaders and workers.Enclosed collaboration areaswith glass walls communicatedesired behavior. Openbooth seating encouragesalternative postures.ArrivalManagersCollaborationZoneCollaborationZoneCollaborationZoneResidentNeighborhoodExecutiveLeadershipThe spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 23. 42 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 43Joie de vivre vs. travailCompared to their European counterparts, the French have a uniquerelationship with work. On the one hand, they are deeply investedin their professional roles and career advancement. On the other hand,they prize the overall quality of their lives and consider protectingit a serious matter. Moreover, the desire for self-fulfillment throughwork exists alongside a deeply embedded acceptance of hierarchy.This duality, coupled with the economic instability of high unemploy-ment and other problems in the labor market, can lead to feelings ofinsecurity and disillusionment. As a result, high emotional engage-ment in work—evident in vivacious discussions and creative think-ing—is frequently juxtaposed with a contradictory desire: to escape tothe personal sphere.As tradition bends to progressive innovation, traditional layouts aregiving way to open-plan spaces that promote interaction andflexibility. French workers are still attached to territory, however, andclear attribution of spaces and accommodations for privacyremain very important. The ongoing evolution to open-plan settingsis a significant culture change that requires careful planning andabundant two-way communication.NOTABLE The French preference for central-ized power has made Paris the unquestionablefinancial, cultural and political heart of France.The “city of light,” along with newer satellite cit-ies created around it, far outweighs the rest ofthe country in terms of national and multina-tional headquarters, and the prestigious jobsthat come along with that.Country PRofilesFRANCEFrance
  • 24. 44 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 45Work Dynamics​The office is still the primary space for work,although mobile technologies and globalizationare generating interest in alternative work options.The French leadership styleis outgoing and declarative;management is typicallycentrally located so theycan influence daily work.Decision-making can be slow due to theneed for vetting and approval at multiple levelsof leadership.Collaboration traditionally occurs in structuredmeetings.Punctuality is a loose concept; meetingsusually don’t start on time and often run over.Work HoursPersonal time has high value, and, overall,workers in France tend to work fewer hoursthan those in many Western countries.If a meeting runs long, it’s considered a signthat things are going well.The average lunch break in France is nowabout an hour. Taking time to enjoy lunch,versus eating at your desk, isn’t consideredincompatible with a strong work ethic.Staying late at the office is common, especiallyfor those in senior positions.Legislation passed in 2001created a standard 35-hourwork week for hourlyworkers; however mostsalaried office workers putin more time, includingworking into the eveningat home.Quality of LifeAmong European nations, 17 countries scorehigher in wellbeing and 22 score lower.Key FactsFranceScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows France as a country with a distinct cultureof paradoxes that can create conflicting situations.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic/ConsultativeLeadership is in chargeAutocratic leadership and hierarchical allocationsof authority still prevail in France, perhapslasting traces from its history as an aristocracy.Rules, titles and formality are taken seriouslyas reference points for stability.Individualist/CollectivistLiberty and equalityFrench people value the freedom and autono-my to exert their rights, while at the same timethey show a strong sense of duty to their re-sponsibilities in designated roles. Smooth re-lationships depend on everyone following theirduties and everyone’s rights being respected.Masculine/FeminineBalancing assertiveness and cooperationThe French hold an ambiguous position onthis dimension. Though moderately coopera-tive, the French also view assertive criticism asan often-necessary step toward improvement.Both reason and emotion play a part in mostdebates and decisions. Additionally, masculineand feminine qualities compete with each otherbecause the French value both their careersand quality of life, creating a paradoxical rela-tionship to work among both men and women.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedStrict rules, flexible practiceThe French show a high preference for security.In general, they adhere to structure, formalityand rules to satisfy emotional needs. If a ruledoesn’t function well, the French are apt to justignore it; they rarely openly question or chal-lenge its validity.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedBalancing today’s enjoyments andtomorrow’s gainsMore long-term oriented than most otherEuropean countries, the French trust relation-ships built over time and tend to make deci-sions slowly and prudently through thoroughanalysis. A concern for future results is appar-ent in many aspects of business, such asinvestments in research, development andfacilities maintenance. At the same time,quarterly results are important and leadersare expected to generate short-term gains.Low Context/High ContextBehind a maskThe French culture is high context. Becauseof its culture of autocracy, French people oftenhave a difficult time being spontaneous atwork. Instead, they tend to mask personalityand what they think. Many things are leftunsaid, and nonverbal signals can also be hardto read.35%6%of population considerthemselves thrivingsufferingSource: Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010Gender EqualityA very high rating for gender equality andhuman development, 20th in the world.Percentage of women with at least secondaryeducation is closely comparable to men: 80%vs. 85%.Gender participation in the labor forceSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011Most employed women work fulltime.Job SatisfactionSatisfaction varies widely.Feeling in control and being rewarded at workare valued; workers are quickly alienated whenthese are absent. 60%73%womenmenLow context High contextCountry PRofilesFRANCE
  • 25. 46 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 47Considerations for addressing THE five key workplace issuesOptimize Real Estate Moderate density is acceptable to Frenchworkers, while assigned space is still preferred. Defining boundaries through storage ele-ments and screens will increase workers’comfort with closer proximity to colleagues.Enhance Collaboration Collaboration areas that are defined withexplicit protocols are important, and opencollaboration areas help promote speedand innovation. A café in close proximity to work areas sup-ports an important part of the French workculture, and also supports connection and in-teraction with peers.Attract, Develop Engage Workers in France are drawn to spaces thatare professional and inspiring, without beingplayful or trendy. Collaboration areas will support learning andengagement with peers and leadership.Build Brand Activate Culture A distinct brand color palette can help toreinforce identity. Innovation-oriented brands will benefit fromspaces that encourage employeesto experiment and prototype new ideas.Enrich Wellbeing Provide a range of spaces that allow employeesto control stressors by amping up or downthe amount of sensory stimulation they want,based on the work they need to do and theircomfort level. Open spaces that reflect clear brand valueshelp employees feel a greater sense of mean-ing and purpose in their work.Workplaces in France are evolving from tradi-tional layouts to more open plans that promoteinteraction and flexibility. Employees, facinguncertainty and instability in the economy andlabor market, value emotional engagement andcreative collaboration at work. Quality of life isimportant, although some signs of work andlife blurring are emerging. This thought starteris intended to promote a strong sense of resi-dency and balance hierarchy within an egalitar-ian space.Thought StartersFranceCountry PRofilesFRANCEManagersExecutiveLeadershipCollaborationZoneResidentNeighborhoodResidentNeighborhoodCommunityCaféA café area adjacent to opencollaborations spaces and“I” work zones can encouragemore fluid shifts betweenmodes of work.Consider increasing the visibilityof leadership areas, withadjacent, open collaborationzones to support a cultureof transparency.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 26. 48 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 49Precisely innovativeAs one of only a few countries in the world that’s referenced byinhabitants as “he” versus “she,” Germany flexes a masculinemuscle throughout the entire body of its culture. Individuality andcompetition are leading traits. Within organizations and networks,power and influence are important to everyone, and shared invarying degrees.Hard work, commitment and loyalty come easily for Germans, andachieving financial success and status at work are often prioritized.Change and new ideas require in-depth, detailed analysis, which canboth slow and strengthen innovation. A cultural penchant for actingon facts means Germans take others’ input into account on mosttopics and decisions.Privacy is a must-have. Closed doors are standard, people don’tenter unless invited and touching things in another person’s officeis unthinkable.NOTABLE A prosperous economy and highstandards for quality have made Germanworkplaces among the most well equipped inthe world. Buildings all over the countryboast first-rate architecture and premium fur-nishings. Workers expect abundant personalspace, superior functionality, well-engineeredergonomics and close proximity to daylightand outside views.Country PRofilesGERMANYGermany
  • 27. 50 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 51Work Dynamics​Flexible work hours are the exception versuswidespread.Autonomy and flexibility are most frequentlyallocated to certain workers who do not needsupervision.Leaders readily solicit workers’ opinions;disagreements are encouraged.Acoustical, visual andspatial privacy areconsidered rights foreveryone.The dress code is generally formal and consid-ered a sign of professionalism and respect.Meetings start and finish on time; participantsare expected to come prepared, and workthrough a detailed agenda.Work HoursGermans like to start early and leave early;people are highly productive during work hours.Typical workdays are structured, with a setamount of time for breaks.Distractions at work, such as social celebrations,are kept to a minimum.Quality of LifeRelatively high sense of overall wellbeing;43% of population consider themselves thriving,7% suffering.Among European nations, 12 countries scorehigher in wellbeing, 27 score lower.Source: Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010Gender EqualityGermany scores very high for gender equalityand human development, 9th in the world.The percentage of women with at leastsecondary education is high and closelycomparable to men: 91% vs. 93%.Gender participation in the labor forceSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011Job SatisfactionGerman companies trackemployee satisfactionand address any issuespromptly.Ongoing training and educational opportunitiesbuild high satisfaction.Germans like their jobs and are proud of theiremployers; they want to be high-performersand tend to hold themselves as accountablefor their own satisfaction.Key FactsGermanyScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows that competitiveness (“masculinity”)and individuality are strong factors in German culture, along with a securityorientation that makes rules and structure important.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic/ConsultativeMore information, better decisionsDespite a tendency toward egalitarian,“flattened”power structures, hierarchy is a valued wayof organizing, and is evident in the organizationof the workplace. Germans prefer leaderswho are open to debate. Workers expect cleardirection from superiors, but also opportunitiesto discuss alternatives. Leaders are receptiveto this, because they depend on employeesfor information and insights that lead to better,fact-based decisions.Individualist/CollectivistPrivacy protectionGermans have a strong need for maintainingpersonal space. They reject invasions ofany sort—acoustic, visual or physical—thatbreak the protective “bubble” of their distancefrom others. Because they feel exposed innon-territorial settings, open-plan office settingsneed to be low density with considerabledistances between workstations. Soundmasking plus some degree of partitioning orother privacy accommodations are essential.Masculine FeminineLive to workAmong European nations, Germany is themost competitive (“masculine”). Work iscentral to life—striving to be the best and risein the ranks is a constant challenge andoften enjoyable.Complementing their high prioritization of work,Germans place high value on the workplace.Spaciousness, attractiveness, natural lighting,comfort and overall high quality are expected.In this sense, the physical workspace addsa nurturing, “feminine” sensibility that balancesthe traditionally masculine traits that arehighly valued in Germans’ professional world.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedCertainty is in the detailsGermans’ aversion to uncertainty is expressedin extreme punctuality and a disciplinedapproach to every task. They tend to regulateeverything in great detail, including architec-tural and office design standards. Being averseto uncertainty, however, doesn’t stop Germansfrom innovating. It simply means they’recautious throughout the process, minimizing riskby building on knowledge and thorough analysis.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedPredictability as a passionThe German passion for time management andorganization is manifest in a mid-to-short-term orientation. Germans prize knowing whatthey will be doing at a specific time on aspecific day, and they’re averse to improvisa-tion and last-minute changes.A longer view is evident in business strategiesthat tend to balance the need for short-termresults with an eye on market position overtime. Moreover, organizations and individualsare conscious of their ecological impact andtend to favor sustainable solutions.Low Context/High ContextContent and contextAlthough they put high importance on thetime and space of a meeting, in other respectsGerman culture is low context. Sharedexperiences are quickly established to forma basis for communication, and providingas many details as possible is considered agood way to build understanding. Little timeis allotted for building deep relationshipswith co-workers or business partners, andgroupings change easily as circumstanceschange. What gets communicated is farmore important than how it’s communicated.Punctuality isregarded as avirtue.53%67%womenmenLow context High contextCountry PRofilesGERMANY
  • 28. 52 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 53Considerations for addressing the five key workplace issuesOptimize Real Estate Private offices designed for one or two work-ers should feel spacious with glass walls andnatural light, while occupying a condensedfootprint. Workstations in the open plan should incorpo-rate screens and storage to define boundariesand increase privacy.Enhance Collaboration Collaboration areas should be located at“crossroads” between groups to promotecross-disciplinary interaction. Structured collaboration areas with space todisplay information are important to Germanemployees, and informal areas should be situ-ated throughout the space to encourage im-promptu collaboration.Attract, Develop Engage Spacious work areas with plenty of naturallight and a range of settings are critical toattract German employees. As mobility increases in Germany, loungeareas and unassigned desks will help supportnew behaviors.Build Brand Activate Culture Hierarchy is more about efficiency than privi-lege; executives offices should model visibilityand openness. To support a culture of innovation provide arange of spaces that promote both collabora-tive teamwork, and focused individual work.Enrich Wellbeing Settings designed for socialization andcollaboration will increase healthy interactionand engagement. Workers should be able to easily shiftfrom ergonomic seating, to standing orother postures.German workplaces have some of the higheststandards in the world, and employees expectnothing less. Privacy is important but shouldbe balanced with the need for collaborationand openness, while exploring ways to provideample dedicated personal space.Thought StartersGermanyCountry PRofilesGERMANYEnclavesResidentManagersCollaborationZoneCollaborationZoneResidentNeighborhoodResidentNeighborhoodNomadicBenchesWith a low tolerance fordensity, workers value enclosedshared offices where they canfocus, with adjacent informalcollaboration areas to connectwith teammates.A range of open collaborationdestinations allows Germanworkers a blend of structureand informality.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 29. 54 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 55Island of individualistsAs some of the most individualistic people in the world, the Britishmaintain loose ties with others and pride themselves on beingindependent and self-reliant. For example, spouses usually keepseparate bank accounts. The British have high needs for privacy, andtend to speak softly so their words don’t intrude on any unintendedaudience nearby. Great Britains market-driven economy, withminimal interference from government, meshes well with thecountry’s individualistic culture.NOTABLE London has had a radical 21st-century facelift. Due to ever-increasing land pricesand the work of visionary architects, severalspectacular high-rises have been constructed,including the recently completed Shard,Europe’s tallest building at 309.6-metres (1,016-feet) designed by Renzo Piano. In general,office design is focused on aesthetics morethan functionality for workers.Country PRofilesGreat BritainGreat Britain
  • 30. 56 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 57Work hoursWorking conditions are generally demandingwith constant pressure to do more, stay longer. Executives rarely leave the office before7:00p.m.and work at least“Deskfast” (breakfast at your desk) and lunchbreaks in front of a computer are norms.The work week sometimes ends at a pub withco-workers.Work dynamics​Great Britain has become a mature market formobile work and teleworking; workers arevery comfortable using technologies that allowthem to communicate in a distributed team.Independent thinkingis highly regarded, andpeople rely moreon facts than feelings.Conflict resolution can be combative, anddecisions are often made outside meetings vialobbyingPunctuality is practiced, but being up to 15minutes late is tolerated due to heavy trafficand congestionOpen plan is dominant; only executivemanagement has private offices.People switch jobs andcompanies often.Job satisfactionMany workers are stressedand dissatisfied withtheir working conditions.Gender EqualityVery high scores for gender equality and humandevelopment, though it ranks lower (28th) thanmany other Western world countriesThe percentage of women with at leastsecondary education is slightly higher thanmen (69% cf. 68%)Gender participation in the labor forceSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011Key FactsGreat BritainScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows individuality as the dominant factorin British culture. A short-term orientation, tolerance for uncertaintyand strong competitiveness “masculinity” are also strong influences.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic/ConsultativeCareer LatticeWork relations between employees and lead-ers tend to be consultative and open, andworkers don’t believe status inherently differen-tiates people. Many workers choose lateral jobchanges instead of incremental climbs that canbe perceived as requiring more work withoutsignificantly more pay. Although hierarchicalstructures are flat, paradoxically, status is oftenderived from deeply embedded notions, suchas accents, titles and education.Individualist/CollectivistIndividual focusHigh ranking in individualism means there areloose ties between people and organizations.People commonly switch jobs and companiesevery few years. Employees aren’t concernedwith deep work relationships and don’t staywith jobs just for security. Mostly, workers areconcerned with getting the most out of theirsituation, including salary. If they feel they’renot, they move on.Masculine/FeminineWork is competitionBritish workers are more competitive “mascu-line” than cooperative “feminine”, long workhours and skipped meals are common. Menand women are mostly convinced they have tobe tough to succeed in business.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedKeep calm and carry onThe British are at ease with unstructured,unpredictable situations. They look to formalrules only in cases of absolute necessityand are convinced that people can solve mostproblems on their own.At work, change is generally accepted as a factof life, reversals in decisions are taken in strideand a general sense of chaos is status quo.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedMaking every today countAs a short-term oriented country, Great Britainis attached to its past and lives in its present.The British put their primary focus on achievingshort-term performance metrics. Driven byquarterly financial goals, businesses look toquick profits. The goal is to make a bigimpact today.Like many short-term oriented nations, however,Great Britain is taking a longer view in thearea of sustainability. Companies are looking toimprove the sustainability of their businesses, andrequiring suppliers to follow suit.Low Context/High ContextStaying at arm’s lengthBritish culture is low context. In general, thereserved British prefer to keep some distancebetween themselves and others. Closerelationships are not considered important tobusiness. People rely on words versusemotion to carry meaning, and they prefer tokeep communication minimal, controlledand on their terms. Telephones go unansweredif a person doesn’t want to be interruptedand, in general, email or other written commu-nications are preferred for precision.Quality of lifeAmong European nations, only 8 countriesscore higher in wellbeing and 31 score lower.54%2%of population considerthemselves thrivingonly suffering50hours perweek. 55%70%womenmenCountry PRofilesGreat BritainLow context High context
  • 31. 58 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 59Considerations for addressing the five key workplace issuesOptimize Space Dense benching solutions can save onhigh-cost real estate while thoughtfulaccessories make it easier for employeesto unpack quickly and be productive. Incorporate storage elements at benches to provide boundary separationfor workers.Enhance Collaboration Equip project spaces with virtualcollaboration technology to foster a blendof team and individual work. Provide informal collaboration spacesthroughout areas for individual workto promote the flow of “I” and “we” workthroughout the day.Attract, Develop Engage Offer a range of spaces that allow workersto shift between work modes easily, withgreater choice and control over where andhow they work. media:scape®setting near individual workareas will encourage quick review sessions toshare work in process and get feedback.Build Brand and Activate Culture Designate zones to reinforce brand messagesfor employees. A variety of spaces and transparencywill promote a culture of openness andcollaboration.Enrich Wellbeing Enclosed areas in close proximity to openspaces will support the need for privateconversations. Access to ample natural light is not a givenin Great Britain as it is in other Europeancountries—but it’s highly valued by employees.Workplaces in Great Britain today tend to befairly crowded and sometimes austere dueto high real estate costs. This concept offersideas for maintaining density to control ex-penses, by literally surrounding employees witha options they can choose from to supportthe work they’re doing. A range of collabora-tion areas, from open and informal to enclosed,large-scale spaces will attract highly mobileBritish workers into the office to connect withteam members, and as a result, feel moreconnected to the organization.Thought StartersGreat BritainCountry PRofilesGreat BritainResident NeighborhoodResidentHubCollaborationZoneCollaborationZoneA range of progressivespaces with nearby videoconferencing offer choicesfor how to connect withlocal and distributed teams.Highly mobile workers in GreatBritain are motivated to cometo the work workplace for accessto technology and access toother people.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 32. 60 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 61Welcoming the worldA multicultural, multiethnic and vibrantly democratic country, Indiahas a rich history of absorbing customs, traditions, and heritages.It’s often said that India didn’t come to the world; instead, the worldcame to India.When economic liberalization opened up India’s economy in 1991,multinationals discovered its labor force and market potential,and the nation was quickly transformed into a global business hub.In some ways, Indians’ fascination with movies, both Bollywoodand Hollywood, is a way for them to see their own lives come toreality. Whereas in the past, passive fatalism was a dominantattitude, today’s Indians—especially the younger generations—arefull of can-do ambition and entrepreneurial spirit. As their countrycontinues to evolve rapidly, Indians are creating a new identity thatwears a distinctly hybrid stamp, blending traditional values withcontemporary attitudes and lifestyles.NOTABLE Families dominate Indian culture,although the tradition of multiple generationscomprising the same household is beginningto disappear in larger cities.Country PRofilesINDIAIndia
  • 33. 62 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 63Work Dynamics​Flexible work arrangements and/or mobilework are limited; managers want to observeworkers, and workers want to be seen.Decision-making is based on hierarchy, thoughleaders may solicit employee input.Indians gravitate easilytoward group activities, abehavior that’s easilyleveraged for collaboration.Interaction often happens at individualworkstations; work environments tend tobe noisy.Employees tolerate dense work environments.Conflict with co-workers is avoided in everyway possible.With seemingly limitless opportunities, workersswitch employers easily.Work HoursChaotic traffic and overcrowded publictransportation lengthen the average workday.Arriving at work on time is expected, but at thesame time, being late is accepted.Indians don’t mind delaying meetings andprojects if it means the right people canparticipate.Bringing lunch from home and eating at yourdesk is common.Companies are expected to hostcelebrations of national events for employeesand their families.Quality of LifeWith poverty still a fact of life, overall lifesatisfaction is low; only 10% of populationconsider themselves thriving, 21% sufferingAmong Asian nations, 36 countries scorehigher in wellbeing and 9 score lower.Source: Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010Gender EqualityMedium scores for gender equality and humandevelopment, 134th in the world.The percentage of women with atleast secondary education is significantlyless than men.33% of women participate in the labor force vs.81% men.Source: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011India values women’s strengths but many strivefor higher status and recognition in theworkplace.Job SatisfactionTurnover is high due to booming employmentopportunities, especially in high-tech and media.For young Indians,challenging work is asimportant as thereputation of thecompany and salary.Key FactsIndiaScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows India as a society with strong leaningstoward autocracy and group loyalty, although the rapid and profoundcultural transformations underway are making India’s younger generationsmore self-focused.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic /ConsultativeControl as psychological securityIndia scores high on autocracy. According toIndian beliefs, equality doesn’t exist in nature,and it’s accepted that social rights andprivileges vary with status. In the past, powerwas associated with family names, buttoday people increasingly gain power throughaccomplishments.In the workplace it’s common to leave deci-sion-making to leaders. Workplaces are de-signed to reflect hierarchy, power and status.Executives and managers get large privateoffices, while employees usually work in open,high-density environments, and it’s a disparitythat goes unquestioned.Individualist/CollectivistFor self and countryCollectivism is an important cultural trait inIndia. Over centuries, Indian people have beentaught to be loyal to family and community,for protection and security as well as the hap-piness they provide.Gen Y in India is trending toward strong indi-vidualistic behaviors, including little loyalty tojob and company. They see personal ambi-tions as the way to bring their country forward.Masculine /FeminineSuccess and harmonyAs a society that places high importance onsuccess and power, India scores “masculine,”although in the moderate range. Indian peopleeasily embrace brands boldness as visiblesigns of success.At the same time, spiritual values and a drivefor harmony are at the heart of Indian culture.Progressive Indian companies as well as mul-tinationals are realizing opportunities to appealto Indians’ softer side by making workplacesmore nurturing, hospitable environments.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedTrendsettersIndian people are very tolerant of uncertainty.Their adaptability helps explain the speed andmagnitude of change going on in their countryas India leapfrogs its way to becoming a worldeconomic power.Because Indians are so comfortable withchange, adapting employees to new workprocesses and environments may not requireextensive change management efforts. Formultinationals especially, India can be an ideal“laboratory” for experimenting with radically dif-ferent approaches or all-new investigations.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedKeeping karmaAlthough leaning towards a long-term orien-tation, Indian people’s relationship to time iscomplex. Their belief in life after death andkarma generates a focus on long-term versusshort-term gains. In fact, in Hindi the word fortomorrow and yesterday is the same: kal. Thiscan lead to a belief that there’s no rush for get-ting things done today—the focus of life is onbuilding relationships versus immediate profit.Because this often conflicts with today’s ex-pected business behaviors, it can be confus-ing at best and maddening at worst to othercultures.Low Context/High Context“Yes” may not mean “yes”India’s culture is high context. Because peoplerely on close-knit groups, they try to avoid con-flict, making it difficult to “read” what they reallythink. Communication is full of nuances thatcan be easily misunderstood. Notably, the in-famous Indian headshake: a side-to-side tiltingof the head that can mean yes, no or maybe.Indians would rather say “yes” than “no” toavoid hurting someone’s feelings, which wouldlead to bad karma.Forming questions in a positive way can help en-courage more open discussions. Face-to-facecommunication, whether virtual or physical, isusually most successful, and taking the time toestablish a relationship is an essential first step.Low context High context27%50%womenmenCountry PRofilesINDIA
  • 34. 64 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 65Considerations for addressing the five key workplace issuesOptimize Real Estate In a country very familiar with close livingconditions, Indian workers tolerate high levelsof density. Working remotely is limited andemployees highly value having an assignedspace they can personalize. Leadership spaces should reflect theaccepted hierarchy, but can be condensed toallow more space for collaboration areas.Enhance Collaboration Indian’s collective nature lends itselfto collaboration, although it is still a newbehavior that needs to be fostered byproviding a range of collaboration options. Eager to build relationships with globalcounterparts, videoconferencing spaces willhelp workers in this high-context culturegain deeper understanding and trust withdistributed teammates.Attract, Develop Engage Technology-rich spaces are important toworkers in an economy with boomingemployment and high turnover. Offering amenities, such as informal collabo-ration spaces and a modern aesthetic,sends a message to employees that theyare highly valued.Build Brand and Activate Culture Transparency is important for Indian employ-ees who want to see and be seen byleadership. Create spaces where leaders andemployees can interact and share ideas. Brand messaging throughout the spacehelps build loyalty among workers andinfluences behavior.Enrich Wellbeing Tight deadlines and productivity quotas canbe stressful within a culture for which timeis not a strictly linear progression. Providingspaces for respite or refreshment canhelp balance the natural rhythms of relaxation. Ergonomic seating at the work station iscritical for India’s long work hours. Areasfor alternative postures are important toget employees out of their seats and movingthroughout the day.Workplaces in India today are steeped intradition, designed to support a widelyaccepted autocracy. Lavish executive officesreflect status and power, juxtaposed withemployee spaces that are modest andcompact. Booming employment has causedhigh employee turnover, causing Indianorganizations to think about the workplace as atool to attract the best and brightest. Considerdesign strategies that recognize the role ofhierarchy and go on to explore ways to supportrapidly evolving work styles.Thought StartersIndiaCountry PRofilesINDIAResidentNeighborhoodExecutiveLeadershipZoneResidentNeighborhoodResidentNeighborhoodArrivalZoneCollaborationZoneHigh density work environmentscan feel spacious when plannedin open areas with high visibilityand access to natural light.Gen Y workers in India valueinformal areas for collaborationor relaxation.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 35. 66 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 67Rooted in traditionFor the most part, Italy remains a traditional society where hierarchyand seniority are visible. New ways of working are not widelyembraced or translated into user-centered office design. Instead, eco-nomic considerations and aesthetics usually lead the design process,although countertrends supporting new concepts of workplaceimpact are emerging, largely due to the influence of multinationals.NOTABLE Italians embrace social networkingvia the Internet and are more digitally connect-ed in their personal lives than many of theirEuropean counterparts.* The technology infra-structures as well as the underlying impetusfor telework and flexible workstyles, however,remain underdeveloped. There’s persistentbelief in Italy that managers need to superviseworkers closely throughout the workday.*European Commission Information Society.Country PRofilesITALYItaly
  • 36. 68 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 69Work Dynamics​The office is still where most work happens;few people work in alternative settings,though there are emerging signs of readinessto change.Italian workers expect directions fromtheir leaders, but they also don’t hesitateto challenge a decision.Leaders listen and may ask for employees’opinions, usually during casual interactionsversus formal meetings.Italians are accustomed toworking individually witha lot of social interaction,versus as a team followingcollaborative techniques;the workplace culture ishighly competitive.Meetings are intense and lively, usually led bymanagement, and often start late.Italians pride themselves on improvisinglast-minute solutions to sudden problems.Workers treat their company like family,which can be an obstacle for newcomersor outsiders.Work HoursHard work is equated withlong hours behind a desk.Coffee breaks are important social times inthe workday.Managers feel obliged to be the last to leave atthe end of the workday.Quality of LifeAmong European nations, 15 score higher and24 score lower.Source: Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010Job SatisfactionWorker satisfaction tends to be low.Workers often stay with employers for securityeven if theyre unhappy.Italy’s economic situation has generatedmore mistrust of business leaders and generaluneasiness.Gender EqualityItaly scores very high for gender equality andhuman development worldwide, though itranks lower (24th) than most other Westernworld countries.The percentage of women with at leastsecondary education is lower than men (68%vs. 79%).Gender participation in the labor forceSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011Key FactsItalyScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows that competitiveness (“masculinity”) andindividuality are overriding factors in Italian culture. This is clearly apparentin a high value placed on aesthetics, fashion and outward appearances.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic /ConsultativePatriarchal leadership is traditionalAutocratic leadership and hierarchical alloca-tions of authority prevail. The ideal modelof a superior has traditionally been a benevo-lent autocrat who may listen to opinionsbut is a hard driver and always holds the reins.Workers expect explicit directions fromtheir leaders and may feel uncomfortablewith collaboration.Individualist/CollectivistThe power of oneItalians score very high on individualism.Though they value close personal relationshipsto family, friends, co-workers and businessassociates, their identity at work remains moreindividualistic than team-oriented. Italianspride themselves on personal creativity, andthey generally prefer to work alone.Masculine /FeminineCompetitive and privateItaly has strong masculine cultural values,especially in the workplace. Most organizationsare male-dominated and have assertiveand competitive cultures; workers protecttheir projects and ideas until they they’re readyto be showcased in the limelight ofpersonal achievement.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedA legacy of security and structureAn aversion to uncertainty in Italian culturesupports energy, emotional expressiveness anda high need Typical of security-oriented cul-tures, Italians seek job stability and tend to re-main attached to a company evenif they don’t love their jobs. Employment in thepublic sector is highly valued because it’sreliable, even if routine or unfulfilling. At work,predictable hours and close supervision arecomfortable norms.Although not knowing what to expect can gen-erate uneasiness, Italians improvise all the time.Theirs is a culture of getting around obstacles.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedLive for todayLeaning toward a short-term orientation,Italians strive for fast rewards more than long-term value. Like other short-term orientednations, they’re attached to the past androoted to familiar environs. For many Italians,changing jobs or moving to another placeis considered a major disruption to be avoidedif at all possible.Low Context/High ContextBonds that bindItaly is a high-context culture, with a strong senseof tradition and history that creates a solidcommunication framework for people in eachnew generation. With strong bonds to familyand community, “in” groups are clearly distinctfrom “out” groups. Voices can carry a lot ofemotion as a form of body language more tell-ing than words.39%7%of population considerthemselves thrivingsufferingLow context High context38%61%womenmenCountry PRofilesITALY
  • 37. 70 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 71Considerations for addressing the five key workplace issuesOptimize Real Estate Italian workers are comfortable in dense workareas where boundaries are clearly defined. A progressive executive space can be moreopen, with zones for administrativesupport, receiving guests and interactionwith employees immediately outside theprivate office.Enhance Collaboration Transparent collaboration settings within theresident neighborhoods encourage employeesto shift between individual and collaborativework more often. Positioning collaboration zones near individualwork areas can reinforce the messagethat these spaces are desirable and shouldbe used often.Attract, Develop Engage Italian workers tend to stay in their jobs—the workplace can help them stay engagedin their work by increasing transparency,so workers feel a part of the organization’spurpose. Positioning leadership close to employeeshelps foster a greater sense of connection.Build Brand Activate Culture Italian workers are highly loyal, and co-workersare like family. Include spaces that leveragethat tendency to foster socialization of ideasat work. Provide zones to reinforce brand messagesnot only for visitors, but for employees as well..Enrich Wellbeing Younger workers especially are seeking morepersonal fulfillment from their jobs. Createspaces that encourage more interaction withall levels of the organization Access to a variety of spaces with multiplepostures will help employees to stay engagedin their work and have a stronger senseof belonging.Work happens at the office in Italy, a culturethat highly values a distinction betweenwork and life. Like other cultures with hightendencies toward masculine values,making hierarchy visible in the workplacedesign is important. Highly individualistic,this culture is most comfortable withassigned workplaces where workers candevelop ideas on their own, then bringinto more structured collaboration sessions.Thought StartersItalyCountry PRofilesITALYCollaborationZoneResidentNeighborhoodResidentNeighborhoodExecutiveAdministrationCollaborationZoneExecutiveLeadershipZoneEnclavesPosition collaboration zonesoutside of executive officesto encourage informalinteractions with workers.Collaboration can take place atthe bench with nearby teammates, while video conferencinghelps connect workers with theirdistributed team.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 38. 72 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 73Bridging culturesA former colony of France and in close proximity to Spain, Moroccanis a blend of Arabic and European influences. Since achievingindependence from France in 1956, it has experienced economicgrowth and expansion. Its location as a stepping-stone betweenEurope and the Middle East and its overall economic potential haveattracted multinationals since the 1990s.Doing business in Morocco means bridging two cultures: one builtaround this country’s traditional, tribal roots and another aroundits younger generation’s desire to adopt to new behaviors and advancetheir careers, especially in multinational companies.NOTABLE Hshuma literally means shame.Moroccans’ most cherished possessionis their honor and dignity, which reflects notonly on themselves but on all members oftheir extended family. Moroccans will go outof their way to preserve their personal honor.Hshuma occurs when other people knowthat they have behaved inappropriately. AMoroccan’s sense of self-worth is externallyfocused, so the way others see them is ofparamount importance. If someone is shamed,they may be ostracized by society, or evenworse by their family. Loss of family is the worstpunishment a Moroccan could face.Country PRofilesMoroccoMorocco
  • 39. 74 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 75Gender EqualityMedium rating for gender equality and humandevelopment, 130th in the world.Percentage of women with at least secondaryeducation is lower than men (20% cf. 36%)girls are now beginning to dominate in schools.Gender participation in the labor forceSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011Women are asserting themselves in business,but may feel obligated to hide their familyresponsibilities.Work Dynamics​The office is where work happens; mobile workis not widely embraced due to cultural normsand lack of infrastructure to support it.Relationships are importantfor getting things done.Moroccan workers expect clear direction; topleaders make decisions; work processes areformal and bureaucratic and paper dependent.Moroccans are unlikely to share contrary opin-ions with supervisors, though meetings amongpeers can become emotional and lively.Work HoursMany people work 40-48 hours per week.Morocco has a caféculture; workers like tostep away to refreshand change their view.Moroccans may arrive up to an hour latefor meetings, but “outsiders” are expected toarrive on time.Most businesses close on Fridays from 11:00a.m.—3:00 p.m. for prayer and businessdealings aren’t conducted during the monthof Ramadan.Quality of Life80% of the population say they’re struggling;10% consider themselves thriving, 10% sufferingAmong African nations, 18 score higher and23 score lower.Source: Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010Job SatisfactionTraditionally, workers build close, loyal bondsto their employers.Younger workers seekmore engagementand satisfaction fromtheir work.Key FactsMoroccoScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows that autocracy and collectivism areespecially strong dimensions in traditional Moroccan culture. Like alldeveloping countries, however, there is evidence of strong countertrendswithin younger generations that have more exposure to other cultures.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic /ConsultativeFollow the leaderMoroccan culture is autocratic, and the idealleader has traditionally been a protective figure.Authority is respected; everyone knows his orher place, and subordinates expect to be toldwhat to do.Decisions are generally reached at the top, al-though decision-makers generally seek theadvice of trusted advisors. Since most organi-zations are extremely bureaucratic, decision-making is a slow process.Employees are generally treated with respect.Managers often adopt a paternalistic role withtheir employees. They provide advice, listen toproblems, and mediate disputes that are per-sonal or business-related.Individualist/CollectivistNever aloneMoroccans enjoy a collectivist culture of sup-port and generosity. Friends are often treat-ed like family, and sharing is part of life.Relationships are very important, and peoplemake strong commitments to groups.The family is the most significant unit of Moroccanlife and plays a pivotal role in social relations. Theindividual is subordinate to the family or group.The family can have more importance than busi-ness. Nepotism is viewed positively, since it indi-cates patronage of one’s family.Masculine /FeminineCompetitive and cooperativeMoroccans are competitively “masculine” inbusiness. Leaders are expected to be asser-tive and decisive, and fight to win. On the otherhand, Moroccans are also non-confrontation-al and workers want to do what’s expectedof them. In the workplace, cooperation andcompetition are often framed as leading to thesame objectives.Morocco is wrestling with the challenges of mo-dernity in the context of religious and culturalimperatives. This is evident in the question ofwhat role women should play in the society andhow this should impact government policies.Moroccan women want a larger role in society.The rising cost of living makes dual careerfamilies an economic necessity in urban areas.Most Moroccans accept that with the sameeducation and training, women can perform thesame jobs as men.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedCodified securityMorocco is a low risk and low change toler-ant culture. This makes sense considering theimportance of avoiding hshuma. In their col-lective culture, personal shame extends to thefamily. The stigma of failure, especially public,is why many Moroccan business owners keepstruggling businesses open rather than publiclyadmit to the failure.In low-risk cultures its often difficult for newideas or products to prosper. Expect it to taketime for Moroccans to support new concepts.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedAs time goes byMost Moroccans see time as something thatis fluid that adjusts to various circumstances.They view personal relationships more impor-tant than time and would not rush someone tofinish a conversation.Moroccans believe that their future is written forthem­—this is called maktoob; they accept theirstatus in life and do not believe they can riseabove the social class into which they are born.Many sentences end with the phrase inshallah(god willing). This explains the Moroccanapproach to time, accountability and initiative.Low Context/High ContextSilence is communicationMorocco is a high-context culture. There’s alayer of meaning that’s unspoken in most com-munications, and people tend to avoid directconfrontation as a way of showing respect.Facial expressions are often more telling thanwords. It’s considered rude to jump into busi-ness at the start of a conversation. Importantmeetings happen only in executive offices,where the design and furnishings communicatestature and hierarchy.Low context High context26%80%womenmenCountry PRofilesMorocco
  • 40. 76 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 77CONSIDERATIONS FOR ADDRESSING THE FIVE KEY WORKPLACE ISSUESOptimize Real Estate Workers are comfortable with a high degreeof density, so benching or other work-station designs that support a small footprintare viable options. The executive office is sacrosanct in Moroccanculture, so consider ways to augment thespace with technology to communicate staturewithin less space.Enhance Collaboration Informal collaboration is a new behavior.Position areas for collaboration in close prox-imity to individual work areas and includesettings for lounge postures that are importantto Moroccan culture and to encourageimpromptu interactions. Structured areas for collaboration with distribut-ed colleagues should have video capabilitieswhich helps high context cultures suchas Morocco gain a better understanding ofthe meeting content and enables workersto contribute more effectively.Attract, Develop and Engage Incorporate spaces that offer higher visibilityto leadership and encourage more interactionat all levels of the organization. Younger workers are enthusiastic about newways to work and are attracted to more pro-gressive spaces that are open and transparent.Build Brand and Activate Culture The concept of brands is gaining traction inMorocco. Reinforce br d identity andmessages throughout the space to help workersunderstand and adopt behaviors consistentwith the brand. Build on Morocco’s collectivist culture bydeveloping spaces that foster group activitiesand interactions.Enrich Wellbeing Although comfortable with groups and density,Moroccan workers value places that arecalming, where they can step away fromothers and control the amount of stimulationand interaction they face. Create spaces that foster multiple postures,sitting, lounging and perching.Many workplaces in Morocco today reflecttradition and hierarchy through formal, dark andornate designs that reinforce establishedcultural norms. Looking ahead, organizationsthat are expanding in Morocco have the oppor-tunity to explore more progressive spaces thatencourage new behaviors and attract young-er generations. Establish protocols and trainingencourage leadership to help workers embracenew workstyles.Thought StartersMoroccoCountry PRofilesMoroccoCollaborationZoneResident NeighborhoodExecutiveAdministrationCollaborationZoneLeadershipZoneTransparency for leaders andemployees can foster trust andenhance collaboration.Lounge postures are importantin Morocco when socializing withco-workers or visitors.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 41. 78 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 79The NetherlandsA culture of balanced contrastsAs participants in a secular, multicultural and tolerant society, theDutch respect individuality and typically take a “live and letlive” approach to life. At the same time, they place high value onconsensus at work to keep things running smoothly.A small country, the Netherlands has a very good public transpor-tation system and many people also frequently use bikes to getaround. Mobility is taken for granted, and people are used to takingtheir work with them versus always going into the office.Innovative workplaces in the Netherlands accommodate this culture’sunique combination of individuality and teamwork within comfortableand relaxed environments. Because flexible, mobile work anddesk-sharing are so well accepted, a significant number of progressivecompanies don’t provide any assigned workspaces or private offices;instead, all workspaces are 100 percent shared.NOTABLE The Netherlands has extensivehealth and safety regulations that set standardsfor access to daylight, indoor air quality, noiselevels and ergonomics. No other Europeancountry has so many norms on the ergonomicquality of office furniture. User-adjustedseating and worksurfaces are required toaccommodate a physically diverse population.Country PRofilesthe netherlands
  • 42. 80 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 81Work Dynamics​Early adopters of flexiblework; most routinely dosome of their work awayfrom the office.Resist autocratic management styles.Tend to keep workplace interactions pragmaticand to the point.Social norms protect personal space in openoffices; interruptions, especially fornon-work-related small talk, are regardedas inconsiderate.Sociability at work typically occurs only atdesignated times, such as lunch.At most organizations, anemployee work councilis consulted for importantdecisions, includingworkplace design issues.Work HoursThe Dutch work fewer hours than workers inmost other countries, typically less than 40hours per week; personal time has high value.Being punctual for meetings and stayingfocused on work while at work are norms.Lunch breaks are short and simple; workerstypically eat together.Quality of LifeAmong European nations, only Scandinaviancountries score higher in wellbeingSource: Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010Job SatisfactionSatisfaction is very high;90% say their job givesa feeling of work well done.Source: Eurofound, 201173% say the organization they work formotivates them to give their best jobperformance.Source: Eurofound, 2011Gender EqualityA very high rating for gender equality andhuman development, 3rd in the world.Percentage of women with at least secondaryeducation is nearly comparable to men (86%vs. 89%).60% of women participate in the labor force vs.73% menSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011More than 55% of employed women workpart-timeSource: Organisation for Economic Co-operation andDevelopment, 2011Key FactsThe NetherlandsScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows the Netherlands as a country with adistinct culture of extremes.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic/ConsultativeQuestioning authority is a cultural normPower and hierarchy don’t immediately impressthe Dutch; instead, they respect credibility,autonomy and knowledge, and lean toward aconsultative approach in which authority isearned and one-on-one dialogue prevails.Individualist/CollectivistWorking alone, eating togetherThe Netherlands ranks as the fourth highestcountry in the world for individualism. TheDutch are self-reliant, focus on self-fulfillmentand tend toward social independence.Workplace interaction is pragmatic, functionaland to-the-point.Masculine/FeminineCooperation is keyRanking high on the “feminine” cooperativeend of the scale, the Dutch mistrust boastingand prefer modesty. Despite their strong indi-vidualism, consensus is an important part ofthe Dutch “live and let live” mentality. The well-being of all is strongly valued, and leisure andfamily time are protected as important partsof life.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedOpen-minded to change and taking risksAs an adaptable and diversity-acceptingculture, the Dutch are willing to take risks andimplement change. They’re less attachedto rules, rank and procedures than people inmany other countries, and they’re favorablyinclined toward to new solutions that showpromise for good outcomes.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedBalancing today’s enjoyments and tomorrow’sgainsAlthough tending slightly toward a short-termorientation, the Dutch are more long-term ori-ented than people in other European nations.They share a relative lack of concern for “keep-ing face,” a common trait in long-term orientedsocieties. The short-term attributes of enjoyinglife and valuing leisure are very evident in theDutch, but they also value the long-term attri-butes of steadfastness and perseverance, at-tributing success to effort.Low Context/High ContextSay what you meanThe Netherlands is a low-context culture. TheDutch like to work independently, and there’san emphasis on directness and verbal claritywhen collaborating with others. Work relation-ships change easily as needed, and time ishighly organized.Staying late orworking duringoff-hours atthe office is notcommon.68%1%of population considerthemselves thrivingsufferingLow context High contextCountry PRofilesthe netherlands
  • 43. 82 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 83CONSIDERATIONS FOR ADDRESSING THE FIVE KEY WORKPLACE ISSUESOptimize Real Estate Executives don’t need or want traditional,dedicated suites. Shift that real estateto multi-function spaces that can be fullyutilized at all times. Uncomfortable with too much density, Dutchworkers prefer a range of settings they canchoose from that support various work modes.Enhance Collaboration The Dutch embrace distributed work—spacesfor video conversations with teammatesfrom around the world can help augmentthose interactions. Most workplace interactions tend to be func-tional and direct; spaces that support casualcollaboration can help workers engage witheach more frequently.Attract, Develop Engage As a culture with individualistic tendencies,the Dutch benefit from open collaborativesettings that help reinforce teamwork, learningand group cohesion. The Dutch prefer workspaces that feel morelike homes or clubs: meeting rooms withlounge furniture incorporating playful ele-ments into workplace design, such as areasfor video gaming, can be a good strategy formotivating interaction at the office.Build Brand and Activate Culture Dutch workers expect quality and egalitarian-ism throughout their workplaces; theyrespond best to spaces that display minimalor no differentiation based on rank. Leaders are comfortable nomads who don’tneed dedicated executive space. Considersettings that encourage leaders and employ-ees to stay connected.Enrich Wellbeing Ergonomics, access to daylight, indoor airquality and noise levels are regulated forDutch workplaces, making them among themost supportive and pleasing work environ-ments in the world. Settings for socialization and informal collabo-ration can help workers feel connected toothers and create a deeper sense of purpose.The sociology of work and effective workplacedesign are well-researched topics in theNetherlands. As a result, Dutch offices areamong the most progressive in the world, andworker expectations are high. Within anadaptable, diverse culture, workplaces in theNetherlands are all about flexibility, mobilityand democracy. Working from home or at aco-working facility is well accepted, sharedworkspaces are common and signs of hierarchyare rare. Nomadic workers need spaces tosee and be seen so they stay connected to theorganization and to each other.Thought StartersThe NetherlandsCountry PRofilesthe netherlandsArrivalResidentHubLeaderHubEnclavesCollaborationZoneNomadic CampDutch workers prefer a range ofsettings to choose from withinthe office and are accustomed tounassigned spaces.Workers can shift from individualwork to informal collaborationeasily, while nearby enclavesprovide areas for focused work.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 44. 84 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 85A multi-layered identityAbundant natural resources of oil, metal ores, coal and othercommodities, along with a well-educated labor force and expandingmiddle class—these advantages create opportunities that haveattracted multinational business to Russia ever since the Soviet Unioncollapsed in 1991.Today Russia is one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies.Among the challenges this vast nation faces is the imperativeto improve productivity and streamline processes in its fast-evolvingculture. Due to the many radical changes Russians have experiencedin their lifetimes, mismatched attitudes and approaches coexist,which makes its culture difficult to decipher. Like their nestingmatrioshka dolls, Russian people have built up layers of identity, eachspringing from a different era in their history.NOTABLE Moscow, with more than 8 millionresidents, is the political and business center ofRussia, and its real estate is scarce andcoveted. Though Russia is the largest countryin the world, (almost twice as large as theUnited States and spanning nine time zones),much of it is undeveloped and under-inhabited.Country PRofilesrussiaRussia
  • 45. 86 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 87Work Dynamics​Flexible work arrangements are fairly common,especially for women; remote work is limiteddue to a still-developing intranet infrastructure.The social side of workis very importantfor most Russians.In Russian companies,interaction happens atthe workstation; few haveinformal meeting spaces.There’s tolerance for high density in homesand offices.Processes are bureaucratic and paper-dependent.Transparency is unfamiliar and can be anadjustment for workers.The pace of work is fastand intense.Work HoursThe workweek is officially set at 40 hours, butovertime is common.Arriving late for work or cross-town meetingsis tolerated.The workday typically begins 9:00—10:00 a.m.,but often extends late into the evening asbusiness takes place over dinner and drinks.Quality of LifeRussia’s rapid transition to a free-marketeconomy has been unsettling for much of itspopulation and created a split society; 21%of population consider themselves thriving,22% suffering.Among European nations, 28 countriesscore higher in wellbeing and 11 score lower.Source: Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010Job SatisfactionMany Russians are strained financially anddivided on capitalism.Finding balance between work and life is achallenge and growing cause of dissatisfaction.Older workers are nostalgic for security;younger generation workers want more free time.With a shortage of experienced Russian talent,job-hopping for a higher salary is common.Gender EqualityHigh scores for gender equality and humandevelopment, 66th in the world.The percentage of women with at leastsecondary education is close to men (91%vs. 96%).58% of women participate in the labor forcevs. 69% men.Source: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011Key FactsRussiaScores on Cultural DimensionsBecause the culture of Russia has been fundamentally recreated duringthe past two decades, distinctly different attitudes exist side-by-side.Compared to the greater uniformity of cultural dimensions seen in moreestablished nations, Russia displays many disparities.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic/ConsultativeA shift is occurringAutocracy has been visible throughout Russianhistory, but recent studies suggest thatdifferent attitudes to power and decision-makingnow coexist. A preference for participativedecision-making and more egalitarian manage-ment styles are gaining ground as democraticreforms have created opportunities basedon education, skills and experience versuspolitical connections.Individualist/Collectivist100 friends vs.100 rublesRussia is less individualistic than developedcountries, but the most individualistic amongdeveloping ones. If Russians are individualistic,they go about it in a collective way. Especiallyduring the Soviet years, many people depend-ed upon blat—complex, personal networksof underground favor exchanges, regulated byunspoken rules. Many collectivist valuesare expressed in Russian culture—routinelyyou will hear “Better to have 100 friends than100 rubles.”Masculine/FeminineToday’s’ realities vs. yesterday’s idealsWhile dominant “masculine” behaviors areexpected from Russian leaders, less confron-tational and more inclusive bonds of friendshipare accepted among peers. Coupled withan emphasis on dusha (the Russian soul), thissignals leanings toward a more feminineculture. As the market economy provides moreincentives for hard work, the intensity ofworkstyles is increasing. Aggressivenessand a drive for personal status may overtakethe more idealistic, nurturing values.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedGetting around obstaclesRules and bureaucracies abound in Russia,presenting significant barriers to foreigncompanies doing business there. There areso many rules that it’s virtually impossiblenot to break one. This has led to a wide mar-gin for doing business with bribes, but col-lective efforts by international firms beginningto change this practice. Russians have shownadeptness at navigating conflicting worlds,working in chaotic business situations andfinding creative solutions to obstacles. Theyare frequent job-switchers, on a constantquest for a higher salary. Their economy isdynamic and evolving daily, and so are they.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedPaycheck-to-paycheckRussian people and businesses have generallyadopted a short-term attitude compared toSoviet times when life was more predictable andbasic needs were assured. Now, many peoplelive paycheck-to-paycheck without savingsand are inclined to “live for today,” though theyremain nationalistically proud of their country’spast achievements such as victory in WorldWar II and the first manned space flight. They’reaverse to debt, and birth rates are very low.Low Context/High ContextNyet may not mean “no”Russia’s culture is high context. Relationshipsmust be established before meaningfulcommunication can take place, and the focusof business presentations is often on havingdetailed context and background information.In verbal tone, Russians can seem bluntto outsiders. In Russian culture, it’s generallyconsidered good to know what a person is feel-ing, but words can be layered with ambiguity.For example, nyet may mean “please approachthis in a different way”—not necessarily “no.”Source: GrantThornton Internationalover 1/3 ofmanagersare women41%50%disapprove of themove to a free-market economyapproveSource: Pew Global Attitudes Project, 2009In Moscow, manycommute foran hour or more.Low context High contextCountry PRofilesrussia
  • 46. 88 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 89Considerations for addressing The five key workplace issuesOptimize Real Estate Russian workers tolerate fairly dense work-station planning, which affords extra room foralternative spaces. Executive offices are important to the culture;explore reduced footprints with enhancedspaces that reflect status by including high-end surfaces and materials, and embeddedtechnologies.Enhance Collaboration Socializing and tight bonds are integral to theRussian culture. Cafes in close proximity towork areas can build on that cultural trait andencourage informal collaboration sessions. A collaboration “concourse”—a range of spaceswithin a high-traffic area—can promotemore regular shifts between “I” and “we” work.Attract, Develop Engage The work environment is becoming a power-ful tool to attract the best talent, who arelooking for upbeat, creative environments thatalso speak to the Russian desire for “homi-ness”. Providing a variety of spaces to choosefrom based on the type of work they needto do can help workers stay more engaged. Russians change jobs with increasingfrequency. Open spaces that help them feelconnected to the organization’s purposeand to other workers can improve retention.Build Brand Activate Culture Brand and company culture are new conceptsto most Russians and not fully utilized yet.Especially for multinationals, design spacesthat are authentic to the brand to increaseunderstanding and build trust. In this culture where family and friendsare extremely important, brand and companyloyalty can be cultivated by creatingspaces that promote a sense of communityand belonging.Enrich Wellbeing A more egalitarian approach to space, andmore choice and control over where andhow they work will help employees feel lessstressed and more highly valued. In a country where pollution-related healthconditions exist, emphasis on sustainablematerials and practices in the workplace canenhance workers’ wellbeing.Like other developing nations, change hashappened rapidly, which means Russian work-places are both grounded in traditions, yetquickly incorporating new ideas and new waysof working. Despite its vast territories, urbanreal estate is expensive, especially in Moscow.Open-plan environments offer cost savings andare becoming more common as multinationalfirms stream into Russia, though they contrastdramatically to the traditional Soviet “cabinet-style” layout in which enclosed rooms line longhallways and the size and location of each of-fice reflects hierarchy. Change managementstrategies will be key to help Russian workersembrace new workplaces and styles.Thought StartersRussiaCountry PRofilesrussiaArivalResidentNeighborhoodLeadershipResidentNeighborhoodCollaborationZoneA collaboration “corridor” offersworkers a range of spacesthat promote more egalitarianinteractions.Transparency for Russianleadership spaces builds on thecultures tendency for inclusive-ness and nurturing.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 47. 90 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 91Ready for changeSpanish culture today is teeter-tottering between time-honoredtraditions and the lure of new ways of working and living. Holdoversfrom the past are tenacious: status based on hierarchy, centralizeddecision-making and long working hours. Younger generations,however, have a strong appetite and readiness for change. As theygain influence, a more informal and participative approach to workis emerging.With Spain at an economic precipice, the best companies realizethe need to be more innovative, high-tech and global, and manyyoung workers are eager to reinvent their county’s work culture andstrengthen its economy.NOTABLE The Spanish attitude toward timeis flexibility. Meetings often begin late, andneed to follow an agenda. Managers areexpected to moderate discussions, which canbecome lively. Although Spaniards value thestability of structure, they are used to living withuncertainty, so an improvisational approachfrequently prevails. Knowing how to “go with theflow” is an admired trait.Country PRofilesSPAINSpain
  • 48. 92 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 93Work Dynamics​New technologies are increasing mobility andflexibility, but managers still prefer supervisingpeople at the workplace.Meetings are intense and lively, usually led bymanagement.Most Spaniards believe funand work don’t mix; spacesfor relaxing or socializingin the workplace are lesscommon.Work HoursPeople put in long days; the percentage ofpeople who work more than 50 hours per weekis higher than in most Western world countries.Source: Eurofound 2010Lunch hours draw people together; businesslunches are vital for developing relationships.Social time at work is becoming more accepted;employees escape for a coffee to havequick discussions or celebrate special occasions.Quality of LifeSense of overall wellbeing is declining; in 201036% of population considered themselvesthriving, 6% suffering 2010; since thenunemployment rates have climbed to 25% asSpain battles recession.Source: Gallup Global Wellbeing ReportJob SatisfactionBecause there’s cleardelineation betweenwork and personallife, Spaniards put lessimportance on jobsatisfaction; personal lifeis the realm for doingwhat you want to do.Gender EqualitySpain scores very high for gender equality andhuman development worldwide, though itranks lower (23rd) than many other WesternWorld countries.The percentage of women with at leastsecondary education is slightly lower than men(71% vs. 76%).Overall unemployment remains high, butemployment opportunities for women haverisen dramatically during the past 15 years.Gender participation in the labor forceSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011Very few women are in executive ranks.Key FactsSpainScores on Cultural DimensionsThe distribution of scores shows Spanish culture distinguished by astrong aversion to unpredictability along with an extremely short-termorientation. This often results in a unwillingness to take even small risksfor long-term gains.ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic /ConsultativeAn evolving distribution of powerSpain’s recent political history of authoritarian-ism and paternalism is still evident in theimportance of hierarchies i-n most aspects oflife—politics, public administration, businessand family. But as a new generation comesof age in a more liberal and democratic society,there’s growing opposition to formally cen-tralized power. In business, securing managerialpositions has become less about seniority andmore about skills and relationships, openingdoors to young professionals who want to leadtheir companies toward change.Individualist/CollectivistWorking alone, togetherSpaniards are individualists, but they also havecollectivist leanings. Solidarity, loyalty andgroup attachments are important values, andSpaniards are likely to embrace group activities.Workstyles and spaces however, still mostlysupport individualism and working alone. Atmultinationals and progressive Spanish com-panies, a shift is underway toward workas a more collaborative and social endeavor.Masculine /FeminineHard edges, soft centerBalanced between masculine and feminine,Spanish workers contend with conflictingvalues. On the one hand, work is an arena forcompetitiveness driven by needs to ascendthe ladder and achieve. On the other hand,Spaniards regard personal time as more importantthan work. Their culture is rich with familycelebrations and frequent get-togethers. ManySpanish business people feel professionalsuccess means relinquishing a work/life balance.Because personal life holds such highcultural value, giving it up can lead to stressand dissatisfaction.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedLaws with loopholesBecause of a strong security orientation,Spaniards have high needs for rules andpredictability. But they’re also improvisationaland tend to take regulations lightly. “A newlaw, a new loophole” is a Spanish expressionthat reveals this fundamental dichotomy.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedSpontaneous, but stretching forwardSpaniards are accustomed to an insecurefuture, and their short-term focus is intense.Thissometimes collides head-on with a compa-rably strong intolerance for uncertainty. Asworld economies become more interconnected,Spaniards have compelling reasons to planmore for the future.Low Context/High ContextRelationships frame communicationSpanish culture is high context, placing a highvalue on interpersonal relationships and beingpart of a close-knit community. Spaniardstypically have a strong sense of family. How aperson communicates can easily be moreimportant than the content. Many messagesare implicit versus explicit, and showingemotion is considered important for communi-cation. For distance communications, videocon-ferencing can be more effective than emailing orphone calls since it provides a less nebulous,more intimate frame-work for dialogue.50hours perweek.Country PRofilesSPAINLow context High context50%69%womenmen
  • 49. 94 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 95Considerations for addressing five key workplace issuesOptimize Real Estate Private offices can be designed on a con-densed footprint, with administrative assistantspaces grouped together for efficiency. Benching can be dense for workers,who are comfortable being in close proximityto colleagues.Enhance Collaboration Multiple media:scape settings can encourageworkers to embrace new technologies andfoster an open sharing of ideas. Spaces intentionally designed to cultivate cre-ative collaboration should be readily accessible.Attract, Develop Engage A variety of spaces will offer the rightmix of both support and autonomy forSpanish workers. Provide opportunities not only for focusedwork, but also for socialization.Build Brand and Activate Culture Incorporate both informal and structured teamareas to support group cohesion Lead by example. Executive spaces, whilepresent, should be more egalitarian,and lesssequestered to promote more engagementwith employees.Enrich Wellbeing As employers embrace more flexible, distrib-uted work arrangements, offer a broadrange of spaces that people can choose frombased on the work they need to do. Providing ergonomic seating for Spanishemployees who work long hours is a must.Create spaces that encourage alternativepostures—standing, leaning, perching—tokeep employees alert and engaged.Many workplaces in Spain today still reflect astrong focus on hierarchy, structure andintense work. Leading organizations in Spain,and their young workers are driving a shifttoward spaces that recognize tradition, yetpromote innovation and new ways of working.This concept offers ideas for balancingexpressed hierarchy and employee comfortwith density in the open plan. Private officescontinue to be important, but collaborationspaces should be situated throughout the planto encourage visibility of leadership.Thought StartersSpainCountry PRofilesSPAINResident Neighborhood ExecutiveLeadershipCollaboration Zone ArrivalIncorporating open collaborationareas near spaces designatedfor individual work, willencourage new behaviors.Private offices for leaders continueto be important, while adjacentspaces for administrative supportand collaboration will encourageopenness and transparency.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 50. 96 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 97Embracing changeThe American culture is often referred to as a quilt: many distinctpieces creating a whole. Even Americans have a difficult timedescribing their culture without noting paradoxes. Although regionaldifferences are strong, America’s penchant for standardizationand efficiency has given rise to a number of trends that prevailthroughout the country.With increasing globalization and a predisposition for having statusas “the leader of the pack,” the United States inspires innovationin other nations in several important arenas, including branding andworkplace design.The skyscraper and the cubicle are among the workplace break-throughs created in the United States. Additionally, America is wherethe term “creative class” was first coined to describe workers whoperform highly skilled knowledge work. Today this country leadsin the development of technology-augmented, communal workplacesand the rise of flexible, distributed work. The United States hasthe largest number of distributed workers in the world. This trend isgenerating a radical rethinking of the workplace as a place whereemployees come often, versus being where they work all the time.As part of its evolution, the United States is becoming more openand adapting to other cultures to satisfy customers and get thingsdone. At the same time, it’s driving concepts of what it means to bea globally integrated enterprise.NOTABLE Faced with stiffer competition thanever before, design thinking is becomingprevalent within the highest echelons of U.S.corporate leadership as a way of solvingproblems in a holistic, creative way. Leadingcorporations now encourage this approachthroughout all levels of their organizations.Country PRofilesUnited statesUnited States
  • 51. 98 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 99Key FactsThe United StatesScores on Cultural DimensionsThe United States is the most individualist nation in the world; theneeds and rights of individuals are extremely important in American life.Other culture dimensions are subservient to this dominant trait.Work Dynamics​Flexible and distributed work arrangements arethe norm in many industries; more than 70%are implementing alternative work strategiesto reduce real estate costs.Source: CoreNet GlobalConnecting with global colleagues is commonthroughout the day.Being fast, flexible and innovative are goals forevery organization.As work becomes more collaborative, privateoffices are on the decline.Balancing focused work with collaboration is agrowing issue.Workers typically take their cell phones andlaptops to meetings so they can multitask.Work HoursThe work week varies by industry andeducation level, typically ranging from a37.5-40+ hour work week..At least a third of Americansdon’t take all of theirallotted vacation days andconsider it importantto demonstrate they aresacrificing their personallives for career.Source: CNNU.S. companies expect employees to stayconnected via technology during off hours.Working lunches are a way to optimizeproductivity.Quality of LifeDespite ongoing economic uncertainty,Americans score high in wellbeing; 57% ofpopulation consider themselves thriving,only 3% suffering.(Gallup Global Wellbeing Report, 2010)Job SatisfactionAlmost half of Americansconsider their jobsextremely stressfulSource: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionJob-hopping is low due to high unemploymentin the current economy.Gender EqualityVery high scores for gender equality andhuman development, 4th in the worldThe percentage of women with at leastsecondary education is equal to men at 95%Gender participation in the labor forceSource: United Nations Development Programme Report, 2011ConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityorientedLong-termorientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintytolerantShort-termorientedAutocratic/ConsultativeQuestion authorityThe United States is low on this power distancescale, and a strong mark of its consultativeleanings is the reign of informality. From dresscodes to communication styles, the Americanapproach is much more relaxed than that ofother countries.In the workplace, employees are expectedto voice opinions as a way to participate indecision-making. Authority is still valued,although networks are often more influentialthan hierarchy.Individualist/CollectivistThe cowboy as iconAmerica’s extreme individualism lies in itshistory—founded by immigrants who wantedto create their own destinies among theseemingly limitless opportunities in the vastexpanse of its Western territories. It’s noaccident that the cowboy—the personificationof a self-reliant individualist—became an iconof American culture.Even within families, people are expected tobe independent, to pursue their own inter-ests and make choices about their own lives.Ownership of property and mobility arehighly valued.There’s a tendency to connect important achieve-ments with a single hero, such as Steve Jobs,versus companies or teams, and recognitionof individual efforts is considered essential tomotivation.Americans are highly philanthropic; they setrecords for being the biggest donors tocharitable causes in the world. For many, theircontributions don’t end with money butcontinue with donating services and expertise.Masculine/FeminineCompeting to winThe United States culture tends toward thecompetitive “masculine” side of this scale,oriented to results and achievements. Americanslike to win and are comfortable being incharge. Credibility comes from objectivity andexpertise. Rational decision- making and logicare valued over passion.Work is very important, but, as in many othercountries, behaviors associated with a femi-nine culture are on the rise as Americans seekbetter work/life balance and meaning intheir lives.Uncertainty Tolerant/Security OrientedEncouraging out-of-the-boxThe United States is an uncertainty-tolerantnation. Its culture appreciates creativity andunusual ideas. Routine is considered a rut;people value spontaneity. Rules, regulationsand policies are kept only if they make sense.There’s an open approach to education andwork. Managers tend to focus on strategymore than day-to-day operations—unthinkablein a more security-oriented culture.Short-term Oriented/Long-term OrientedLive for todayAmerica is a short-term oriented culture.Consumption was most common for decades,but has shifted to sustainability. Collaborativeuse models, such as Zipcars and shared work-spaces, are gaining a following, especiallyamong younger generations.Business partnerships can be fluid, based onthe opportunities available and changingmarket conditions. Having vision and a senseof purpose is important, but is balanced withthe need to measure performance on a quarterlybasis, and investors expect quick results.Low Context/High ContextTime is moneyThe United States is a low-context culture,butsustainability is becoming more valued. Gettingthings done is more important than relation-ships, and communication tends to be overtand clear, with more focus on the verbalcomponent than body language. Value isplaced on “straight talking” without “beatingaround the bush.” Theindirect communication styles of high-contextcultures can be frustrating to Americans,while those cultures may consider Americandirectness abrasive.Country PRofilesUnited statesof industries are implement-ing alternative workstrategiesLow context High context58%72%womenmen70%
  • 52. 100 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 101Considerations for addressing the five key workplace issuesOptimize Real Estate Alternative workplace strategies will allowemployees to work off-site at various locationsas appropriate. Spaces should support multiple functions sothe real estate is fully utilized at all times (i.e.telepresence room that can used also as alocal collaboration tool).Enhance Collaboration Provide spaces for all of the types ofcollaboration, from quick project evaluation tofull-day generative sessions.Attract, Develop Engage Younger generations seek to integrate theirpersonal and work lives—so some spacesshould support a relaxed work style. Create visual transparency so neweremployees can see and learn from experi-enced teammates.Build Brand and Activate Culture Spaces should support the types of behaviorsconsistent with organizational culture. Integrate brand messaging throughout employeespaces, not just customer-facing spaces.Enrich Wellbeing Support multiple postures, so employeescan sit, stand, walk or perch. Some spaces should offer solitude, soworkers can moderate the amount of soundor visual stimuli.A typical American workplace used to besummarized in one word: cubicles. The needfor both collaboration and focused individualwork, combined with the freedom of mobiletechnology, has led to radically new ways ofworking. The physical workplace has tokeep pace and even lead to new behaviors. Akey principle is to offer a palette of places forworkers to choose from that support both “I”and wework - that can be either owned byindividuals or shared by many - allowingworkers to toggle back and forth betweenmodes of work.Thought StartersThe United StatesCountry PRofilesUnited statesNomadic CampCommunityCaféResidentNeighborhoodCollaborationZoneCollaborationZoneResidentNeighborhoodA reservable enclosed spaceprovides options forfocused collaborative andindividual work.Open collaboration spaces andvideo capability are woventhroughout to encourage quickconnections with eitherco-located or distributed teams.The spaces shown here are intended to help spark ideas. Every product is not available in every country.
  • 53. Long-termOrientedShort-termOrientedConsultativeCollectivistFeminineSecurityOrientedAutocraticIndividualistMasculineUncertaintyTolerantCN MARU IN GBDENLUSITESFR102 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 103Same but Different:When the American sports broadcaster ESPNopened its New Delhi branch, it understoodthe importance of balancing the company cultureand local sensibilities. Sudhakar Lahade, asenior researcher at Steelcase WorkSpace Futures,says that ESPN India set up a giant screendedicated to showing cricket matches in thecafeteria. The employees would watch thegames together while eating lunch and socializ-ing. On the surface, it is a disarmingly simpleapparatus catering to Indian employees’ love ofthe sport. More profoundly, it is a gesture thatacknowledges the local culture while inspiringworkers to forge trust and emotional bonds overthe most beloved, basic activities like eatingand enjoying cricket.Plenty of pundits have been debating how culturaldifferences impact international business. Inthis study, Steelcase looks at intercultural issuesthrough the lens of the workplace, exploringpatterns of similarities and differences betweencountries. How do culture-based issues, suchas the fear of “losing face,” or losing respect andstatus in public, manifest themselves in theconfiguration of Chinese workplaces? How doesthe Netherlands’ egalitarian attitude becomevisible in a Dutch work environment?CN ChinaFR FranceDE Germany US United StatesGB Great BritainIN IndiaNL NetherlandsIT ItalyMA MoroccoES SpainMapping The Patterns of Work CulturesThe link between culture and space can pose aboundless quandary. Designing a culturallyrelevant workplace requires understanding thevarying and mutating connections betweenthose two seemingly vast concepts. As in thecase of ESPN India, it requires knowledge oflocal behaviors and expectations. At the same time,managers should also pick up on subtle culturalcues embedded in space and leverage them.Understanding the workplace culturecode empowers an organization.By comparing patterns of behavior and of work-place occupancy, this study identifies dis-tinctions and similarities among distant nations.Studying rituals and work processes of 11nations around the world,Steelcase’s multina-tional team of researchers identified severalspatial and behavioral themes and tensions. Whilea culturally sound workplace has no universalformula, comparing nations according to theseparameters shows the dynamic tensions thatshed light on the myriad of factors to considerwhen designing and optimizing workplaces.The opportunities and challenges in thesedifferent cultures demonstrate how a intentionally-designed workplace can foster trust, improvecollaboration and ultimately help an organizationgo global faster and more effectively.Culture codeMAPPING thE PAttErNS oF Work CULtUrESRU RussiaLow Context High Context
  • 54. NLNumerous cultural factors must be consideredwhen optimizing real estate. Are Indian em-ployees as averse to density as their Germancounterparts? Can Chinese bosses thrive inunassigned workspaces as Dutch manag-ers do? Do Moroccan workers expect theirenvironments to be as standardized as theirEuropean counterparts who are accustomedto stringent workplace regulations? CouldAmerican employees succeed in a tight con-figuration as much as their Indian colleagueswould?When it comes to space optimization, twodimensions play a critical role in the po-tential for shrinking space:1) tolerance for occupancy density and2) acceptance of working in alternativelocations.Organizations trying to maximize every squaremeter of real estate in their global markets willface different sets of barriers as wellas opportunities.China, India, Morocco, RussiaOne pattern encompasses the emerg-ing -economies of China, India, Russia andMorocco, which are similar in their prioritiza-tion of executive offices. Executives must pres-ent a distinguished impression on behalf ofthe whole firm, and “losing face” is a culturaltaboo, especially in China. In countries with ahigh power distance score, staff and leadersalike have expectations that executives are be-nevolent figures, with decisive and authorita-tive power—their physical spaces should reflecttheir authority and position.As a result, shrinking the executive suite will bemet with greater resistance in these nations.Of course, there are variations within thegroup; unique company cultures and individualdifferences should always be taken into con-sideration. Nonetheless, national trends can beobserved. In Russia, for instance, open-planworkplaces appear more frequently in smallsizes. An intimate group of employees routinelyshare an open space that they customize, per-haps as a communal home for the “family” ofcolleagues. “In Morocco, employees tend topersonalize their individual territory no matterthe scale, sometimes marking their chairs withnametags, other times completely reconfigur-ing the office to suit their needs,” says IlonaMaier, interior designer and senior researcherat Steelcase.Lahade observed that Indian employees seedesignated space as a representation of theindividuals role at work. According to Lahade,Indian workers ask themselves three questionsin order to establish their place within the orga-nization: “What’s my title?” “How much will I bepaid?” and “Where is my space?”The dominant cultural thread between thesefour countries is a high tolerance for densestaff workspaces and a willingness amongmanagers to reduce space in order to cutcosts. Workplace design is less regulated inthese countries, allowing companies to ex-periment with different measures to optimizespace. A notable example is Russia, wherethe numerous regulations and codes can becontradictory, allowing room for interpretation.Beatriz Arantes, psychologist and Steelcaseresearcher, sees a common opportunity here.“The reconciliation of globalization and localidentity is best embodied in these emergingmarkets,” she says. Having undergone rapidchanges in the recent years, these dynamicnations are coming up with creative ways fortraditions to coexist with new ways of work,Arantes says.France, Italy, SpainThe Latin-based European nations in the study,have very similar patterns regarding space op-timization. Workers in France, Spain and Italyare less tolerant of dense work environmentsthan emerging markets. The need for amplespace, prevalent in the general culture, is sup-ported by stringent regulations on both na-tional and Europe-wide levels. However spaceallocation is more egalitarian than in emergingcountries. While executive spaces continue tobe an important reflection of order in the work-place, spaces for both employees and leaderscan be reduced, if done in a manner that re-spects their personal need for boundaries.The reality of high (and rising) real estate costshas driven space optimization in Italy, Spainand France. Even traditional organizationswith entrenched hierarchies have begun ap-plying pressure to reduce every employee’sworkspace. Opportunity is being found inthe increasing adoption of alternative ways ofworking (working from home or from anotherthird place location). While working beyond theconfines of the office is still not widely adoptedin these countries, an infrastructure of co-working spaces, satellite offices and telecen-ters is emerging in cities and suburban areasas a response to ever-increasing real estatecompression and transport congestion.Netherlands, Great Britain, UnitedStates, GermanyThe United States, Great Britain, Germany andthe Netherlands all rank high on the scale ofindividualistic nations, according to Hofstede’sresearch, which means they expect self-relianceput word on one line and higher levels of au-tonomy. As a result, workplaces designed tooptimize real estate are progressive, focusedon driving innovation. Seeking to reduce costsin a competitive global business environment,organizations recognize that workers in thesecountries are also averse to density, but com-fortable with trying new ideas. Germany isbeginning to explore a variety of workplacestrategies, while the U.S., Netherlands andGreat Britain are experienced pioneers of ideassuch as hoteling, desk sharing (or “hot desk-ing”), use of coworking spaces or working fromhome. The latter three countries have seen awide range of on-and-off-site work arrange-ments, extending the workplace ecosystembeyond the physical barriers of the office.Employees are growing accustomed to shar-ing space in a more democratic manner. In theNetherlands, for instance, where there are lessformal hierarchies, the management often oc-cupies the same space with their employees.“When the Dutch information and communica-tion technology company, Goldfish, set up itsfirst bricks-and-mortar venture after five yearsin operation and a 33-fold increase in staff,it opted for an innovative hoteling concept,”says Annemieke Garskamp, interior designerand applied research consultant at Steelcase.“One-hundred employees now share 26 work-stations that consist of height-adjustable desksfor focused work and a variety of other settingssupporting different work modes (collaborative,social, learning). By offering employees a widerange of spaces on-site, in addition to the op-tion of working away from the office, the com-pany’s work environment offers employeeschoice and control while minimizing requiredspace and allowing for increasing headcount.”Optimizing Space:Don’t Just Shrink, RethinkIn cities where real estate is a precious commodity, businessesthat optimize their space will have a distinct advantage overtheir competitors. Organizations can’t simply shrink the work-place while ignoring the employees’ wellbeing and productivity.They need to rethink as much as shrink.Accept workingaway from officeCNMARUINDEGBUSITESFRResist to workingaway from officeLow tolerance tooccupancy densityHigh tolerance tooccupancy densityexecutive executivemanagers managersworkers employeesnocoworkingworksome useof coworkinglocationsCN MA RUINoff-site coworkingexecutivemanagersemployeesGBUS NLIT ESFRIn China, India, Morocco and Russia, whoall share a high tolerance for density and arehighly hierarchical, space optimization is onlyachieved by reducing space for workers.In the Netherlands, Great Britain, theUnited States and Germany, spaceoptimization is achieved throughalternative work strategies.For France, Italy and Spain, which are lesstolerant to density, and less hierarchial, spaceoptimization is achieved by reducing spaceboth in private offices and the open plan, andby offering some alternative work strategies.Patterns foroptimizingreal estate:DEalternativeworkspaces104 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 105A cultures tolerance to density and acceptanceto alternative work strategies will identify how to bestoptimize real estate in culturally-accepted ways.Culture codeMAPPING thE PAttErNS oF Work CULtUrES
  • 55. workplace homecoworkingfacitilies*businesscenters**Coworking facilitiesan alternative to working at home, withan emphasis on creating community,usually for self-employed individuals andsmall startups Business centersindividual offices available for rentthat share office equipment, services,and other amenities Third placessuch as coffee-shops and librariestravelthirdplaces*Demands for increasing creative collaborationand innovation have shown that rigid organi-zational structures based solely on hierarchyare proving to be less effective than networks.Leading organizations comprise of projectteams, committees, communities and indi-viduals, all of which are virtually and physicallynetworked. New places have emerged as alter-native workspaces: coworking centers, innova-tion hubs and third places have created a new‘workplace ecosystem.’However, not all cultures have the capacity orwillingness to adopt workplace strategies thatsupport flexible hours and distributed work.National culture influences how large and far-reaching a workplace ecosystem can be. Acountrys readiness for expanding the work-place beyond the office can be best evaluatedwith two key factors: preference for separat-ing work and personal lives, combined with at-titudes about work supervision. For instance,in Germany, where personal time is inviola-ble, shifting the work hours has not gained asmuch traction as in the United States, despitethe proficient spatial and technological infra-structures. In China, with its employees’ ten-dency to work together under the guidance ofsupervisors, the extent of flexible work arrange-ments seen in Great Britain is widely-adopted tobe adopted in the near-term.Great Britain, United StatesWork cultures in the United States and GreatBritain are defined by a trust-based managerialculture and porous boundaries between workand life. Work is ubiquitous—on the road, atthe airport, in the living room. Melanie Redman,WorkSpace Futures researcher, says “Whatis at stake is not so much work/life balance,but work/life blurring.” A worker’s career is be-coming organically integrated into his orher personal life. In these nations, the work-place ecosystem extends well beyond theboundaries of the physical work environment;work happens anywhere and everywhere,says Redman.Germany, NetherlandsFor countries like Germany and theNetherlands, nurturing the workplace ecosys-tem means striking the right balance betweenprivacy and peer interaction while support-ing both remote work and on-site tasks.Considering that employees tend to actuallyput in longer hours when working remotely, thisrequires not only sufficient digital technologies,but also support networks, governmental orotherwise, for workers who must juggle careerwith household tasks and child-rearing duties.Breaking Down Barriers:Nurturing the WorkplaceEcosystemThere is a fundamental shift in the way people work today.Distributed workers are increasingly working with colleaguesfrom around the world, which challenges the notion that workcan take place only during business hours. In an effort tonavigate time zone differences—as well as the simple desire tobalance work and life in many countries—more work is startingto happen outside the office.CNMARUINDEGBNLUSITESFRCompartmentedWork LifeBlurredWork LifeControl TrustWork happens anytime and anywhere andworkers in these countries have beenearly adopters of alternative work practicesfor a long time. GB USWorking outside of the office is a fact of life.After years of home office experimenta-tions, German and Dutch workers are nowmoving to coworking environments toenjoy work and community interaction.NL DEThe need for control and supervision andthe preference for separating work andlife is limiting the practice of alternativework strategies.CH MA ITESThe corporate office is still the primarydestination for work in these countries, butan emerging offering of alternative spaces isoccurring and is rapidly transforming urbanand rural landscapes.RUIN FRFrance, India, RussiaIn Russia, India and France, the legacy of man-agerial culture based on control is combinedwith a blurred work/life boundary. Employeesspend all their working hours (and more) in theoffice. Distributed work is not widely acceptedby middle managers and work often can seepinto personal time. Coworking centers andother third spaces have emerged in big cities inthese markets, but the adoption curve bycorporations is low. Freelancers and other in-dependent workers are regular users of thework ecosystem versus corporate employeesor civil servants.China, Morocco, Spain, italyIn places like China, Spain, Morocco and Italy,workers and leaders prefer to keep work ex-clusively inside the office, making distribut-ed tasks less likely. There is little demand forenlarging the workplace ecosystem today. InChina, where supervisors’ guidance at theworkplace is prevalent, workers don’t expectto seek out alternative spaces for focused worklike their British or American counterparts do.A “hands-on” approach to managing work-ers, in addition to the divide between work andlife, has discouraged alternative work practicesand a broader ecosystem from becoming morecommonplace.Distributed teams collaborating in order to in-novate is an economic reality and a strategicgoal for many organizations, but it is only pos-sible when the workplace ecosystem is in har-mony with both the organizational and nationalcultures. By understanding the dominant com-ponent of managerial culture and work-life blur-ring in a given culture, business leaders anddesign professionals can understand the bar-riers and enablers of implementing alternativeworkplace strategies in different markets.106 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 107Network EcoSystemIn this ecosystem, workers have a range of options, but culturedetermines which are viable and most appropriate.Hierarchical EcosystemIn this ecosystem, work happens exclusively at the office. Some employees, basedon position and activities, may be able to work at alternative locations.Not all cultures have the capacity or willingness to adoptworkplace strategies that support flexible hours anddistributed work. The countries’ readiness for expandingthe workplace beyond the office can be evaluated with twokey factors: their preference for separating work andpersonal lives, combined with their attitudes about worksupervision.Culture codeMAPPING thE PAttErNS oF Work CULtUrES
  • 56. CHFRConditions for innovation are complex. “A workenvironment is much larger than just a sum ofits furniture,” says Yasmine Abbas, professorialresearch fellow at Zayad University. In a worldwhere technology has enabled workers to per-form tasks anywhere, physically going to worktakes on a significant meaning. Abbas sums itup: “Space is about creating a community.”A space that is optimized for innovation en-courages new ideas to flow and realizetheir potential. But an ideal configuration inMinnesota may not work the same way inGuangdong. Design must take cultural traitsinto consideration. How much a culture isopen to innovative collaboration practices canbe predicted by comparing two sets of behav-ior. On the one hand, a culture’s agility can bemeasured by whether workers are generally re-sistant or open to change. On the other hand,how prone they are to sharing or guarding in-formation can be an indicator of how comfort-able they are with collaborative work. Togetherthese attributes help us seek solutions for de-signing creative and collaborative spaces thatare appropriate to the culture.Ultimately, fostering creativity and integratingit into collaborative processes requires an ap-propriate management culture. Understandingcultural similarities and differences betweencountries is integral to inspiring fruitful col-laboration among workers. When collaborativespaces are designed with an understanding ofcultural norms, it can help foster innovation.France, Italy, SpainFrance, Italy and Spain can be loosely groupedtogether as nations where interactions are ex-plicit and take place in specific spaces. Theresearch shows that in cultures with a lowertolerance for uncertainty, workers tend to becareful about sharing information with col-leagues and are deliberate before making bigchanges. Accordingly, spaces and processesof interaction need to be structured and ex-plicit. Cafés and other informal spaces may beregularly used for socialization, but it requires anew set of protocols and executives leading byexample for these behaviors to be readily ad-opted in the workplace.India, Great Britain, United StatesIn agile and collaborative nations like the UnitedStates, and India, interactive processes areopen-ended and not anchored to specific spac-es. Perhaps it’s predictable that a country thatcelebrates the concept of “open source”, theUnited States has a work culture that requirescollaboration and participation. “Collaboration isan iterative, rolling, often very informal process.Collaboration relies on social networks, infor-mal connections, and how many interactionsyou have during the day,” says Julie Barnhart-Hoffman, Steelcase design researcher. India,which is in a dynamic state of change, showshow a nation can quickly adopt technologies tobecome a new, global business hub. Even asthe nation is undergoing great social changes,personal relationships continue to be valued,making collaboration an ingredient necessaryfor doing business. An individual desk in thisSouth Asian nation can easily double as a placefor communal interaction among colleagues ac-cording to Wenli Wang, a member of the culturestudy research team at Steelcase.FUELING INNOVATION:Creative CollaborationWhat makes a culture more prone to collaborating than others?How can employers channel these characteristics into creativityand innovation?AgileCNMA RUINDEGBUSITESFRSteadyGuarding SharingNLChina, MOROCCO, RUSSIAIn China, Morocco, and Russia companiestake internal confidentiality seriously, whichmeans workers have been traditionally cau-tious about sharing knowledge. While team-work within the same branch of an organizationis emphasized, different departments tend tobe highly segregated in separate spaces. Sothere tend to be few—if any—places dedicat-ed to interdepartmental interaction among col-leagues. In a high context culture, collaborationwith colleagues in other parts of the world canbecome more fluid and productive if space isdesigned to promote the use of video, allow-ing workers to derive meaning from nonverbalcues and other elements that add context.Cafés are other spaces where interdepart-mental communication can be encouraged. InRussia, kitchens have traditionally been impor-tant aspects of the Russian work life, but theywere often relegated to small corners wherefunction was more important than socialization.When the international group Sodexo openedits Moscow office, it experimented with well-stocked, open kitchens to encourage workersto mingle.Germany, NetherlandsGermany and the Netherlands share work cul-tures that are steady and collaborative. In thesecountries, the workers’ need for structure canbe seen in spaces that are specifically designat-ed for collaborative work. Catherine Gall, direc-tor of Steelcase WorkSpace Futures in Europe,has worked extensively in Germany and ob-serves that Germans are very open to sharinginformation with colleagues, within a structuredframework. “They are used to working withconsultants, but they’d prefer to not have last-minute changes to their plans. Their capacity tocollaborate is nuanced by the fact that processdiscipline is very important and may constrainthe volume of new ideas,” she says. Employeesactively share information, but their interactionstake place in structured settings, like meetingsand conference calls.How much a culture is open to innovative collaborationpractices can be predicted by comparing two setsof behavior: a culture’s agility, measured by whetherworkers are generally resistant or open to change; andhow prone they are to sharing or guarding information.Creative collaboration tends to be intra-departmental and takes place in dedicatedspaces following a formal process.Creative collaboration tends to take place indedicated spaces (not always structuredcollaboration spaces) following a formal processand only with a select group of participants.Creative collaboration tends to takeplace anywhere; it is second nature to thework culture.Creative collaboration tends to take place instructured collaboration spaces, followinga formal process and involves people fromboth within and outside the organization.DEMAIT ES RU GBUSNL IN108 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 109Culture codeMAPPING thE PAttErNS oF Work CULtUrES
  • 57. | Issue 65 | 111110 | Issue 65 | | Issue 64 | 111110 | Issue 64 | 360.steelcase.comCulture CODEUnlocking the codeUnlocking The CodeThe cultural challenges multinational companies arefacing, and what they are doing to address themGlobal organizations that design and managetheir work environments to respect cultural val-ues often realize substantial benefits—attractingand retaining talent, allowing distributed teamsto be more productive, promoting employeewellbeing, and much more. As global business-es seek to implement a workplace strategy, theiroffices have become stages for playing out cul-tural differences. Many organizations try to ex-port the same workplace strategy that workedat home, without always considering how thosespaces will be perceived within a different cul-ture. We all need desks and chairs, right? Whatcould be so different?Vodafone, AmsterdamIt starts with understanding social rituals, spo-ken and unspoken rules of behavior, hierarchyof needs, employee expectations and legal re-quirements, says Catherine Gall, Paris-basedresearch director for Steelcase and the leader ofan in-depth study of country cultures and theirimpact on office design. “Trying to decrypt thecomplexity of the interrelations between cul-ture and space can be overwhelming, but whencompanies fail to understand and consider thisequation, their workplaces are often dysfunc-tional, stressful, and unappealing to workers.”
  • 58. 112 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | | Issue 64 | 113“Any project that involves creating a new work-place or transforming an existing one carriessome risk,” says John Hughes, a principal withSteelcase’s international work and workplaceconsultancy, Applied Research Consulting(ARC). “With the two most common work en-vironment changes — reducing real estate, orsignificantly changing workstyles—companiesneed to account for human factors. Withoutstandards such as office density, furniturechoices, and color palettes based on Vodafonebranding. “It gives each local office the op-portunity to innovate within boundaries, about80/20. Based on the guide, they can adapttheir workplace to local business needs,” notesDavidson.For example, Vodafone opened a newNetherlands headquarters in Amsterdam inJanuary 2012, that consolidated and replacedthree different offices into the one location.“That meant changing the culture of the orga-nization, so it was critical to get staff involvedin the process of planning and implementingthe changes,” says Hughes. The ARC teamconducted interviews with the staff, surveyedworkers and held day-long workshops to getemployees engaged in the project.Leadership and staff expectations were care-fully assessed and compared; understand-ing where management and employees werealigned and where they diverged showedwhere the most effort was needed. Bothgroups wanted to see more teamwork in theorganization and the opportunity for workers totake more individual responsibility for how theyworked. They envisioned a more mobile work-force in a more flexible work environment.Management participated in leadership work-shops, communicated plans to their staff and,perhaps most importantly, learned how tomanage a more mobile workforce, in particularhow to measure results instead of more tradi-tional work measures such as hours clockedand face time. “Based on input from our staffand management in the Netherlands, we cre-ated a long-term pilot space to test Vodafone’sglobal workplace strategy in Amsterdam andto test many of the new workplace designstrategies that later would be implemented atour permanent home,” says Paul Smits, globaldirector for organizational effectiveness andchange at Vodafone.“The Vodafone office in Italy probably will neveradopt the same workplace model as theNetherlands, but that’s the whole point. Theage of the team in Amsterdam and the vision ofleadership there was different from Italy’s, andthey each developed the kind of offices theyneed,” says Davidson.Hughes says any workplace transforma-tion has four key parts: actively engaged leadership; significant employee involvement; design solutions that evolve over timebased on user behavior; a carefully planned and executedchange management program.A multinational telecomm headquarteredin Great Britain with operating compa-nies in twenty countries, Vodafone has aglobal workplace strategy that respectslocal needs. “The Vodafone DNA is evi-dent in each office, but they’re not clonesof Great Britain headquarters. Vodafoneis a family and there’s a resemblance fromcountry to country, but we’re not identicaltwins,” says Billy Davidson, global propertydirector.Vodafone has a design guide on an in-ternal collaboration website that’s usedby the company’s property directorsworldwide. The guide contains corpo-rate standards for real estate acquisitions,procurement contracts, and workplace“The Vodafone office in Italy probablywill never adopt the same workplacemodel as the Netherlands, but that’sthe whole point.”Billy Davidson, global property director, VodafoneCulture CODEUnlocking the codeaccounting for this, employees may be veryslow to accept new workstyles or resist themoutright. It’s a killer for morale and that directlyaffects organizational performance.”Vodafone, AmsterdamVodafone, Amsterdam
  • 59. 114 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 115Culture Change ManagementManaging the culture change at Vodafone inAmsterdam was quite involved. “We had tomake sure our employees were ready to makethe move to a more mobile way of working anda new work environment to support it,” Smitssays. Involving employees in the planning pro-cess was important, but so were an array ofresources created as part of the change man-agement effort, including: an intranet information site with virtualtours of the new space; temporary workspaces employees couldtry out and training with new technology; coaching and training for managers; staff meetings with leadership todiscuss the move; a launch event in the new spacebefore move-in; relocation assistance for thosemoving to the city; an orientation booklet about the newwork environment and the surroundingAmsterdam neighborhood.Vodafone’s Amsterdam project demonstrateswhat Hughes calls a “pull” strategy of changemanagement: leaders define the strategic in-tent and key behavior changes needed, whileusers define needs for the new workplace. “It’simportant to generate excitement about thefuture of the workplace and have employeesshare that excitement with their colleagues andshow how new ways of working will help themdo their jobs.”A “push” strategy takes a different tack.Employees are not necessarily involved in de-fining what they need in a new workplaceand instead are provided the rationale for thechange, what the benefits will be, and statusupdates. The focus is on communication andtraining, such as how to work in the new envi-ronment. “It can be effective in some organiza-tions, especially in more traditional cultures thatare more top down driven, but a push strategydoesn’t ensure satisfaction or even acceptanceby everyone,” says Hughes. “It’s not unusualfor companies to blend pull and push strate-gies to fit the local and organizational cultures.”“It’s surprising, really, how well andhow quickly people have adaptedto all of the changes we’ve made.”notes Smits. You give people supportthrough the transition, you police yourpolicies a bit without going over thetop, and you let people know you’llrevisit those policies, and if there areissues you’ll adjust.”Paul Smits, global director, organizational effectiveness, VodafoneWatch a video on Vodafone’sAmsterdam workplace:Culture CODEUnlocking the code
  • 60. 116 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 117Bridging Oceans, Countriesand CulturesCross-culture ventures, such as mergersand acquisitions by companies from differ-ent countries complicate workplace planning.Izabel Barros, a senior ARC consultant in LatinAmerica, worked with Siemens, the Germanelectrical and telecommunications firm head-quartered in Germany, and Nokia,the Finnish telecomm, on a joint operation—Nokia Siemens Networks—with offices inBrazil and Chile.“First, we made sure that, together with theirdesign firm, Moema Wertheimer Arquiteturaof Sao Paulo, we clearly understood the orga-nizational culture of both Siemens and Nokia,their headquarters country cultures, and thecultures of Brazil and Chile. We explored dif-ferences not only between the companiesand countries, but even between offices in Riode Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Only after we hadthose issues sorted out were we able to diveinto what they wanted for the new company’sorganizational culture and workplace strategy.”The goal was to apply a global workplacestrategy in different locations (Nokia SiemensNetworks operates in 150 countries) with someadjustments for local norms.Barros and her team worked with represen-tatives from all departments to contribute tothe planning process. A sophisticated changemanagement program helped employees un-derstand new work processes and the workenvironment, dubbed “The Modern Office,”which “drives corporate culture toward one ofteaming, collaboration and interaction. This iscritical for high-tech companies who succeedor fail based on their ideas and their ability tocreate intellectual property.” This meant work-ers, including middle and upper management,would have to change how they went abouttheir work. Individual workstations, for exam-ple, would be smaller and closer together toencourage more communication and collabo-ration, while private offices would be resized,repurposed or go away entirely, depending onlocal needs.“We worked with middle management so thatthey would buy into the idea of smaller offic-es, working in the open plan, going to placesfor more privacy, and so on. We also helpedpeople accept more responsibility for how andwhere they worked, as a way to foster more in-dependence,” Barros says.Engagement is KeyDeeply engaging workers in the process liesat the heart of a successful organizationalchange. “It used to be that the hierarchy wasthe catalyst for behavior. Business today ismore complex and changing behavior is moresuccessful when you engage the human net-works of the organization. It’s often the unex-pected members of the rank and file who stepup and make a difference in driving change,and sometimes pushing the change furtherthan executive leadership thought possible,”notes Barros. “When you involve users in theprocess of planning the workplace, you geta more culturally appropriate work environ-ment as well as earlier and deeper buy-in fromeveryone.”The Nokia Siemens Networks change man-agement plan included preparing detailedprotocols for each of the new workspaces foremployees. Project areas, videoconferencerooms, on-demand drop-in spaces, phonebooths (small enclaves), lounges, coffee points(places for spontaneous meetings) and indi-vidual workspaces (most unassigned)— wereexplained in detail, with suggestions for bestuses, which spaces could be scheduled andhow, etc.Workshops explored the benefits of the newwork environment and a 16-page brochure on“The Modern Office” explained how knowledgework is changing and how the new work en-vironment supports it. All materials were pro-duced in the local language and in English, anacknowledgement of the local culture and asan aid to quicker adoption of new workstyles.“If you’re going to make dramatic changes tothe workplace and how people work, leadersat all levels need to be involved in planning thechange and implementing it. In the Sao Paulooffice, for example, not even the president’soffice had a door on it. Change managementinvolves every level of the organization, but itstarts at the top,” says Barros.“It’s often the unexpected membersof the rank and file who step up andmake a difference in driving change,and sometimes pushing the changefurther than executive leadershipthought possible.”Izabel Barros, senior ARC consultant, SteelcaseCulture CODEUnlocking the codeNokia Siemens, San Palo
  • 61. 118 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 119The Global/Local TensionEven for companies fluent in wide-rang-ing countries and cultures, global workplacestrategies must be adjusted to local needs.Multinational consulting firm Accenture, withclients in over a 120 countries, deals with thisissue constantly. “In some ways, Accenturecompany culture trumps local culture. We havea lot of mobility in our workforce and a decen-tralized and distributed approach to work: forexample, business might be sold in the U.S.but designed in Manila, built and operated indelivery centers in India,” says Dan Johnson,workplace innovation lead for Accenture. “Plus,our clients, who like Accenture are primar-ily global in scope, expect a high level of con-sistency from us whether they work with anAccenture office in Chicago, D.C., Warsaw,or Sydney.”Yet striving for consistency across the corpo-ration shouldn’t be confused with consistencyacross borders. Patrick Coyne, global direc-tor for Accenture Workplace Solutions, sayscompanies err when using markets to definegeographies. “You can’t draw borders arounda group of countries simply because that’s howyou define a market. That underestimates thecomplexity of the geography and the coun-tries involved. Even though the world is gettingsmaller, it’s important to understand that doingwork in Japan is different than doing workin Russia.”Accenture offices reflect both local and globalinsights. “Our workplace strategy focuses onenhancing collaboration and innovation witha consistent physical space, a single look andfeel, and the right balance between the compa-ny culture and the local culture,” Johnson says.For example, in Tokyo, Accenture opted to re-locate some of the staff functions from down-town Tokyo to an office in Yokohama about 45miles away, and used virtual technologies toconnect the two locations and help people stayconnected. This approach lowered their spacecosts in a very expensive real estate marketand improved overall work effectiveness.They managed the change through round-table discussions with staff who helped planthe changes, email newsletter updates, anda user committee to plan the relocation to thenew Yokohama office and implement newwork processes. Change is often challeng-ing. “For some of our people, the move toYokohama meant a longer commute. We spenta lot of time talking with them about the im-pact and options to minimize it. In response,we introduced a telework program that allowspeople to work from home two days a week.People thought that wouldn’t work in Japan,where employees often feel the need to workwhere management can see them. But aftertwo years, we’ve documented increased pro-ductivity and engagement, even compared towhen they were working in downtown Tokyo.When you look carefully at existing culturesand norms, challenge them a bit as we did withremote working and involve the people in de-veloping the solution, you can knit all of thischange together and have an even more posi-tive outcome.”Culture CODEUnlocking the codeAccenture, Tokyo
  • 62. 120 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 121Youth and Technology Ease ChangeJohnson points to two other factors that helpwith work environment changes. First, demo-graphics. Accenture’s workforce, averagedworldwide, is young: nearly two-thirds GenY, one-third Gen X and about 3 percent babyboomers. Approximately 70% of the workforcehas been with the company for less than fiveyears. “As we grow, we want an early footholdon the kinds of environments that stimulateyoung people. In some places we’re challeng-ing some typical paradigms around leadershipand hierarchy, but we plan that intentionally be-cause it’s so important to our culture and ourworkforce demographics give us an opportuni-ty to take some fairly progressive strides.”The second helpful factor is technology.“Thelevel of consistency and the number of en-abling technology tools are dramatically differ-ent from just a couple of years ago. It’s verytypical for us to have global teams built from anumber of locations and they work well togeth-er,” Johnson says.For workers in the Yokohama office, technolo-gy has helped them become more efficientand more autonomous in their work. They reg-ularly collaborate via videoconference withcolleagues in the downtown Tokyo office. Amajor transition from print to digital media isunderway. The home telework program hasbeen a boost as well: 96% of employees sayit’s increased their level“Teamwork, impromptu collaboration, thingslike that are important no matter where youare in the world.”Billy Davidson, VodafonePeople Matter MostPost-occupancy measures are routine for Accenture and othercompanies engaged in workplace changes, and a necessaryingredient of change management. Johnson says Accenture “justcompleted post-occupancies on some new offices around the worldand the scores, if you will, vary a bit, probably for cultural reasons,but we’re seeing really dramatic improvements in things likenetworking and mentoring, which is going to be important regard-less of your culture.How organizations work in teams, how they collaborate, can vary.“We can’t go to Italy, Germany, France, or any other country andsay, ‘You have to have offices like we do in Great Britain.’ or, ‘Youhave to use the Netherlands as the model,’ because it just won’twork everywhere,” says Vodafone’s Billy Davidson. “Teamwork,impromptu collaboration, things like that are important no matterwhere you are in the world.”“Instead, we encourage creativity within boundaries.” Vodafoneencourages every country to post photos of their latest project ontheir design guide site as a way to share ideas among the propertymanagers team.Accenture has researched the value of employees understandingthe company’s workplace strategy and its link to company perfor-mance. “It’s getting off on the wrong foot if a workplace project isviewed primarily as an effort to manage costs. It has to be aboutenabling your people, making sure we all understand where thecompany is today and how we work and even more importantly,how well work tomorrow,” says Coyne.Accenture’s Yokohama project was nicknamed Project Darwin, afterthe famous naturalist. They also paraphrased a Darwin sentiment toinspire the staff, one that also may inspire any organization thatwants to grow and thrive: “It is not the strongest of the species thatsurvives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that ismost adaptable to change.”In a time of unprecedented transformation and innovation, workplac-es that evolve and adapt to the needs of the organization and itsemployees will be the most successful in optimizing real estate,fostering creativity, enriching workers’ wellbeing and ultimatelyreaping the benefits of accelerated global integration.°Culture CODEUnlocking the codeAccenture, Tokyo
  • 63. 122 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 123Culture CODEthe research teamBeatriz Arantes specializes in the psychologyof human emotion and behaviors and how theyrelate to work and the work environment. Sheholds degrees in psychology as well asPortuguese and Brazilians studies from BrownUniversity, studied clinical and organizationpsychology at Universidade Federal de SantaCatarina in Brazil, and earned a mastersdegree in applied environmental psychologyfrom Université René Descartes, France.Izabel Barros is an expert on people-centeredstrategies for innovation and organizationaleffectiveness. She has more than 20 years ofexperience as a professor and professionalconsultant serving global clients to deliverstrategies and solutions in the areas of contentmanagement, work environment innovation andchange management.With multi-lingual capabilities (English, Portu-guese, Spanish, French), she holds a from the Institute of Design at The IllinoisInstitute of Technology. She is also a certifiedengineer with masters degrees in both productdesign and production engineering and iscertified on change management by PROSCI.Catherine Gall directs the WorkSpace Futuresteam. She has more than 20 years of experi-ence consulting with corporations on theessential interplay of space and culture, workingwith companies on social and organizationalstudies and workplace design research.She has lived and worked in France, NorthAmerica and Germany. A native of France, shegraduated from the Strasbourg School ofManagement and has also studied productdesign and development at Stirling University inScotland.Annemieke Garskamp has more than 20 yearsof experience in developing, designing andconsulting on workspaces, working withmultiple teams of interior designers, spaceplanners and workplace consultants.After graduating from Ecole Supérieure desArts Modernes in Paris, she attended theCollege of Architecture, HBO Engineering andOpen University, Business Management, allin Amsterdam. With experience in multipleEuropean countries, she speaks Dutch, English,French and German.Sudhakar Lahade has conducted user-cen-tered workplace research for more than 15years and is now manager of growth initiativesat Steelcase.Born and raised in India, Lahade worked in theMumbai area for more than eight years at thestart of his career. A graduate in architecturefrom the University of Mumbai, he has earnedmaster’s degrees in design from both the IndianInstitute of Technology in Bombay and theIllinois Institute of Technology.Ilona Maier is a senior developer, advancedmarketing and applications, with extensiveexperience in France, Germany, Malaysia,Morocco and Russia. A conceptual thinker, sheapplies culturally-based insights to createapplications, design tools and thought startersthat support effective workplace design.She holds a degree in engineering for architec-ture and interior design from The University ofApplied Sciences Rosenheim.Melanie Redman has a left brain/right brainperspective on culture as both an artist and aresearcher. After earning a degree in Russianand International Studies from EmoryUniversity, she went on to earn a bachelor offine arts degree in graphic arts from PurchaseCollege of the Arts, SUNY.At Steelcase she conducts human-centeredresearch in various markets, including health-care and small companies. She recentlycompleted an in-depth study of the post-80sgeneration in China.Wenli Wang leads Steelcase’s research effortsin Asia Pacific. She has participated inprojects focused on office environments in Asiaas well as the healthcare and higher educationindustries in China. In addition, she playedan integral role in research of Gen Y in Indiaand the post-80s generation in China.She graduated from Vanderbilt University witha degree in economics.Yasmine Abbas is a French architect andconsultant who has worked with Steelcase’sWorkSpace Futures team and contributed tothis issue of 360 Magazine. She has studiedand worked in Morocco, France, the UnitedStates, Denmark and the United Arab Emiratesin the fields of art and architecture, businessethnography and sustainability.She graduated from Paris-Val de Marne andearned a master of science degree in architec-ture studies from the Massachusetts Instituteof Technology and a doctoral degree fromHarvard University Graduate School of Design.Culture Code Contributors:The Research TeamUnderstanding human behavior in the workplace is what the SteelcaseWorkSpace Futures team is all about. Eight members of this multiculturaland internationally distributed team recently immersed themselves instudying first-hand how people work in different parts of the world. Theirwork focused on understanding the important implications of cultureon workplace design and how companies can leverage these insights toprovide effective work environments in a global business world.The team, based in North and South America, Europe and Asia used manyresearch techniques based in the social sciences. In addition to doingfield research, they also collaborated with other business leaders, designersand social sciences experts in different countries to develop a deep andrich understanding of the issue.Interestingly, the team became a microcosm of the very issue they werestudying—how do you bridge cultural differences among distributed teamsto create trust and highly-effective working relationships?
  • 64. 124 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 125LESSONSLEARNEDLESSONSLEARNEDLessons LearnedTake time to learnabout a culturebefore doing businessin another country.Everything will make much more sense,much faster, when you do. Working for a multi-national company today can be a lot likeworking for the United Nations—it requiresdiplomacy, tact and sensitivity, as well as newmodels of organizational dependency andinteraction.Attitudes toward company culture are stronglyinfluenced by cultural values and norms. Beingsmart about globalization means seeing theworld through different lenses. Whether it’san issue of religion, gender roles, dress stan-dards, food or any other dimension, it’s im-portant to always realize that culture is deeplyseated in every person’s sense of self. Passingjudgment is limiting and builds barriers; un-derstanding other cultures as different, versusbetter or worse, opens opportunities.Wherever you locate,invest in the workplaceto achieve yourbusiness goals in thecontext of culture.Because they profoundly affect people’s moti-vation, satisfaction and wellbeing as well as theefficiency of their work processes, the spaceswhere people work are investments that canmake or break an organization’s ability to meetits goals in any location. The right spaces canbring out the best in employees, reconcilingcultural differences and capturing the value ofevery person as a source of strength thatcontributes to the success of the whole.At the same time, designing space for cultureshould never mean reprioritizing your businessgoals. Workplace design must correlatewith the strategic issues facing an organization,addressing ongoing and emerging businesstrends in culturally appropriate ways.Don’t assumeyou can transplantworkplacestandards intactfrom one countryto another;find the rightbalance betweenlocal and global.Having a common thrust is important for anymultinational organization, and leveraginglocal differences requires customization thatplays to dominant needs and desires.Power dependency, for example, is a highlyrelevant factor in the mix.People in cultures thatare relatively independent require egalitarianwork processes and spaces, while peoplein cultures that are dependent on power figureshave emotional needs for visible hierarchy.Likewise, for people in cultures that are highlyintolerant of uncertainty, security is a strongmotivator so “ownership” of an individual work-space is likely important.How people express emotion, release tensionand communicate with each other areamong other important dimensions of culturethat profoundly affect the design of aneffective workplace.Use design thinkingto thinkabout designingfor globaland local needs.Whenever a complex problem arises, theprocess of design thinking has proven to be aneffective tool that enables creative thinkingto emerge. Design thinking allows for seeing aproblem holistically, through a microscopiclens to scrutinize the pieces and a telescopiclens to see patterns and the bigger picture.By deconstructing and reconstructing the keycomponents of any challenge, new insightsabout interrelationships can emerge, support-ing an effective translation of larger issues intolocal solutions.Allow for culturalas well asbrand manifestationsin the workplace.While the design of the workplace is animportant tool for establishing your corporatebrand consistently in any locale, somedegree of tailoring and customization is alsoessential. It shows respect and can be apowerful visible demonstration of your commit-ment to the country and your employees there.Design forcollaborationwhereveryou locate.Globalization, complexity and the drive forinnovation have made it a now and future trendfor any business, anywhere. Different culturesare adapting to it and practicing it differently,but it is indisputably the way the 21st-centuryworld will work everywhere. Building communi-ty, inspiring flow and trust must be managedfor successful collaboration, and the workplaceplays a critical role. People’s increasing needand desire to be connected—physically as wellas virtually—demands workplaces that deliverthe best set of choices and experiences tosupport it.In the new global marketplace, work is shiftingto new locations and cultures are collidingas a result. Business leaders, real estate profes-sionals, architects and designers all need newways to think about how to design culturallyfit work environments. While there is no universalstep-by-step, how-to blueprint, Steelcaseresearch has yielded high-level insights forsuccess that apply everywhere.
  • 65. | Issue 65 | 127InsightsAppliedAn ecosystem of interrelatedzones and settings thatprovide users with a rangeof spaces that support theirmodes of work.A range of solutions thatencourage people to sit,stand and move and sup-port the multiple technolo-gies they use.A range of mixed-presenceexperiences (physical andvirtual) in destinations de-signed to augment humaninteraction.PALETTE OF PLACE PALETTE OF POSTURE PALETTE OF PresenceThe Interconnected WorkplaceLeverage the complexities of competingin an interconnected world.PEOPLE NEEDPEOPLEPEOPLE NEEDTECHNOLOGYPEOPLE NEEDSPACES THAT BRINGTECHNOLOGY ANDPEOPLE TOGETHERCHALLENGEUNDERSTANDCREATECHOICE AND CONTROLover where and how people work.Cultural contextOFFERconsiderInsightsAppliedInsights AppliedThis framework provides a methodology for creating and assessinga workplace designed for an interconnected world. It recognizesthat people need to do both individual ‘I’ work and group ‘We’ work.It also breaks the paradigm that all individual spaces should beassigned or ‘owned’ or that all group spaces should be shared. Therange of spaces in an interconnected workplace need to supportfocused work, collaboration, socializing and learning.A workplace that supports how people work today whileanticipating their needs tomorrow is one that Steelcaserefers to as an Interconnected Workplace.It leverages the opportunities offered by aninterconnected world, and is designed to augmentthe social, spatial and informational interactionsbetween people.It offers choice and control over spaces that support thephysical, social and cognitive wellbeing of people, andprovides a range of spaces designed for the many modesof work they engage in.It is a workplace that amplifies the performance of people,teams and organizations.Creating a workplace that meetstoday’s global challenges126 | Issue 65 | | Issue 64 | 127
  • 66. COALESSE.EUCrossing over.Work and life are merging.Coalesse products are artfullydesigned to improve the qualityof life at this intersection. Ourfurnishings are comfortable,elegantly purposeful, andbeautifully crafted to cross over- between offices and homes,and wherever else people feelinspired to work.Visalia sofa –by CoalesseSebastopol table –by Emilia Borgthorsdottir
  • 67. 130 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 131A look at people and organizations that are makingthe world better for us all.sustainabilityspotlightParticipants viewed a short documentary titledOne Day (QR CODE), commissioned as part ofthe anniversary celebration. The film capturesthe dreams of 10 year-old children tasked withimagining what their future will be like. Theirlimitless imaginations helped to set the stageand encourage workshop participants to an-swer the question, “What if…?”Together, these teams challenged and re-in-vented engrained systems, dared to imag-ine great shifts, and offered hope for a better,more sustainable future. These ideas will besynthesized with Steelcase’s ongoing insightsand research into how people live, work andmove and how to best serve their physical, so-cial and cognitive wellbeing — to enrich designthinking and develop future strategies.The participants’ ideas resembled some pre-dictions from pre-eminent experts, includ-ing The Institute for Future (IFTF), a non-profitresearch center that specializes in long-termforecasting and quantitative futures researchmethods. “Today we are in the early stages ofdefining a new age,” says Marina Gorbis, ex-ecutive director, IFTF. “The very underpinningsof our society and institutions ­­—from how wework to how we create value, govern, trade,learn and innovate—are being profoundly re-shaped by amplified individuals”.Dramatic transformation is a double-edgedsword: simultaneously exhilarating and unset-tling, as systems we’ve long taken for grantedevolve and morph into what’s next. Workshopteams grappled with this dualistic reality —questioning, hypothesizing, and dreaming big.DreamBigWorkshops in Canada, Mexico,and the United States invitethought leaders to imagine thefuture of sustainability.This was the challenge issued to thought leaders during a series of sevenenvisioning workshops hosted by Steelcase throughout the Americas thisspring and summer. It was designed as a part of Steelcase’s year-long100thanniversary project, entitled “100 dreams. 100 minds. 100 years.” Theproject seeks to collect dreams and ideas from around the world on a widerange of topics. These workshops brought together minds from the designcommunity, academia, real estate, business and non-profit organizations tocollaborate and dream up the cultural, economic, and environmentallandscapes of the future.Tension seeks resolutionThroughout the course of history, cultures andeconomies have exerted great effort to recon-cile competing tensions: security versus free-dom, simplicity versus complexity, creationversus destruction, individual versus group af-filiation and numerous others. Invariably, cul-tures and economies oscillate between the twoends, moving gradually more toward the mid-dle of the continuum. Eventually, with imagina-tion and innovation comes resolution. A betterway. A new paradigm. Expanded possibilities.Participants’ ideas reflected these opposingpressures, more frequent swings andmovement toward resolution. In the future,participants imagined some of the old tensionsdisappeared, replaced by new pulls creatingthe future’s dynamic. As history shows us,tensions must be reconciled in order for newsystems to emerge.Every idea and story was cataloguedand grouped under a key topic.The top five categories identified:TechnologyGlobalizationEducationPersonal/Community socialissues and wellbeingIndustrial reinventionSUSTAINABILITYSPOTLIGHTSUSTAINABILITYSPOTLIGHT
  • 68. 132 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 133Insights:The environmentallandscapeFrom Chicago to Mexico City, Toronto to NewYork City, all teams agreed that forty yearsfrom now, the participants believe the planetwill look very different. There are wars overaccess to water, catastrophic natural disasterscontinue and climate refugees rise.Nature isn’t seen as an endless source of rawmaterials any longer, instead it’s revered as asource of rejuvenation. Disparate forces join torescue and reclaim damaged rivers, land andair. Resource scarcity isn’t risk managementlike it was in the early 2000s; it’s now the costof doing business.Biophilia is a constant source of inspiration.There’s acknowledgment that the planet hasbeen innovating for millennia, and maybe itssuccesses and failures can guide us. Naturenow nurtures innovation.Artificial boundaries between the builtenvironment and the natural one are breachedas design integrates with natural cycles andprocesses. Energy is generated from the windand sun; renewable investments made in thebeginning of the century are paying off.Conservation has replaced consumption as away of life.Here’s an interesting question posed by severalgroups from Washington DC to Houston: Cannatural disasters have positive impacts? Theiranswer was largely yes. Their reasoning: naturaldisasters create unmatched opportunities torebuild from scratch, tearing down the remnantsof broken systems and replacing them withthoughtful, hyper-efficient new models based ondesign thinking. As old systems are literallywashed away, new ones will emerge. But wheredoes that leave us now? Do we really have towait for natural disasters to move us to change?Insights:Tension betweenglobal and localThe increasing polarization between global andlocal concerns, governance and business ap-peared in many of the scenarios developed inthe workshops, from Toronto to Mexico City.Participants identified pressing needs and op-portunities at both ends of the spectrum, pull-ing and tugging at the institutions and systemsthat now comprise the middle.These simultaneous movements toward cen-tralization and decentralization sparked ques-tions from participants like “What can we as acommunity do for ourselves, and what priori-ties need to be determined at a global level?”This reversion to local dependence and newlyaccepted reliance on global authorities ap-peared in several sectors from food to fam-ily structure, government to education in NewYork, Houston, and Seattle.Local food played a critical role in the futurescenarios as agricultural needs became a full-scale crisis. From families producing their ownfood to the transformation of large chain gro-cers to local co-op. The majority of the citieslooked to the past to guide the future: relianceon yourself and your neighbors; sharing andtrading resources to meet individual and com-munity needs; a return to purity and simplicityin what we eat and where it comes from.Conversely, the group in Toronto envisioned afood and agricultural system led by a newlyformed Global Agricultural Association (GAA),created by leading companies and nationsHow will we feed our familiesin the future?to address the lack of arable land. The GAAwould incentivize farmers to produce what theplanet needs in the regions where the climatestill allows, and create equitable food distribu-tion systems.One of the main issues was how to feed ourfamilies in the future. This led to discussionsabout the evolution of traditional “family”.Instead of genetics alone, future families willself-organize around shared values andresources, spanning generations, embracingdifferent ethnicities, and ignoring otherimposed boundaries of today. It’s an idea that’sboth global and local, individual and group.Many groups imagined that government will bere-invented and redefined. Interestingly, thegroups imagined government’s role at bothends of the global-local spectrum. Imagine aWorld Council on Energy, ensuring access toclean energy for everyone. Or a Seattle group’svision of a global election where everyonevotes. Or a Planetary Council, comprised of the30 largest multi-national corporations who nowrun the economy, redistributing resources andre-engineering products through a globalneeds filter.Personal identities shift toward communitybelonging, signaling an end to overconsump-tion, waste and inequalities. The shift from“me” to “we” has kicked in. The humanconsciousness has taken a beautiful leapforward toward empathy and connection,resolving tension between individual needs andthe larger community.But this shift cannot happen without help.Education systems must change, and the waythe human brain functions must also change.In Mexico City, participants envisioned ways to“speed up evolution” by optimizing brainfunction - improving neural connections andtherefore humankind’s ability to synthesize vastamounts of data. “Recabling the brain” willenable new ways of learning and processinginformation; neurochemistry solutions willobviate human intelligence’s limitations tohandle the scale and complexities of global,systemic problems. The shift from biologicalevolution to technological evolution isunderway.There will be greater emphasis on sciencesince many of the world’s challenges areecological. There’s also a renewed emphasison teaching creative problem-solving skills,resiliency and collaboration, since these arein-demand. There’s a shift from learning thebasics to practicing and learning the principlesof design thinking. Education has shifted fromfacts to wisdom.Biophilia is a constant source of inspiration…nature now nurtures innovation
  • 69. 134 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 135Insights:EconomicreinventionThe groups hypothesized that the economicmeltdown of 2008-2012 and beyond caused apermanent re-adjustment in the way goodsand services are exchanged. Values shiftedtoward pragmatism and practicality, balanceand sustainability, flexibility and creativity.Values drifted away from personal status,luxury and indulgence.As a reflection of this swing, new ways ofbuying and selling appear. Bartering, sharingand trading resources replace old currencies.Water, time and happiness is the new currency.Singular ownership is now considered wastefuland scarcity is a fact of life, as envisioned byNew York groups. Babies are issued water andcarbon cards to track their planetary impact.But the access economy is in full bloom,sharing food, skills, cars, tools, living spaceand other resource-intensive goods that oftengo unused.In the grand scheme of thingsTechnology. Globalization. Education.Well-being. Industrial reinvention. These are allrecurring themes throughout the workshopsand all point to one concerning thought: are wegoing to hitch humanity’s wagon to outsideforces or are we willing to look within and makechanges at the individual level? Will we bewilling to sacrifice comfort, convenience, timeand money to create a future where we livemore in balance with our natural environment?Mostly, change comes at a glacial pace.People generally resist change because it’shard, it’s threatening to the status quo, and it’susually accompanied by fear. But today, therate of change is amplified. The amount ofinformation available is a quantum leap fromprevious generations. Likewise, the problemswe collectively face are on an unprecedentedscale. It begs the question: Are we equippedto continue on this planet-change course?Today, human intellect alone seems insufficientto tackle the ambiguous and entrenchedproblems we face. In the future, perhapsEnhanced Intelligence (aka Big Data) will showus new options. Perhaps human nature andthe natural environment will come moreinto balance. Perhaps we will learn the valueof systems that are more harmonious with ourenvironment and finite resources.Have we reached the point where we mustre-examine engrained ideas? Isn’t it time toponder our true purpose? How far can westretch the limits of human potential? These arethe questions we will wrestle with, adapt toand chart a course for success based on ourinsights.Like each generation before, the comingdecades will dissolve boundaries that wereonce considered sacred. New definitions of oldinstitutions will surface. Human consciousnessitself will grow and expand to create newpossibilities. Inspiration will be drawn from newsources, ideas will be instantly shared andsocialized, and impacts will be more transpar-ent. Humans, always resilient and malleable,rise to the occasion and create a future thatharmonizes the tensions between sustainingpeople and sustaining our planet—and in doingthis, create a culture of abundance.Just imagine…°Work is fundamentally changed. Having onejob is uncommon. As free agent knowledgeworkers seamlessly move between employers,they offer their skills and talents as needed.Centralized offices are now considered archa-ic, as work takes place everywhere. Mobility,multi-functional infrastructure that enables digi-tal communication, and embedded technolo-gy are the new norms. As imagined by groupsin Washington, D.C., hologram conferenceshave replaced conference calls and air travel.All spaces are wired for work. Work and life aremeshed.Individuals are the new prototypers - catapult-ing innovation forward. Failure is encouragedmore than ever. People begin to re-value theimperfections of handmade, organic and otherprocesses that reveal human creativity andexpression. Mass production falls out of favorfor many who long for a stronger sense of storyand connection to the things they choose toincorporate into their lives.Goods are rarely made from new materials.Reuse dominates the creation process anddrives new product design. Innovation issourced from Earth’s natural cycles and innatewisdom, and prices take life cycle costs intoaccount. There’s a worldwide lifecycle protocolguiding companies, perpetual recyclingprovides a steady stream of materials, anddisposable products are exceedingly rare andvery expensive. New and old are one and thesame.The success of the economy is no longermeasured by efficiency metrics. The newsuccess metrics are based on quality of life:fulfillment, flexibility, family time, relationships,customization, and learn more about dash please visit steelcase.comthis isAt details we design for the physical, cognitive and social wellbeing of the person.dash®mini is the most advanced LED task lamp. dash provides a uniformpool of light which reduces contrast, minimizing glare and shadows.Chicago: Adrian Smith +Gordon Gill; Cannon Design;Chicago Design Network;Epstein; Holabird Root; LeoA. Daly; Myefski Architects;Narrington; Nelson; TVSdesign.Houston: Center for Houston’sFuture; City of Houston;Gensler; HOK; Houston-Galviston Area Council;Kirksey; Page SoutherlandPage; Perkins and Will;University of Houston; WHRarchitects;New York: Cannon; CushmanWakefield Real Estate; DavidBrody Bond; Environetics;Gruzen Sampton; G3Architects; IA; Interface Flor;HDR; NYC Building;Perkins+Will; Perkins Eastman;Posen; RB Design; SwitzerGroup; Ted Moudis Assoc.;TPG; Trinity Wall Street RealEstate; Viridian Energy Environmental; Woods Bagot.Mexico City: Anahuac; AMIC;ATXK; Centro; CB Richard Ellis;Cushman Wakefield RealEstate; GAA; Gensler; Iconos;Jones Lang Lasalle; KMD;Serrano Monjarraz; Space;SUME; T4; VFO.Seattle: Boora; Callison; DLRGroup; EHS; Gates Foundation;GSA; HOK; NBBJ; Premera;Starbucks; SRG; Wille DesignToronto: Affecting Change,Inc.; B+H Architects; Bull FrogPower; Co-OperatorsInsurance; CorusEntertainment; Devencore;Diamond Schmitt; Dialog;Figure3; Gensler; HOK; IBI;Kasian; Loyalty One; MODO;KPMB; Quadrangle; SmithGrimley Harris; Straticom; YorkUniversity.Washington DC: Gensler,HOK; IA; OPX, Perkins+Will;RTKL; SmithGroup; Studios;USGBC; WBA.We’d like thank the following organizations for dedicatingtime to envision the future with us.Water, time, and happinessis the new currency.
  • 70. 136 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 137LexJet markets and sells professional-grade, wide-format inkjet printing equipment and supplies. Inaddition LexJet designs and develops its own brandsof imaging materials to solve the unique productionchallenges identified by their customers.www.lexjet.comExecutiveInterviewLeadership MomentThe Value of Place: LexJet leverages their workplace for competitive advantage“We had three rules when we started thecompany: Have fun, make money and don’tget in anybody else’s way having fun andmaking money. We live that every day,”says CEO Arthur Lambert, who started LexJetwith partner Rob Simkins in 1994. It’s anapproach that’s paying off—the company hasbeen recognized on Inc. Magazine’s list offastest-growing private American companiesand by Deloitte Touche as one of thefastest-growing technology companies inthe United States.But their cultural approach to business is whatreally makes them special, says Lambert,“We have no bosses in the company. Our leader-ship team is there to manage the business,not the people. Our culture is like a family. It’sfun, it’s open, it’s casual, it’s entrepreneurial.All you’ve got to do is walk into our office and seethe fun and the excitement and the energythat’s there and you get hooked very easily,”he raves.Attracting and Engaging theBest Talent“One key to our sustained growth has been theability to consistently attract and retain thebest talent. It’s all about the people that workhere, it really is, and the workplace is a bigfactor in their satisfaction. The tools you givethem contribute to that satisfaction—theenvironment, the technology, the culture youhelp them create, that’s what it’s all about.Our employees love the new space and TheTampa Bay Business Journal and FloridaTrend Magazine recently ranked us as one ofThe Best Places to Work in Florida.“Our attrition rate is below 10 percent in anindustry where 30-40 percent is more typical.We’ve had competitors come in who shaketheir heads and wonder how they can com-pete. Other competitors have even decided theywant to partner with us, rather than competewith us. We just had a competitor turn over theirentire direct sales business to us, worldwide.These people walk in and they see where wework, but more importantly what and whowe are as a company. It says more about ourcompany than we could ourselves.”A Culture of Collaboration“Creative problem solving and idea creation areessential to our success… We’ve alwayshad a highly-collaborative culture, but there wasa time when teaming at LexJet meant ourcustomer specialists hovered around a desk ora kitchen table. These were the only placesLexJeters could gather and share their technology.But our new work environment has changedall of that.“Our new space also hosts our technology in amore thoughtful way, which has enhancedinteractions with remote team members, partnersand even our customers. We can more easilyshare information with customers, while offeringhigher levels of technical support…so muchso, that it’s been a factor in boosting sales torecord levels and enhanced our customerservice experience.”Optimizing Real Estate“Our approach to real estate is simple—get moreout of the space we already have and whennecessary, get more space when we need it. Idon’t want to force people to work remotelybecause we need more space. It’s not the rightreason to do it. If you need more space, youneed more space…get more space. Don’t cram,because then you start to hurt culture andproductivity. Our new space has helped usachieve our goals by delivering more usable spacein a smaller overall footprint than we hadbefore. We’re able to accommodate a staff thatis 20 percent larger in an area that’s about2,000 square feet smaller…in a space that is notonly more vibrant and welcoming, it’s moreconnected and productive.”People Matter Most“We are growing quickly and plan to expand toanother floor in the same building withinthe next few months. Ultimately, our success isdirectly connected to the enthusiasm of ouremployees. Our people are the most importantpart of LexJet. Our new space aligns theneeds of our people with the needs of theorganization in a way that has reinforced a greatculture. It’s a win-win.”°Workers can spend as many as 45 minutes every day searching for aspace to work. Workers can see when a space is available and reserveit on the spot. There’s no more guesswork, hassles, or unnecessarydowntime — for your people or your valuable real YOUR PLACE.OPTIMIZE YOUR SPACE.Arthur LambertCEO, LexJet Corp. talked to LexJet CEO Arthur Lambert to discuss how their new workplace hashelped to amplify the performance of their organization
  • 71. 138 | Issue 65 | 360.steelcase.comactivate learningIntroducing VerbTM, the first integrated collection of classroom furniture designedto support active learning in the classroom. Verb is flexible, mobile and infinitelyreconfigurable – offering a full range of teaching and learning styles on demand.It can help activate learning in any classroom and improve student for the many modes of learning
  • 72. | Issue 65 | 141140 | Issue 64 |“I get quite disturbedwhen people labelour educational systemas broken. It’s notbroken. It just needs tobe redesigned.”Classroom by classroom, the nation’sleading experts on learningenvironments aim to revolutionize theway we educate our children.“If we want to change education, we literally haveto change the way we design the space,”says Trung Le, a principal in Chicago’s CannonDesign and lead designer for its education group.That means revamping classrooms to promoteactive learning because traditional settingsand approaches simply aren’t working as wellas they should. Michigan school administra-tor Greg Green was so inspired, he’s retoolingeducational models to reduce student failuresand boost academic achievement.The movement to transform classroomshas picked up steam in recent years, accordingto Steelcase’s Dr. Lennie Scott-Webber,Director of Education Environments, who haslong pursued “that dream to change howwe educate and how we design educationalenvironments, because some of them arejust horrid.”Stimulating rapid and radical changes intraditional classroom environments—to yieldenhanced active learning that allows studentsto own their own knowledge, foster collab-oration, and maximize inquiry and discovery—took the spotlight in a Steelcase-hosted paneldiscussion in July at Chicago’s MerchandiseMart. The VIP Event came during theSociety for College and University Planning’s47th Annual International Conference Idea Marketplace.“The current model in which we think about aclassroom needs to deconstruct itself,” saysLe. “It’s quite an exciting time to actually thinkand innovate in ways that are really drivenby pedagogy, driven by very different ways inwhich the educator wants to teach.“We recognize that children need to move. Weare a species in motion and yet it’s reallyunnatural the way we place children of varioussize in the same-size seat and desk, and askthem to sit very quietly, and listen, and focus.”For centuries, the traditional classroom haspromulgated passive learning, or as Scott-Webber puts it, “Sit and listen, if you’re a stu-dent. Stand and deliver, if you’re an educator.Now, it’s really changing to be much moredynamic. The idea is for students to be moreengaged in the actual learning process sothat they begin to own their own knowledge.”Trung Le, principal,Cannon Design, Chicago, IL“In order to be able todevelop active learning,the importance ofthe classroom is huge”Dr. Lennie Scott-WebberEXPLORINGHOW SPACEAFFECTSLEARINGSteelcase brings togetherthree leading authoritieson designing active learningspaces and improvingeducation environments.
  • 73. 142 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | | Issue 64 | 143“Active learning breeds success and a morevibrant educational environment by incor-porating a mix of teaching styles, tools andclassroom configurations,” says Green.“It’s a blend of teacher, technology, contentdelivery and your classroom design. Theyall fit together. One without the other, it’s abroken wheel,” he says.Active learning also means meshing andbalancing the varied ways in which studentsassimilate knowledge.“There’s instruction where you’re maybe engagedin a simple conversation with the teacherin more of a large group setting,” Green says.“There’s independent work where you’reengaged as an individual trying to go throughsomething. There’s also collaborative workwhere you’re doing some small group stuff.There’s also computer-assisted instruction,and then there’s teacher-led instruction wherethe educator may be working with five orsix students.”This turns an educator from “a content deliveryperson to a learning specialist” and reversesthe archaic educational approach that has dis-couraged collaboration between students.“We’re starting to realize that we need to createlearning groups, instead of… people withindividual knowledge,” Green says. “Collectively,we have a stronger learning environmentwhen we have a learning group, rather thanjust a bunch of individuals.”Consequently, it’s critical that a classroomfacilitate this active approach.“It’s the catalyst,” argues Scott-Webber. “Inorder to be able to develop active learning, theimportance of the classroom is huge…thefaculty member has to develop a strategy tosupport the content to be delivered.”“We talk a lot about Steelcase EducationSolutions as the physicality of the inside-the-box. It’s not just about building a beautifulbuilding. But it’s actually asking the toughquestions about what you’re going to do asa teacher, what are the strategies you’regoing to incorporate, and how best can wesupport that with the design of the space andthe furnishings for the room.”Bolstering active learning by refashioning learn-ing environments has infused these experts withfresh optimism about the future of education.“I get quite disturbed when people label oureducational system as broken,” Le says. “I thinkthe message that we want to say is that, It’snot broken. It just needs to be redesigned, be-cause we want new outcomes.”° future can beinspiring if you nurture it.At Nurture, we strive to improve thehealing experience for all throughunderstanding how the work ofhealthcare happens. We useinsights to bring better productsto environments where patients,caregivers and clinicians cometogether. Help bring the future ofhealthcare to your community.Dr. Lennie Scott-Webber, an interiordesigner, retired professor and former chairpersonof university design programs with expertisein determining how environment affects behavior,especially in higher education settings andcorporate learning centers. Within SteelcaseEducation Solutions, as Director of EducationEnvironments, she oversees the “D3” portfolio:discovery, design and dissemination.Meet the ExpertsTrung Le, Practice Leader for Third TeacherPlus of Chicago’s Cannon Design and a widelyrecognized advocate for incorporating multipleintelligences and learning styles in educationenvironment design. As a pioneer in the field,Le focuses on spaces that spark student imag-ination and inquiry, while triggering dynamiccollaboration.Greg Green, principal of metropolitan Detroit’sClintondale High School and innovator of the“flipped classroom” that has students reviewingmaterials at home and performing homeworkin class to enhance learning. One of ConvergeMagazine’s Top 50 Educators for 2011, Greenis an internationally renowned speaker on learn-ing structures.“Active learningbreeds successand a morevibrant educationalenvironment”GREG GREEN
  • 74. 144 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 145SteelcaseeducationsolutionsSteelcaseeducationsolutionsA new learning curveAbout the author,Lennie Scott-Webber, Ph.D.I’ve owned and operated design firmsin the U.S. and Canada, taught atthree universities and held administra-tive positions as well, all the whileresearching educational environments.Over the years I’ve seen the insidesof more classrooms than I can count.Many of them are an insult to studentsand teachers alike.My passion, and my job, is helpingpeople understand the behaviors thatcome from different environments,and creating classrooms that truly sup-port new ways of teaching and learning.Email your ideas and questions or ontwitter to don’t AD schoolsteach the design ofeducation environments?Given the significance of a learning space, you’dthink there would be courses galore on thedesign of learning spaces. Sadly, there are not.Why? One reason is that for decades classroomdesign, the formal learning place, was treated(by school administrators, faculty and designersalike) as a process akin to chain restaurantreplication: there was a template (classroomboxes filled with rows of chairs, a lectern andwriting boards) and you followed it. Therewas no need to rethink something that seemedto work for millennia.That template is still practiced. But today thatposes a problem since teaching and learn-ing is incorporating new instructional methods,deeply engaging students, taking advantageof new technology and recognizing that sincestudents learn in different ways, classroomsneed to support different learning styles andteaching practices. How students will learn in the new millennium; What tools and spaces will help sparkcreativity in both faculty and students, andchange behaviors; and How the decision of space and furnishingsimpact those behaviors.Consider also the challenges of spaces outsidethe college classroom: Learning is enhanced when students interactwith others outside the classroom, sowhat informal settings foster learning andcommunity building? How can the campus be used to add continuityand community to the learning experience? What spaces serve and encourage informal/impromptu learning? How can design support the new ecosystemof balancing pedagogy, technology and spaceintentionally?The simple fact is that there’s a revolution goingon within the classroom and most design schoolshave yet to enlist.One school that has incorporated educationspace design as a studio could be a role model.At Radford University, we developed aneducational studio that began with pre-designprogramming to renovate a general pur-pose classroom building. Through the course,students worked in multiple teams to reviewenvironmental and behavioral theories, surveyfaculty and observe them in teaching spaces.The semester culminated with students presentingtheir inspired learning space designs, whichwere also judged (very positively, I might add)by practicing AD professionals, focused onhigher educational design.What exactly needs to change in the designof learning environments? That’s a discussionfor another column, but it starts with therealization that some long-held beliefs abouteducational space design are out-of-date.For example, classrooms that only allow teacher-centered learning—the old “sage on thestage” approach—are a thing of the past. Whilea lecture can be a valid approach for a shorttimeframe, learning today encompasses a varietyof approaches: project work, small groupinteractions, problem-solving sessions, studentpresentations and mentoring, and other strategies.Any classroom that can’t be quickly and easilyadapted (by students and teachers, withoutthe assistance of the maintenance staff) to thesenew modes of teaching and learning won’twork in the 21st century. Classrooms must bemore flexible, less formal.Learning happens anywhere on a campus andformal and informal places are in a hugetransition. Teaching and learning strategies arealso being challenged. Technologies areintegrated at every level, not always supportingthe teaching and learning strategies. Spacesshould be designed to support these emergingneeds. Who best to think these complex chal-lenges through but designers.It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a partof academia today. It can be an equally excitingtime in design schools if they join to help leadthis revolution.°“There’s a revolution going onin the classroom and most designschools have yet to enlist.”Ideas on planning and designing learning spaces from Lennie Scott-Webber, Ph.D.,Director of Education Environments for Steelcase Education SolutionsIt’s a question I hear regularly, and it’s worth pondering given the importance offormal and informal learning environments. These are the places where ourchildren spend more of their first two decades than any other single place. Herethey grow intellectually, discover how to communicate and work with others,and develop the critically important skill of learning how to learn.Education space design was considered aspecialty and, given the assumption that class-room buildings really didn’t need a lot ofcreative design, why would design educationfocus on academic buildings when othermarkets offered more interesting projects withless bureaucratic organizations?The design of higher education and K through12 spaces today, though, is about muchmore than code compliance and other regula-tions. When designing for formal learningspaces—what we call inside the “box”—design-ers need to recognize the major changeshappening to accommodate active learn-ing. Tackle the design of advanced learningspaces and you have an opportunity to solve forsome pivotal and fascinating issues. It’s neces-sary to understand:
  • 75. Remote participants + digital content Sight linesAnalog content Acoustic + visual privacy146 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 1473-in-1 High DefinitionVideoconferencing Settingfor Creative CollaborationToday, distributed teams require environmentsthat support videoconferencing for creativecollaboration. This media:scape with HDVCsetting allows local and remote teams to connect,as well as share digital content with each other.The camera angles have been designed toallow far-side participants a clear view of all near-side participants. When HDVC is not requiredthe setting supports local teams who require ahigh-performing collaboration space.designappsDesign APPSInnovative Application IdeasSearch “Steelcase WorkLife Interactive Showroom”Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.WorkLifeSteelcase Virtual ShowroomInteractive floorplansDrawing/sketching functionalityDesign intent for each settingEnglish and Metric dimensionsAlternative settings for each vignetteDownload and share showroom imagesIn addition, when technology is not requiredat all the setting becomes a sheltereddestination for teams to connect with eachother and share analog information on thewriteable glass surface.°Products include:Flexframe™with media:scape®; media:scape®TeamTheatrewith Canopies**Not all products available in all countries.
  • 76. 148 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 149LOOKINGTO THE FUTURESteelcase Germany Celebrates 100th AnniversaryFocusing on the future, more than 950 customers,dealers, media and employees gathered in lateJune to commemorate Steelcase’s 100th birthdayin Rosenheim, Germany. As part of a year-long,worldwide centennial celebration, the event called‘Bavarian Days’ brought together diverse thinkers tolook ahead to future business innovations thatcould dramatically alter the global marketplace inthe next century.The forward-thinking ideas shared through presenta-tions, demonstrations and lectures by respectedcorporate leaders and researchers ranged fromrevamping management systems and encouraginginterdisciplinary communications to embracingmulti-functional, collaborative working environments. Reach out to other disciplines: By encouraging intensive, wide-ranging andopen communications across all disciplinesand hierarchies, start-up businesses canoften avoid unwelcome problems. That wasthe thrust of a presentation by Anne Berger,Professor of Integrated Product Designat the University of Coburg, and Franz Glatz,Managing Director of the Gate GarchingerTechnology and Entrepreneur Center inMunich and an expert on business incuba-tors. “If your only tool is a hammer, everyproblem looks like a nail,” goes the well-known philosophical credo that speaks tobeing overly dependent on a familiar utensilor implement. Why ideas fail: According to Oliver Gajek, co-founder ofBrainloop AG and Chairman of the Board forMunich Network, who serves as an advisorto many of these fledging companies, youngstart-up enterprises frequently encounter ahost of obstacles. He cautioned that greatideas often fail due to financial hurdles, dif-ficulty in finding talent and the excessivelength of time it takes to develop these con-cepts in a fast-changing world. By the timean idea comes to fruition, he said, too oftenthe project already has become obsolete.The gathering in Rosenheim featured addresses by Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett and renownedGerman architect Stefan Behnisch, an advocate of designs that stimulate interaction andcommunication. Behnisch focused his remarks on the importance of buildings and cities as livingand working spaces.The event featured speakers who explored systems and methods businesses can use to unlock thetrue promise of their employees by setting aside conventional practices and embracing new ideas:“A fundamental understanding ofcultural differences has never beenas important as it is now.”
  • 77. 150 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 151Bike rack. Lounge. Snowboard rack. Viewing station. Working station. Introducing bivi -putting the power to define space and culture in your hands. Bivi is a simple desking platformwith imaginative add-ons that let you create a space that works the way you like to work.Running a business is hard enough, having a great space to work in should be easy.when is a desk more than a desk? when its Breaking patterns and changingattitudes: That served as the central theme of a presen-tation by Dirk Osmetz, graduate economist inthe Musterbrecher Managementberater man-agement consulting practice in Taufkirchen,Germany. Rather than trying to perfect an oldsystem, he suggested, companies must bewilling to change the emphasis of manage-ment, exhibit courage to experiment and sys-tematically analyze their business practices.“We call this ‘system working,’” Osmetz said ofcompanies which utilize modern managementtools and constantly improve themselves. Improving the brand experience: Pat Kalt and Alexander Strub, CreativeDirectors for Munich’s Expolab, a commu-nication agency and design studio, offeredexamples of the criteria required for brandcreation and the way brand engineering cansystematically be revised and enhanced. The challenges of becoming global: Sudhakar Lahade, Workspace FuturesResearcher for Steelcase, who was part ofa team that conducted intensive studies ofGeneration Y’s influence on work environ-ments, addressed the need for workplaceflexibility as businesses become ever moreglobal. “Companies are becoming increas-ingly global and the world is more and morenetworked,” he said. “One-sized solutionsfor workplaces are extremely unsuitable. Afundamental understanding of culturaldifferences has never been as importantas it is now.”Other presenters included Gunnar Bauer,Managing Partner of Nurnberg’s LeonhardOffice and Design, and Bianka Tafuro of onethe world’s largest market research compa-nies, GfK,.As a Steelcase in-house event, Bavarian Daysalso saw the introduction of Coalesse to theEuropean market, allowing hundreds of visi-tors to see and experience for the first time theportfolio of progressive live/work solutions thatfit naturally in your environment, both at workand at home.°
  • 78. 152 | Issue 65 | | Issue 65 | 153 Living on VideoThis year at the NeoCon trade show in Chicago,Steelcase previewed concept productsdesigned to address a new trend the companyis forecasting will become the most per-vasive form of workplace communication:Living on Video.“We’ve spent years studying how video is usedin the workplace and as a result, we saw aneed to transform today’s complicated, static,and technology-centered videoconferencingsolutions into complete applications thatare more intuitive, dynamic, and user-centered,”said Allan Smith, vice president, marketing andadvanced applications.Several iterations of the concept were featured,including solutions for one-to-one videocalls, as well as concepts that can accommodatetwo people for impromptu meetings or calls.Concept solutions were also shown for small,medium, and large multipurpose spaces.The idea behind these concepts is to find asolution that will bridge the gap betweenspaces designed for co-located collaborationand those that are dedicated for videoconfer-encing.The concepts aim to amplify teams’performance by allowing videoconferencing tofacilitate easier content-sharing betweenlocal and globally distributed teams, and willbring video communication and informationaltools together in a more authentic, scalableand user-adaptable spaces.This year’s preview of concept products atNeoCon also garnered some extra mediaattention for the extension of the media:scapefamily. featured the conceptsin its article “Cubicle Couches and Other HotWorkplace Designs,” Fast Company’s FastCo. Design Blog admits we’re all ‘living onvideo’ in its article, “Office Furniture that MakesVideo Calls More Apt for Brainstorming” andthe CBS SmartPlanet article, “At NeoCon, BigBrother and Nanotech Invade the Office”gave Steelcase credit for finding a better wayto conduct a videoconference.atomsbitsatoms + bits Best of NeoConThe Steelcase family of brands won five Bestof NeoCon Awards. Sponsored by Contract maga-zine, the 23rd annual Best of NeoCon awardsrecognize the top new commercial interiors prod-ucts introduced at the show—the World’s TradeFair for Interior Design and Facilities Management.Coalesse, a division of Steelcase, won three awards,including a Silver award, Innovation award andEditor’s Choice award for Free Stand, a foldable andportable table that offers a simple yet elegantsolution for people to work comfortably anywhere.A Gold award went to the Techniques Collection fromDesigntex, a new wallcovering collaborationwith celebrated surface designer Carla Weisberg.Bringing individuality and life to any setting,this collection works well in contract, healthcare,hospitality and residential environments, andis a part of the Designtex 1 + 1 brand, whichmaintains the philosophy of doing well by doinggood through promoting collaborations withoutside sources, and in turn supporting localartistic communities.Verb, a first-of-its-kind table-based collectionof class-room furniture from Steelcase EducationSolutions, won a Silver award. Verb createsan integrated, table-based learning space withpersonal-sized, one-of-a-kind whiteboardsthroughout the classroom for instantaneouscollaboration.atomsbits Rugs designed to make a differenceSteelcase and ARZU STUDIO HOPE have been conducting Rug DesignCompetitions in cities across North America in search of innovativedesigns for a limited-edition collection of rugs sold by Steelcase called“The Designer Series”. Profits from the sale of the rugs support thenonprofit organization that provides Afghan women with rent-to-ownlooms and materials while promoting literacy.Rug designs are judged by a panel of local judges. The winner receivesa 4 x 6 rug of their design.Participating at the events is Connie Duckworth, ARZU founder andCEO. “I wanted to ensure that Afghan women had a place at the table,”says Duckworth. Employing over 700 women, Arzu combines fairpay with literacy and social programs, benefiting the entire community.From a starting point of only 30 carpet weavers, ARZU’s work todayimpacts the lives of tens of thousands of Afghans, providing privatesector jobs and direct social benefits in seven rural villages in Bamyanand Faryab provinces. Let the $25Kmakeovers beginThis past spring, turnstone setout to find five small businesseswho would benefit most froma great workplace. They askedbusinesses to submit shortvideos that told why they shouldwin a $25k office makeover.After receiving hundreds of entries,25 were selected by judgesfor and the public voted for thefive winners.The winners are:Infomedia, Birmingham, ALHopeFULL Company,St. Paul, MNVeel Hoeden, Pella, IAIncubateNYC, Brooklyn, NYFracture, Gainesville, FLThe transformations are justabout to begin. Check ontheir progress at at theGrand Palais As part of a year-long, worldwidecelebration to commemorateSteelcase’s 100th birthday, Steelcaseparticipated as a sponsor of the2012 Monumenta Art Exhibition atthe Grand-Palais in Paris. Theexhibition featured original workby French artist Daniel Buren.Organized by the French Ministry ofCulture and Communication,eachyear MONUMENTA invites an interna-tionally renowned contemporaryartist to design art specially createdfor the historical 13,500 m² venue.In honor of the centennial anniversa-ry, 600 Steelcase guests from Francewere invited to attend an exclusiveviewing of the exhibit. Almost 260,00people attended the exhibition duringthe six-week event, held this past Mayand June.The exhibit was called Excentrique(s)Travail In Situ which further exploreda concept Buren has been usingto describe his art since 1965. In situmeans that the work is site-specific;it cannot be conceptualized without thesetting that it was designed for andbuilt in. Excentrique(s) travail in situ, Daniel Buren in Monumenta 2012, Grand Palais, Paris. Détail.©ADAGP Paris DB. Photo: Alexis Tourn
  • 79. The magazine of workplace research, insight and