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    Leveraging Complexity Leveraging Complexity Document Transcript

    • The magazine of workplace research, insighT, and Trends issue 61360.sTeelcase.com FEATURES: DEPARTMENTS: 02 Leveraging Complexity 16 Wellbeing@Work 33 Lessons Learned 38 Trends360 12 Culture@Work 24 Distributed Collaboration 34 Q&A 40 Atoms & Bits 37 Sustainability Spotlight
    • ABOUT THIS ISSUE Business is a whole new deal. Compared to pre-recession days, we’re moving around more, using more technology, evenworking more hours. Teams are more distributed but also more interconnected.Business is glocal — both global and local — and our teammates can beanywhere. How do you make sense of this new complexity? How can you plana workplace for people who work on the move yet need to be more connectedthan ever?In this issue of 360 Magazine we consider trends driving business complex-ity and explore new research on how different countries and cultures drivespecific workplace needs. We look at the growing importance of wellbeing,both for companies and workers. We also consider the rise of distributedcollaboration and what makes it successful. Throughout we consider ways toleverage the workplace to help us all deal with a whole new business world.Meet two people from Steelcase who contributed information and ideas to this issue: Catherine Gall Research director for Steelcase in France and leader of the WorkSpace Futures research team whose work informs our article about work cultures (“Culture@Work,” p. 12), Catherine has nearly two decades of experience in bridging cultural workplace issues. A native of France, she’s studied there and in Scotland, lived and worked in North America and Germany, and worked with companies around the world on social and organizational studies and workplace design research. “Time and time again we see companies try to use their homebase workplace standards in another country and then wonder why they don’t work. Workspace is like cuisine; it’s all about the local culture.” Lew Epstein Lew is general manager of Steelcase’s advanced applications group, which translates insights into innovative product applications linked to business trends. Great example: he was a co-developer of media:scape ®, which helps people access and share information with others to collaborate in far more effective ways. He also worked with GE and CISCO to combine high-definition videoconferencing with media:scape to shape a new form of collaborative work experience (“Distributed Collaboration,” p. 24). “The workplace should make it easier for people, no matter where they are, to share information and ideas because that’s what drives innovation.” Lew is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.
    • ISSUE 61FEATURE DEPARTMENTS2 Leveraging Complexity 33 Lessons LearnedBusiness is faster, companies Insights from real estateand workers more distributed. executives, space planners,Here’s how the workplace can and designers on how to makerespond to a frenetic work world. space work harder than ever. (For starters: smaller isn’t always better.)12 Culture@WorkLocal culture still drives thework environment. Five cultural 34 Q&Adimensions are key. Time to rethink your work life. Richard Florida defined the creative class; now he’s redefining the great recession16 Wellbeing@Work and its aftermath.More than ever, knowledgeworkers are plagued bystress, fatigue, and burnout. 37 Sustainability SpotlightA workplace that supports Eban Bayer and Gavin McIntyrewellbeing can make a difference. invented packaging material that disintegrates faster than a Hollywood celebrity couple.24 Distributed Collaboration Is organic packaging the future?Videoconferencing has gonehigh-def. Here’s how spaceswhere distributed collaborationtakes place can catch up. 38 Trends360 Enough stats and news about work trends to win Jeopardy! - Workplace Edition, if there was such a thing. 40 Atoms & Bits Events and activities that inspire and interest us, and hopefully you too.360 Magazine is published quarterly by Steelcase Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2011. Material in this publication may not be reproducedin any form unless you really want to help people love how they work – just ask us first, okay? Contact us at ccongdon@steelcase.com. 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 1
    • ISSUE 61 Leveraging Complexity Business today is global, interconnected, and highly complex. Here’s how space can help manage - even leverage - the way work gets done, and make life a bit more sane.2 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61 How did business get to be so round-the-clock frenetic, complicated, and well, just plain crazy?It’s simple, really. Start with a global a corporate culture, no matter how many for innovation. The workplace can make amarketplace that creates nonstop emails or videos are circulated. Talent huge difference in corporate performance,competition and a continual need to engagement and retention gets tougher as wellbeing, and even individual happiness.innovate. Add an epic recession and waves the economy improves, yet workers feel CoMPLExiT y iS “GLoCAL”of downsizing that left organizations in every stretched thin and economically precarious.industry with fewer workers who all have Nearly three-quarters of Americans say Complexity begins at the macro level withmore to do. Top it off with the way business their stress exceeds what they define a continuing shift in the mature economieshas become faster and more complicated as healthy, according to the American from manufacturing to services, the growingin every aspect, from new technology Psychological Association. impact of developing countries in the globalto corporate governance. marketplace, and the continuing aftershocks Managing complexity is itself complex. of the recession. Collectively they driveTop executives feel it. Business leaders Understanding the underlying business “one of the deepest and most tumultuousaround the world reported in a 2010 IBM issues and their impact on how companies economic transformations in all of humanstudy of over 1,500 CEOs worldwide that operate and how people work shows just history,” according to urban studies experttheir primary challenge is complexity, and how much the workplace needs to change. and author Richard Florida. It’s a period79% say they see greater complexity ahead. For as we’ll see, in an age where people, of upheaval he compares with the GreatMore than half of CEOs doubt their ability technology, and information are more mobile Depression, yet also an opportunity “whento manage it. and distributed, it’s the places we work new technologies and technological systems that offer key connection points for buildingManaging an organization is more complex, arise, when the economy is recast and relationships, that help people get their besttoo. Companies are more spread out and society remade, and when the places where work done, and provide the nurturing groundthat makes it harder to maintain and build 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 3
    • ISSUE 61 The avereage computer user checks 40 websites a day and we consume almost 3 times the amount of information that a typical person consumed in 1960. we live and work change to suit new amount of information that a typical person An iPad newspaper was introduced this needs.” These are long-term changes: consumed in 1960. Knowledge workers are month that includes audio, high-def video, Florida predicts this “great reset” will an inherently curious breed. We constantly interactive photo features, social media take two decades to play out. Yet we’ve check email or text messages, even while sharing options, embedded Twitter feeds, experienced tremendous upheaval we’re meeting with someone else. The and more. Other tablets and tablet media in the last two years alone. reasons are psychological, and the benefits are sure to follow as the “webification” of our are the same as when checking for snail mail. lives, as one blogger termed it, continues The pace and degree of change have You never know what could be there! News apace. A tablet the size of a magazine puts quickened considerably since the start from an old friend or a mysterious package anyone in touch with the “cloud,” that great, of the recession. New technology, may have just arrived. Even a worrisome invisible toolbox of software, digital storage, globalization, and increased competition email can be stimulating. Psychologists and internet services, and equips a new between developed countries and emerging call this process intermittent reinforcement: competitor in the global marketplace. With economies have helped to increase the we check because something interesting the click of a mouse you can buy clothing interconnectedness and interdependent could arrive at any moment, and in this crazy, from a women’s cooperative in Afghanistan, nature of business today. interconnected world, sooner or later we’re organic fair trade coffees from Asia, Africa, Technology is always on, always with us. proven right. and the Americas, and any number of other Consider the list of technological wonders goods from the remotest villages on the The iPad illustrates how quickly technology available today that didn’t exist just 10 years planet. Real competition now arises from moves, and in turn, moves business. A ago: Wi-Fi, GMail, YouTube, Facebook, GPS, anywhere, at any time. year ago, there was no market for tablet iPod, iPad, iPhone, Twitter, online music and computers. Then, in just nine months, 14.8 As a result, the global economic playing field movie stores, Kindle, and more. The average million iPads were sold. Publishers began is leveling as developing nations, such as computer user checks 40 websites a day, announcing new iPad-specific magazines China, India, Brazil, and others, grow faster and we consume almost three times the and books on the heels of the tablet’s launch. than the developed world, according to4 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61the latest McKinsey research. They predict People also are working differently, as process to rapidly prototype conceptsthat in the next decade, 40% of the world’s organizations shift their notions about is to “fail early and often” in order to reachpopulation will achieve middle class living what type of work adds value. Traditionally, a viable solution sooner.standards, twice the number who enjoy companies placed a premium on operational Being fast, flexible, and creative withit today. This remarkable speed of change efficiency. Lean thinking was the way to teammates who live and work next to youand level of interconnectedness between control costs and minimize waste. While is hard enough. Managing people fromeconomies, enterprises, governments, that’s still important, in the new business different cultures, across different time zonesand societies, has created a global/local — world, the most valuable skill is creativity. and diverse locations is a bigger challenge.“glocal” — world. CEOs in the IBM research ranked it as the Workers find themselves interacting both in most important leadership quality, just aheadIn this glocal environment, business person and virtually with co-workers from of integrity and global thinking.decisions made in one place can next door or in New Delhi. High-definitiondramatically affect other areas, yet the Creativity fuels disruptive innovation and the videoconferencing makes possibleultimate consequences of a decision are continuous reinvention that organizations distributed collaboration and investingoften poorly understood. This is a very need to excel in a globally interconnected in sophisticated digital tools can helpuncertain environment in which to conduct world. A willingness to challenge the status globally integrated organizations succeed.business, to put it mildly. quo and shake things up a bit is needed not According to a 2010 McKinsey survey, senior only in the executive suite but at every level executives say boosting the productivity ofTechnology, interconnectedness, increased in a knowledge organization. Companies knowledge workers is a critical imperative,competition, and fresh opportunites that unlock the creative potential of their but most are thoroughly confused or have ahelp to raise standards of living and people reap multiple rewards. “People who hazy understanding at best of what it reallyfurther understanding between nations, are engaged in creative work will not only be takes. What’s key, according to McKinsey,organizations, and individuals separated by happier and more satisfied, but they’ll add is identifying and addressing barriers thatdistance and language. Yet they also cause relatively more economic value,” says Florida. impede interactions, such as distance,greater market volatility and uncertainty. cultural differences, and technology gaps.News spreads instantly via traditional news Creativity alone is not enough though.media, or anyone wielding a cell phone A global economy favors companies who NEW WoRkER ExPECTATioNSthat records video and streams it to the are not only inventive but also quick toweb. These tools can help people hold their market. Companies need to generate new Like the world and the work we do, workersleaders more accountable and help topple solutions at a breakneck pace. There’s are changing. Starting in 2011 the firstcorrupt governments, but they can also no time for extensive debates and lengthy of some 78 million baby boomers beganspread misinformation and anxiety. implementation. As a result, product turning 65. It’s the age usually associatedAs recent events have shown, economic development is more iterative than ever with retirement, but a survey of boomers bycrises in Greece and Ireland or political before, as companies develop new ideas, MainStay Investments, part of New York Lifeunrest in Egypt are no longer just local issues test them, collect their learnings, revise Insurance Company, found that many arebut events that impact the world economy. and retest continually. Companies must cut pushing back their retirement dates in theIt’s little wonder that CEOs see complexity through complexity, process large amounts face of shrunken nest eggs, a weak economy,as their biggest challenge. of data to extract critical insights quickly, and a desire to afford a particular lifestyle and make fast decisions. The design thinking in retirement.NEW WAyS oF WoRkiNG gurus at IDEO say the point of an iterativeIn the midst of this increasedinterconnectedness and uncertainty,individual working hours are increasing.Job demands on a downsized workforce,insecurity about our jobs, and higher lifestyle WhAT LEADERS WANTexpectations are all contributing factors. CEOs ranked creativity as the most important quality needed today.Australians outrank all other developednations in terms of hours on the job; in 2009 Creativitythey averaged 1,855 hours for the year.That surpassed even Japan, notorious for 60%overwork, and was 200 hours more than Integrityemployees in other countries. The work weekoften exceeds the traditional 40 hours in the 52%U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics saysemployed people ages 25-54 (with children) Global thinkingnow spend 8.8 hours each day on work and 35%work-related activity, or 44 hours a week.The European Union imposes a 48-hourmaximum working week, as does Mexico. Source: IBM, Capitalizing on Complexity, 2010 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 5
    • ISSUE 61 MoRE TEMPoRARy WoRkERS Over the next three years more companies worldwide will shift toward a flexible workforce. Source: IBM, Capitalizing on Complexity, 2010 Coming out of the recession, half of all new jobs created will be temporary ones, and constitute a full 25% of the total workforce. Women, who now constitute the majority 22 countries), 79% said the most important workforces, meaning more contractors, in the U.S. workforce, are graduating from leadership attribute was trustworthiness, freelancers, and other outside consultants, college and professional schools at higher followed by “cares about the well being of as well as a fundamental shift in how offices rates – for every two men receiving bachelor others” in second place. are planned. degrees, three women do the same. Both As employees feel increasingly disconnected Some workers have chosen to go it alone, as male and female baby boomers who have from their organizations and look for leaders predicted by author Daniel Pink in Free Agent spent decades building careers and families who display integrity and empathy, forward- Nation over a decade ago. He described now want a better work-life balance. thinking companies are starting to realize a worker utopia (for some) in which you Meanwhile, younger generations are bringing that employees who have a sense of purpose worked for yourself and sold your services new attitudes and needs to the office, and and feel connected to the organization to a variety of employers. You could work at workers of all ages are adopting Gen Y and its values are more productive and home in your pajamas if you liked and then workstyles and attitudes about work, such motivated. They are better able to cope with move on to another buyer when it suited as an inclination to collaborate and an affinity work stresses and are more creative and you. No doubt many workers, down-sized for technology. innovative, and thus fuel company growth. in the recent recession, have created As a result of changing demographics in the free-agent careers, but a growing number In an age of increasing uncertainty, wellbeing workplace and a lingering post-recession of workers would simply like to stay in their also includes a desire for greater personal fatigue, workers want employers to pay current positions. Eight out of 10 employees control and choice. A growing number of jobs more attention to wellbeing issues. This surveyed in the Towers Watson study said are now contingent positions: temporary, transcends a simple focus on health and they wanted to settle down in their jobs, with freelance, contract, etc. Coming out of the wellness (although that’s also important to half saying they wanted to work for only one recession, half of all new jobs created will be both workers and their employers) to take a employer and the other half saying they want contingent ones and constitute a full 25% of broader view about purpose and fulfillment, only two or three employers during their the total workforce, according to employment where physical, cognitive, and emotional career. Employees seem to value security and labor law experts Littler Mendelson. needs are all being met. (See Wellbeing@ above all else, and are choosing – at least for At Best Buy corporate headquarters, for Work, p. 16) In fact, employees say a key now – the security of a sure thing. Predictions example, provisional workers make up leadership attribute is the ability to connect that Gen Y workers would change jobs nearly a third of the staff. Corporate human with them on an emotional level. In a 2010 frequently may be changing in a post resource leaders predict they will increasingly Global Workforce Study conducted by recession world. add more flexibility into the make up of their Towers Watson (20,000 employees in6 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61 Real estate execs are shrinking individual workspace footprints to create more space for interaction and collaboration.Photo by Mitch Ranger 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 7
    • ISSUE 61 New office for Horizon Healthcare Services, in Newark, NJ, exemplifies the interconnected workplace: individual workspaces that invite collaboration, with a range of spaces nearby for group or solo work. Not that employers can afford to become desks are vacant at one time, and IFMA says we drew the line. Those more aggressive complacent. The best and brightest two-thirds of knowledge work today is done space sizes are customary and they’re employees are always in demand, after outside the organization’s facilities. culturally acceptable. But we said no, all. The greater risk is what’s called 16 square feet was just too small for our As a result, offices are shrinking. The average presenteeism, where workers are present employees to effectively perform their amount of space per employee, including but not necessarily engaged and productive. jobs, even though the small footprint was workstation, meeting rooms, storage space, A percentage of the workers of every attractive for the organization’s financial etc., in the U.S. has dropped by over a company — experts say as much as half competitiveness. Such advantages tend to third since 1985, from 400 square feet to the work force — does the minimal amount be short-lived when measurement includes 250, according to property brokers Jones of work required to keep from getting matters of productivity and the ability to Lang LaSalle. It’s expected to drop to 150 fired. Little or no discretionary effort attract and retain employees.” square feet within 10 years. A planned is hardly a recipe for innovation and PricewaterhouseCoopers building in London Real estate is the largest corporate expense competitive advantage. allocates 75 square feet per person, thanks after people, so there’s a natural tendency hoW ThE WoRkPL ACE CAN hELP to an innovative approach to desk sharing to target office space. But since the (more on this later). workplace does so much — offering personal In a global, interconnected world with a changing workforce and new expectations on the part of management and staff, the workplace is poised for dramatic change. In offices everywhere, many individual “It’s not about the size of the workspace as much workspaces are empty, either through as the needs of the users balanced with the cost reduced head-count, increased worker to provide.” mobility, or near constant collaboration. Chris Hood, global workplace program – Chris Hood, global workplace program manager, Hewlett Packard manager at Hewlett Packard, has studied workplace utilization rates throughout his organization. “People will say they’re in their connection, helping us communicate and workstations 80% of the time and the data At Hewlett Packard, they’ve settled on collaborate, building organizational culture shows that actual utilization is half that. maximum typical size of 48 square feet per and brand, even offering a sense of wellbeing It’s not any sort of deceit, they’re just seeing workstation for individual contributors, and and inspiration — thoughtful real estate things through a set of spectacles that isn’t a minimum of approximately 25 square feet. executives are not simply reducing real accurate.” HP found that in four of their “It’s not about the size of the workspace estate; they’re rethinking how they use it typical buildings only 30% of workstations as much as the needs of the users balanced so it works harder than ever through: were in use at least six hours a day, while with the cost to provide,” says Hood. 33-42% of workstations were used three “In India, for example, our local real estate • real estate optimization, including shifting hours or less. HP isn’t unique. CoreNet team started to plan workstations as small to more group spaces that support new Global says approximately 60 percent of at 16 square feet per person. That’s where ways of working8 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61• supporting collaboration locally and with will save in excess of $100,000 a year in real Smaller: Workstation footprints are distributed teams estate costs. shrinking. Fortunately, smaller, portable technology takes less space, and many• using space to attract and engage workers PricewaterhouseCoopers in London expects organizations are implementing or that eight out of 10 desks will be used each• reinforcing company culture and brand encouraging paperless offices. Physical day, according to Robert McLean, head through the workplace storage space is correspondingly reduced of workplace strategy and design. “We’ve• supporting employee physical, cognitive as employees keep documents electronically stepped back from having 100% occupancy and emotional wellbeing and reserve file and drawer space for coats because it leads to a lot of frustration and and other personal items.Companies can begin by carefully measuring potentially wasted time by some peoplehow people work and how the workplace who are coming into the office and can’t In smaller workspaces the furniture has tocan better support them. At Horizon find a workspace. We’ve done a lot of time work harder. Work surfaces are often dualHealthcare Services Inc., headquartered utilization studies using our access control purpose: a mobile pedestal provides storagein Newark, New Jersey, workplace surveys system smart cards, and we present the data and a short-term perch for a visitor; desktopsfor the company’s corporate strategy and to the different business units. I show them provide work surface, access to power, anddevelopment group revealed that only 20% their occupancy rates in the last five months height adjustability to fit workers of differentof workers’ time was spent in heads-down or so, and they can see a seasonal pattern, sizes and support seated or standing work.work, while 80% was spent in collaboration peaks and drops. So we look at the historical Ergonomic seating must adjust to fit andwith others and most of that time was headcount, we factor in a growth pattern, support tall and short, large and smallwith two to four people. That drove a new and on the busiest days, given our use of workers. Lighting and privacy screensworkplace design that supports 65 workers hoteling and desk sharing, desk use will be are easily adjustable.in the same space that formerly housed 38. at 90%, but on average, 80%.” Small huddle rooms close by workstationsWorking with ISS, one of the world’s largest Engaging employees means supporting their provide work settings for phone calls,commercial providers of facility services, need for choice and control. Emily Ulrich, confidential discussions, etc. They also can be used for heads-down work. Shared: Fewer people work at an assigned desk each day. More workers are choosing from a pool of unassigned workspaces. Even private offices are being shared by workers, or used by coworkers when the owner is out. At IBM, 40% of the employees have no fixed office space. Collaborative: The reduction in workstation footprints along with the increase in group work requires a range of collaborative spaces for two or more people. Ideally they are adjacent to workstations. A mix of reservable spaces and impromptu spaces support scheduled meetings and quick collaborations. Cafés and small kitchen areas in offices are another form of collaborative space for small groups. They offer a change of scenery, theTouchdown stations are available for mobile workers at Horizon Healthcare Services. chance for casual meetings with colleagues, and a place that’s diverting and energizing. At Horizon Healthcare Services, newlyHorizon installed smaller but more open Steelcase WorkSpace Futures senior design installed kitchen area and coffee bar spacesworkspaces (in place of traditional cubes) researcher, who recently completed a study are so popular that employees are makingdesigned to support individual work and of knowledge workspaces, says, “Knowledge fewer trips downstairs to the cafeteria andimpromptu discussions with others as the work responds to changes in venue. These spending more time with colleagues.day goes on. The office includes a number workers are content creators, analyzers,of collaboration spaces for small groups. Dispersed: “When people are this mobile developers. It takes some autonomy to“Everyone gave up personal workspace, but and can choose where to work, an effective do this kind of work, and choosing yourgained in collaborative spaces,” says Donna individual workspace no longer means an environment is part of that. Sometimes youCelestini, vice president of strategy and assigned workstation. It’s the space that best need a stimulating environment, other timesdevelopment at Horizon Healthcare Services. fits the work you have to do right now. This your need to get away to someplace quiet.”The response to the new workplace has been means choice, flexibility, and enriched ‘I’ This range of worksettings, often called spaces that allow the user to do things theyvery positive with staff and management, and a palette of place or work landscape, has can’t in a home office, the client’s office,the planning approach is being considered common themes. or at the local coffee shop,” says Markfor other company locations. On top of that,the company expects this single workplace Baloga, a principal researcher at Steelcase. 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 9
    • ISSUE 61 Florida foresees an overarching shift from “a single workspace in a corporate office to multiple workspaces, some of them in a corporate self-standing facility, some in a shared facility, some at home.” Many workers opt for a coffee shop, library, or other third place; an office-away-from- the-office has a certain allure. “We like to be around people but not necessarily with them, and that makes the proximity to others in a coffee house so appealing. What our brains are looking for is a kind of steady beat, a backdrop to knowledge work that’s also energizing. Who doesn’t like the whole friendly, funky, community feel? The problem is that people try to do serious, individual work there,” says Baloga. “The tables are small – retail is all about sales per square foot, hardly big enough for Mobile workers are spending more time in the office to connect with people and build stronger connections. a laptop, phone, and a drink. No room for files or other materials. When that backbeat of conversation gets too loud, it’s tough to concentrate. Keeping information confidential The IBM CEOs study not only identified “We’ve seen how working practices have is tricky. And then after a while your back complexity as the biggest corporate changed over the last five years or so, with tightens up, your shoulders start aching, challenge but also how some companies fewer people coming into the office and using and your butt gets numb from the were able to navigate complexity superbly. technology to work elsewhere,” says PwC’s hard wooden chair. We trade comfort, These standout companies (defined as McLean. “Lately we’ve had a bit of a swing ergonomics, and privacy for the great vibe, six times the revenue growth of other back, with some groups spending more time but soon a large worksurface at the right companies) focused their attention on in the office because it got a little bit too height and a comfortable chair are missed. creativity in leadership, reinventing customer fragmented in some areas of the business in “The problems of confidentiality, ergonomics, relationships, and operating dexterity. terms of people working outside or at home comfort, adequate workspace, and all the They set the stage for innovation and made too often, and losing a little bit of that glue other factors that are important to knowledge their organizations faster, more flexible, which holds the teams together. A lot of it has work can be easily addressed by a series of and capable of using complexity to their to do with our junior staff, who is mentored well thought-out office spaces. They can be advantage. They recommend embracing within the office. If the senior people aren’t assigned spaces or unassigned and available ambiguity: proactively exchanging there to be accessible and assist them, on a first-come, first-served basis. The idea knowledge, eliminating communication then we’re missing something.” is a continuum of spaces,” notes Baloga. barriers, engaging with the new generations The Gallup Organization has researched of workers, and piloting radical innovations. extensively the issues of employee WhERE GoES ThE oFFiCE? Could this kind of work happen via text engagement, development, and wellbeing. Could the office be a thing of the past? message or teleconference? Technology They have identified a strong link between Articles recently in Dwell Magazine, can aid communication, but no one ever built wellbeing and the people around us. Fortune, CNN.com, and Inc. Magazine, have a long-term relationship by being “friended” One of the best predictors they’ve found suggested that portable technology and online. Teamwork has time and time again for whether or not people are productive costly real estate may have made physical shown its superiority over individual effort. at work is whether they have a best friend offices superfluous. The great “Aha!” breakthroughs happen in the office. When they do, they are seven Many of these articles are inspired by the when people put their heads and hearts times more likely to be engaged with their promises of networking software developers together, in person. jobs. For people without a best friend and wireless service providers, but the at work, someone who cares about them The physical environment provides a place demise of the office has been often reported and socializes with them, their odds of being to study, explore ideas, and create new in the past. Now that the office is becoming a engaged are just one in 12. ones. It gives us the space and tools and, globally interconnected workplace and work most important, the people with whom we It’s difficult, if not impossible, to build can happen in virtual space, some see the work, think, and build. It also brings people genuine relationships without the personal need for a physical office space expiring. Yet together to build organizations. Rubbing interactions that have such a profound proximity to others is key to knowledge work. shoulders breaks down barriers and cultural impact on our work and life. Leaders can’t Personal communication, collaboration, and differences. As work becomes busier and lead via text message. Colleagues don’t bond group work are fundamental to innovation, virtually inseparable from the rest of our lives, via email. To build a business community, and that all happens in personal workspace. our offices have a greater impact on our there’s nothing like a great space. wellbeing as individuals and as organizations.10 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61 Geeks for Government: Code for America matches technology professionals to grassroots needs “each project has to meet our model,” says pahlka. “it has to be a web application that enable cities to better connect their constituents, reduce administrative costs, and support more transparent government, and it has to be shareable with otherdealing with complexity, reeling from the recession, digging cities.” projects will be completed in november and then madefor efficiencies — these challenges are not unique to business. available to the public. a new group of fellows takes to thegovernment faces the same ones. a new organization in streets the following January.san francisco, with backing from microsoft, google, the You might call it harder working government: a way to helprockefeller foundation, and others, aims to help by pairing cities provide their services to citizens.talented web programmers with city governments to tacklespecific local projects. “on the first day the fellows got together they shared their hopes for their fellowships. one of them said, ‘i’d like to make“we’re like ‘Teach for america’ for geeks,” says Jennifer pahlka, government interfaces beautiful, simple, and easy to use.’code for america’s (cfa) founder. The organization’s 20 fellows, others talked about making government work the way citizensselected from an applicant pool of over 300, began their want it to, a more accurate reflection of how we live our livesyear-long fellowships last month. and the experiences we want to have,” says pahlka.“we selected these individuals based on their skills in This year’s cfa projects include a web platform to use Boston’stechnology, design, and deployment, but also because educational services to better engage students; an open sourcethey can see a problem, address it, and get something out mechanism for philadelphia citizens to collaborate on activitiesthere incredibly quickly. That agility, and speed, and can-do related to neighborhood services; a way for seattle citizensattitude are desperately needed in city governments. They’re to work with one another and public safety officials to makedesperately needed in all levels of government, but it’s easier neighborhoods safer; and a how-to manual to enable other localto engage them at the city level, and easier for them to have governments to replicate d.c.’s work with open data programs.an impact. we’re calling to their better instincts, to their ideasabout public service, saying ‘You can come do this for a year, pahlka believes the cities who applied for the first groups of cfayou’ll be able to have a huge impact, and help change how our fellows are “a little brave, since it’s our first year, and they mustgovernment works.’” have some vision, right? The cities have to pay a fee to cover the stipends for the fellows.” in many cases, cfa fellows tookfellows are working in Boston, philadelphia, seattle, and substantial pay cuts to code for the public good.washington, d.c. every solution they develop will be sharedwith other cities. for example, a database system for tracking “By applying to the code for america program it means thesestreet addresses (essential for numerous services, from picking cities are committing to this program as a mechanism forup trash to assessing and collecting tax revenue) developed change, and that means that they want to change. They seein san francisco, is being finessed by cfa so other cities can that something needs to be done differently, and they’re willinguse it as open source software. to take a step in that direction to make it happen.” 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 11
    • ISSUE 61 Culture@Work Understanding local culture is vital to using space as a key strategic tool for global organizations. “All politics is local,” as the saying goes. So too with business: conduct business with individuals from cultures vastly different if you’re going to operate outside your backyard, there’s no substitute from our own. Few companies know how to use space to bridge for knowledge of the local culture, work processes, and workplaces. cultural differences. In Germany, for example, the emphasis is on spacious offices that McDonald’s is an exception. They use space design to boost sales guarantee visual and acoustical privacy, while in the United Kingdom and profits. This year the company is launching its first global store workers are used to more tightly packed offices. Status symbols are makeover campaign since the ’70s, rolling out designs first tested and important in Spain today, but as a younger generation gains influence, refined in Europe and Asia with great success. Second-quarter sales a more informal approach is transforming Spanish working life. in Europe, for example, were up 5.2% year over year, an improvement the company credits in large part to revamped stores. To help workspace planners and designers understand the cultural differences in workplaces, Steelcase is conducting extensive research on different cultures and their ramifications for the workplace in eleven countries: China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Morocco, Cultural awareness is vitally The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. Studies in the European countries were recently completed important in an increasingly and are in process in the other countries, but even at this early stage interconnected world. the learnings are significant. Cultural awareness is vitally important in an increasingly interconnected world. “Whether you think your company is global or Their strategy is to respect the cultural values of different countries not, you’re global,” says Catherine Gall, research director for Steelcase and cultures and demonstrate that through space. In France, in France and leader of the WorkSpace Futures team conducting the for example, McDonald’s does 70% of its business during lunch. research. “Businesses compete in a global marketplace. Company The French don’t snack throughout the day, so there’s a need for offices, clients, suppliers, and other resources can be located space to support the lunch crowd. Once McDonald’s understood anywhere yet they are interconnected. It’s important to understand these cultural issues, they improved the company’s restaurant the differences in how people work, their sense of hierarchy and designs, including contemporary touches such as glass partitions, teamwork, how they manage others, negotiate, and conduct other modern chairs, and avant-garde wall graphics. Over the past four knowledge work activities.” years they’ve applied this thinking in stores across Europe and, Cross-cultural miscommunication can happen despite the best as a result, McDonald’s sales have jumped from $7.1 billion to intentions. The speed of business today rarely provides the $9.3 billion. The company now has a corporate design leader opportunity to fully understand another country before having to for each of the company’s operating regions who contracts with a regional designer to determine local design strategy.12 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61Contrast that approach with how most companies simply transplant Masculinity: A measure of how distinct the gender roles are,home office planning standards to branch offices, without a careful defined as competitive vs. cooperative work goals.consideration of local market conditions, work conventions, local rulesand regulations and, most importantly, the local culture. Given theeconomy today, many companies opt for the most efficient workplacefrom an initial cost standpoint, unaware of long-term implications.Even if the company wants to provide a culturally appropriateworkplace, there’s little guidance available to help companies linkspace and culture.Steelcase researchers used a framework for the study basedon seminal work in cultural dimensions developed by Dutchsocial scientist Geert Hofstede. These dimensions help explainnational cultural differences by describing cultural norms regardingdistribution of power; the relationship between the individualand group; roles and values assigned to men and women; culturalattitudes toward uncertain and ambiguous situations; and longand short-term orientation. Understanding these dimensionsis key to the research findings:Power Distance: How much individuals expect that power will Uncertainty Avoidance: How concerned people are with avoidingbe distributed unequally. The scale is a reading of leadership style ambiguity, ranging from a high tolerance for uncertainty to more ofranging from autocratic to consultative. a security orientation.individualism: A measure of the ties between individuals, scored Long-term orientation: A measure of the extent to which a culturealong a continuum ranging from individualism to collectivism. is focused on the future vs. the present, or long-term outcomes vs. short-term results. 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 13
    • ISSUE 61 “Understanding the nuances of the workplace in a different culture has a direct impact on worker attitudes and performance.” CULTURE iN ThE WoRkPL ACE india Researchers applied these dimensions to the workplace to develop Young workers in India are highly competitive and eager to prove measures of cultural differences in work and the workplace. they’re equal to their global counterparts. Ambitious and technology- “The implications of the findings for the workplace are profound, oriented, these workers are demanding a new social contract with their since cultural attitudes directly affect design principles. Since the employers. They want to be supported, recognized and rewarded, places where we work affect work processes and workstyles as and they choose companies that can meet their expectations. Brand well as performance, understanding the nuances of a the workplace is an important differentiator for these young workers and they are in a different culture has a direct impact on worker attitudes and gravitating to employers who infuse their identity throughout the performance,” notes Gall. culture and the workplace. Let’s take a look at some initial insights for five of the countries Technology enhances company and employee identity in India, so in the study: the more tech-rich the space, the better. As India continues to invest in infrastructure, providing access to information and enhancing Germany workplace opportunities to connect with people anywhere in the world As a country whose people refer to their homeland as “he” and not are critical concerns. “she,” it’s not surprising that a paternal, masculine culture dominates Workers also value being able to display their individuality at work-life here. Germans have the highest level of intensity at work – work, with space for photographs, awards, and other personal a combination of high speed and tight deadlines – when compared differentiators, including expressions of religious and cultural to their European counterparts. values. Company-sponsored family social events at the workplace Functionality and ergonomics are priorities for workspace design. are a common occurrence in India, so spaces for relaxation and Buildings around the country boast first-rate architecture and socialization are important as a way for India’s new-generation premium furnishings. employers to acknowledge the importance of family and social Competition for so-called “high potentials” and younger employees obligations in employees’ lives. Women now make up 42% of India’s increases the willingness and openness of German organizations college graduates, and more than half of female grads also hold a towards more innovative work concepts. As a result, alternative post-doctorate degree compared to just 40% of men. Indian women workplace strategies such as home offices and desk-sharing are are eager to prove themselves and they are making their presence felt gaining in Germany. in business. United kingdom China Independent thinking is highly regarded in the U.K. and facts are Thanks to its one-child policy, introduced in 1978, young Chinese considered the only legitimate tools for persuasion. With a strong (age 15-29) received much individual attention. Now this generation tendency to individualism in this country, the typical employee wants to express their identity at work and be rewarded with relies less on collegial solidarity than their European neighbors. more opportunities. They value transparency and openness in an organization and dislike networking that happens without them Rising property costs have been pushing businesses out of the cities behind closed doors. Their workplace can be made less routine and into the suburbs and docklands. Strict building codes in historical more interesting by allowing for personalization with accessories, areas have made modern office space a coveted asset in cities like technology, and trendy work tools. London. In contrast, the guidelines regarding indoor workspace are less strict and have sometimes led to overcrowded offices with limited Harmony of mind, body, and spirit is an essential component of access to windows and little consideration for indoor air quality and traditional Chinese culture. Workplaces that are too small or inefficient noise levels. British managers are encouraged to maximize returns can disrupt concentration and creative flow. Adequate space for to shareholders, and thus employees have less influence on decision- each person is important, as is the right balance of privacy. Young making. Cost control, increasing return on real estate investment, workers also scrutinize an employer’s location and seek to minimize and improving the balance sheet are the key energizers. commuting to allow more time with friends and family. One trump card employees have is their career mobility. Low Pantry and café spaces at work are essential gathering places. unemployment rates and a large service economy allow individuals A variety of areas for both work and relaxation creates a more to switch frequently between jobs, and as companies become more desirable workplace, while flexible hours enable employees to concerned with retaining talent the workspace becomes an important pursue interests outside of work. bargaining chip.14 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61In India, brand is an important differentiation for workers and they gravitate to employers who infuse their identitythroughout the culture and the workplace.United States TAkiNG A GEoCENTRiC ViEWA country of immigrants with diverse ethnicity, the American culture Companies that operate in multiple countries tend to start out withis frequently described as a patchwork quilt and its key attributes are an ethnocentric view, one that’s oriented around their home countrydifficult to generalize. Hofstede’s work identifies the U.S. as having and culture. Slowly they evolve to a polycentric perspective that favorsthe highest sense of individualism of all the countries studied (with the host country’s view in determining local operations. Eventually,Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Italy not global companies adopt a geocentric or world orientation. They don’tfar behind), which speaks to a culture of self-reliance where people equate superiority with nationality, they trade national silos for globallook out for themselves and close family members. Equality is teams, balancing both global integration and local responsiveness.extremely important in this society, and this egalitarianism helps To thrive in the interconnected global economy they need to become,explain why most workers received workspaces that are much the as The Economist dubs them, “multinationimbles”, companies thatsame size and type. combine scale with an ability to quickly adjust to the fast-changingFor many years, cubicles provided privacy and equality for workers, business environment.and simplified facilities management. Status was conveyed with a A flexible, geocentric view is important to meeting the challengesbigger and nicer cubicle or a private office. Now, workers prefer tools faced by global workplace planners, designers, and managers.that help them collaborate with others and provide more flexibility Balancing the corporate brand and culture with local tastes andin how they work, and they are less concerned with the size of their sensibilities begins with understanding different cultures, realizing thatoffice. As a result, cubicle walls are coming down and the office is some change faster and easier than others, and all cultures changeopening up. in their own unique ways. That collective understanding is ultimatelyReal estate costs, the changing nature of work, greater concern what drives an effective workplace, no matter where it’s located.for worker wellbeing, and practically unlimited worker mobilityhave combined to change U.S. workplace planning. Designers are More information on Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions work is available on his website.reconfiguring workspace to balance privacy with worker needs for geert-hofstede.com. The Steelcase WorkSpace Futures culture research will be published later this year.more interaction. New workstyles, often introduced by Gen Y workers,are being readily adopted by all ages. Given the country’s opennessto new ideas, it’s not surprising that U.S.-based companies arequickly adopting alternative workplace strategies such as shared andunassigned spaces. 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 15
    • ISSUE 61 Wellbeing@Work The time has come for workplaces that support wellbeing16 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61 People in workplaces around the world are ready to let out a seismic scream. If they don’t fall asleep or call in sick first.Just when creativity and innovation are Management survey say their jobs make it’s hard to produce the kind of breakthroughmore critical to business survival than ever, them depressed. In Europe, too, the work work, ideas, and solutions that are essentialknowledge workers are plagued by stress, environment has begun to spread beyond to success in an interconnected world.fatigue, ailments, illness, and burnout that the office, and the transfer of information Employers and designers alike realize it’simpede their productivity, engagement, and and transitions between spaces is anything more important than ever to support workerbasic day-to-day sanity. but smooth. In Asia, hectic commutes and wellbeing, and the workplace can either blurring boundaries between work and lifeWhat’s gone wrong? help or hinder that goal. Environments that are disrupting the harmony that’s crucial to support wellbeing can be highly desirableIncreasingly mobile technologies mean their cultural definition of wellbeing. oases where people are less stressed, morethat, like a dog on a leash, work now follows At the same time, many employers are productive, more creative, and healthier.workers wherever they go. Globalization is seeing poorer health among their employees,stretching the workday across time zones They’re the workplaces of the future, and it’s driving up costs dramatically andinto both nighttime and sunrise, and routine not the past. unsustainably, especially in the United Statesbusiness travel is often globetrotting in where spending on health care is twice as As author Richard Florida has put it,coach class with just one carry-on. The much as on food and more than Chinese companies of all types, including largeneed for more collaboration makes it easier consumers spend on all goods and services. established ones, are striving to createto get things done together, but can often Beyond the costs of health care, a recent the kinds of workplaces that are amenablesqueeze time for focused work. Economic study found that presenteeism — when to what knowledge workers need. “In this,recession in North America and Europe has employees are present at their jobs but they have no choice: Either they will createreduced headcounts and budgets, turning unable to perform at capacity — creates an these kinds of environments, or they willproductivity into an imperative. Meanwhile, in even bigger drain on productivity, and hence wither and die.”developing countries, expanding opportunity profitability, than employee absences. With Brady Mick, senior project manager atand competition mean needing to prove BHDP Architecture in Cincinnati, says essentially the same thing in a differentEnvironments that support wellbeing can be highly desirable oases where way: “A company does not breathe, eat,people are less stressed, more productive, more creative, and healthier. sleep, sense, or think on its own. When theThey’re the workplaces of the future, not the past. group of people who combine and collide together throughout a work day go home and the lights go off, there is nothing thereyourself every minute of every day, not just to of interest.” everything factored in, depression, obesity,your employer but also to the world. In other words, people matter — more than arthritis, back/neck pain, and anxiety nowNo wonder it’s the yawning of a new era, anything else. A great workplace is simply top the list of costly conditions.according to many recent studies. In North a tool to bring out their best, which starts Worldwide, knowledge workers are affected and ends with wellbeing. But it’s not asAmerica managers report worker fatigue by a new reality: due to converging changes simple as it sounds.is a bigger problem than ever. And at least in the marketplace, technology and work40% of U.S. and Canadian workers of all itself, their lives are more chaotic than everages who participated in a 2010 Workforce and stress is taking its toll. Without wellbeing, 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 17
    • ISSUE 61 WhAT iS WELLBEiNG AND Why ShoULD EMPLoyERS CARE? Understanding wellbeing has kept philosophers busy for centuries and has evolved significantly over time. In recent decades, wellbeing has moved into the realm of science. In the mid-1940s, psychologist Abraham Maslow achieved acclaim for his “hierarchy of needs” model of human motivation that put basic body needs first. Since then, a growing body of research is contributing to a deep understanding of the factors that influence and create wellbeing. Though opinions still vary about the fine points, today there’s widespread agreement that it isn’t just about being happy and it’s not synonymous with wellness (though good A workplace that’s holistically designed for worker wellbeing can boost an organization’s ability to innovate and thrive. health can certainly contribute to wellbeing). In its broadest sense, wellbeing is about and inseparable, can profoundly affect important performance requirement for having a sense of personal purpose and the productivity of individuals and teams, workplace furnishings. fulfillment. Experts say the degree to which and that can quickly affect the health of an people have supportive relationships and a “Physical wellbeing impacts cognitive and organization’s bottom line. sense of connection with others is also vital. emotional wellbeing,” he says. “To have BoDy iS BASiC the brain fully firing, the body needs to be Social scientists and authors Tom Rath and supported and comfortable. ” Jim Hartner in their 2010 bestseller, Well In the Western world, experts ranging being: The Five Essential Elements, say: from environmentalists to ergonomists to Remember when an adjustable chair was “Well being is about the combination of our psychologists say wellbeing fundamentally the big deal? It’s still a vital component of love for what we do every day, the quality of starts with the body. worker wellbeing, but it’s only one piece our relationships, the security of our finances, of the puzzle. Simple ergonomics isn’t so There’s a direct and important correlation the vibrancy of our physical health, and the simple anymore. In workplaces all over between healthy buildings and healthy pride we take in what we have contributed to the world, people are straining their eyes, workers. With tens of thousands of chemicals our communities. Most importantly, it’s about fingers, hands, arms, neck, shoulders and in use today, eliminating toxic materials how these five elements interact.” Their book backs by sitting in relatively static positions from buildings has been a fundamental is based on a global study that the Gallup at computer screens for long hours. Or platform for sustainability efforts ever since organization conducted in 150 countries over they’re away from their desks in hours-long the “sick building syndrome” came into the the course of several years. collaboration sessions, perched on stools, spotlight in the 1980s. However, 48% of stackers, benches or guest chairs that were Providing yet another view, neuroscientists workers — including 51% of those working never intended to stand up comfortably to and psychologists put focus on cognitive for companies with revenues of $1 billion or that much sitting. wellbeing. It’s what happens when the brain more — don’t believe they work in a ”green is performing at capacity. building,” according to a 2009 report from Meanwhile, laptops have become exactly GreenBiz. Responsible companies put that, as mobile workers hunch over them in However employee wellbeing is defined, priority on materials chemistry, examining airports, lobbies, and parked cars to grab employers used to think that it was a private the chemical makeup of materials used some precious working time on the go. matter, and really none of their business. in products, packaging, and production. Adding devices like smart phones and tablets Today, a growing number see a clear Steelcase has so far assessed more than to the mix means new repetitive-motion connection between employee wellbeing and 600 categories of materials, down to 100 injuries like “texting thumbs” and “tech organizational performance. High levels of parts per million, against 19 human and necks” just waiting to happen if people don’t wellbeing mean that people are more able to environmental health criteria, and the work take the right steps. respond to difficult circumstances, innovate, continues in an ongoing partnership with As if all of that isn’t creating enough and constructively engage with other people McDonough Braunguart Design Chemistry. bodily assault, there’s a growing pandemic and the world around them. They’re healthier, too, which reduces illness-related costs. “Supporting human and environmental health of obesity, especially in North America. is fundamental to product performance Obesity in the U.S. is now more than 32% There’s a well-founded trend underway requirements and people’s wellbeing,” of the population compared to 20% globally. worldwide to address worker wellbeing in the says Angela Nahikian, director of global Today’s workers are increasingly unfit and workplace more comprehensively. It’s based environmental sustainability. overweight, causing rising risks for diabetes, on a fundamental recognition that people are hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, physical, cognitive, and emotional beings. Steelcase research ergonomist David along with more robust needs for supporting These three dimensions, co-dependent Trippany agrees that user wellbeing is an bodies at work. It goes way beyond18 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61bariatric seating. It’s about getting people laptops, so it’s a great alternative conferencing spaces to easily connect without of their chairs. to a traditional conference room for team remote team members. Even more pervasive meetings. Between use by teams, individual is the overall ambience of the space that’sAdding more opportunities to move within the workers can drop in anytime for an energizing awash with natural light and striking viewsworkplace has become more important than “pick me up” to get their blood flowing of Lake Ontario. It’s punctuated with aever. Research from experts and institutions without having to leave work behind. “The variety of shared social areas for people toaround the world is establishing a connection space is so well utilized, it’s hard to get time spontaneously interact, as well as focusedbetween long periods of sedentary postures in there,” reports Erica Shortsleeve, globaland chronic illness such as diabetes and wellness program manager. “Employees tellheart disease. us it makes them feel more alert.”Because employees spend so much of their People may be working in places The cardio conference room at Lifetime at work, it can be an ideal venue to and postures that can literally make Technologies powerfully represents theaddress sedentary habits. By intentionally them “a working stiff” the next day. company culture, which places high value onproviding a combination of sitting and wellbeing. “Our quest is to shape discoverystanding environments that encourage areas where people can relax or do heads- down work, all important components of work and overall wellbeing. A July 2009 Steelcase research project confirmed that as new technologies and more collaborative work unchain people from their desks, there’s more opportunity to move around in the workplace as well as away from it. On the positive side, that’s healthy. On the negative side, it means people may be working in places and postures that can literally make them “a working stiff” the next day. The workplace can make a big difference for the better, for both mobile and resident workers by supporting bodies in these ways: • Pay attention to product content and consider third-party sustainabityThe cardioconference room at Life Technologies is a great alternative to a traditional conference room for team meetings. certifications: Cradle to Cradle™ productWalkstations, which combine individual worksurfaces with low speed treadmills, bring movement to the workplace, whilethe custom built table in the center provides a place to put larger equipment or additional documents. certification by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, Indoor Advantage™ by Scientific Certification Systems, Life Cycle“sharing the load” among muscles and and improve lives. Our employees can’t do Assessment (the International Organizationligaments, workers can actually leave that unless they’re feeling good themselves,” for Standardization has established a LCAhealthier at the end of a long day. Seating says Shortsleeve. framework in ISO 14040), and others.that encourages alternative posturesand “fidgeting” are great ways to build Similarly, at TELUS, a leading • Select task seating that allows dynamicin movement, as are worksettings that telecommunications company in Canada, movement and has an intuitive rangeencourage people to stand up for part of the workplace wellbeing started out as a of adjustments so workers can easilytime every day. Not only is movement good program that’s become a core business fine-tune the fit to their own bodies.for the limbs, it keeps blood flowing to bring strategy, says Janet Crowe, director of • Prioritize supportive comfort soa steady stream of oxygen and glucose to the health. “It’s part of who we are,” she says. people can be productive at whateverbrain, and that keeps it functioning efficiently. “We want to inspire our people to live a they’re doing. healthy life.” Workplace design is a veryMovement as an integral component of • Add adjustable or standing-height important part of the TELUS approach.wellbeing has center stage at the Carlsbad, worksurfaces so people can stand One shining example: their new facility inCA., headquarters of Life Technologies, a and move around while they work. Toronto includes many “extras” that goglobal biotechnology company. In a special beyond an onsite gym and staff of wellness • Choose seating designed for“cardio conference room,” 12 Walkstations, professionals who encourage employees to collaboration so minds can meetwhich combine workstations with low-speed make physical activity part of their workday. for hours without cramped bodies.treadmills, bring movement to the workplace The facility includes a full kitchen intendedin a new way. The room is fully equipped for teambuilding activities as well as awith audio and projection capabilities from place to make your own lunch, and video 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 19
    • ISSUE 61 • invest in tools — keyboard supports, are now saying that multi-tasking is a myth cognitive wellbeing at work. All are based articulating montitor support arms, etc. — and the brain simply can’t process two on providing more control and choices for that make it easy for workers to bring high-level cognitive things at once, workers how and where to work. their work close without strain. all over the world keep trying. Support a range of tasks: Every worker • Take time to train workers so they Cognitive overload is a fundamental problem wants some control over how they work. understand the ergonomic features of in today’s workplaces, says Beatriz Arantes, Some prefer a sequential approach, others their work environment and why it matters. a psychologist and Steelcase researcher work more laterally. Achieving personal It shows you really care about them, based in Paris. In some ways, today’s flow with little effort is the ideal platform and it can help avoid expensive problems knowledge workers resemble air traffic for productivity. Superior connections and later on. controllers, processing heavy loads of support for technology, plus adequate array information under high stress. “There’s a lot space can transform even a small footprint When a workplace offers solid ergonomic of noise,” says Arantes, “and the more we into an appealing, effective space for work. support across the spectrum, it’s a good have to pay attention to unnecessary details, place to be. Healthier bodies, more energized Support an easy switch among the the more cognitive resources it takes.” The minds, less fatigue, and stronger connections modes of work: An enclave nearby, seating workplace can make a significant difference to the workplace and each other add up around the corner for quick collaboration in how well people are able to process to a great return on investment. or mentoring, an onsite café or library that information and be engaged in their work. provides the ambience of a third-place but ThE iBrain FACToR Research reveals that people are better able with the resource amenities of the workplace to solve problems when they’re exposed to Call it attitude: people are less tolerant — adjacencies of settings make it easier for upbeat versus upsetting stimuli, she notes. than ever of things that don’t work on their workers to tap into the vibe they seek and terms. With everything from fast-food Engagement makes people more productive, transition between work modes. to smart phones to daily news feeds and it even can make a difference in their Support expectations for collaboration now customizable, workers expect their health. Rath and Hartner’s work showed and privacy: In yoga practice, people are environments to adapt to them too, providing that people that were actively disengaged instructed to breathe deeply enough so an appropriate place for accomplishing in their careers were twice as likely to be they can hear their own and their neighbors’ whatever they need to do. This shows itself diagnosed with depression. Another study breaths, but not so deeply that their in all sorts of ways, from wanting space for they did showed that as employees’ levels neighbors can’t hear themselves. It’s an apt family pictures in a compact call-center of engagement in work increased, their metaphor for privacy in offices. Although bench application to routinely escaping the total cholesterol and triglyceride levels people tend to think of privacy in terms of significantly decreased. other people bothering them, it’s really both If people are cognitively coupled to their an input and output problem. Reassuring patterns of predictable environments and every worker is different, Providing for adequate privacy levels workflow have been replaced can a workplace really work for all? Behind continues to be one of the most challenging by the stress of the unknown, all the nuances of idiosyncratic preference aspects of office planning. There are different and workstyles, Steelcase researchers have with interruptions as common kinds of privacy: visual, acoustical, territorial, indentified some common principles for as paper clips and multi-tasking and informational. an expected norm. isolation of an individual workstation for a blanket of surround sound that you can wrap yourself into for focused work in the café. If an important part of wellbeing is controlling your surroundings to achieve a desired state of mind for complex processing and decision-making, then many of today’s workplaces are hazard zones. Reassuring patterns of predictable workflow have been replaced by the stress of the unknown, with interruptions as common as paper clips and multi-tasking an expected norm. The average worker switches tasks every three minutes, is interrupted every two minutes, and has a maximum focus stretch of 12 minutes, according to one recent observation-based study. Despite the fact that neuroscientists Natural light, comfortable seating, a place to gather with colleagues, in a collaborative Bix™ workbooth at TELUS.20 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61TELUS, a major telecomm in Canada, built a workplace with wellbeing in mind. At their new TELUS House building in Toronto, everyone has access to natural light; the fitness center supports ahealthy lifestyle; and a range of worksettings, from individual workspaces to small huddle rooms to larger project areas, create a more flexible and enjoyable place to work.The core of privacy is the ability to regulate Support eye-to-eye: As business the way to the coffee shop: many workersthe flow of information. Needs run the gamut, collaboration becomes more virtual, the are coming to the office instead because itespecially in today’s multigenerational, easier it is to get “up close and personal,” can provide better support and especially amulticultural workforce. Some can do the better. It’s important that people can better vibe.focused work only in settings that are quickly become productive in virtual Despite having more options than ever, manyoptimized for concentration; others work meetings by allowing all participants workers will choose to come to the officemost effectively in social settings. And to contribute their ideas equally, quickly, when it supports their work and gives themsometimes preference is simply a matter and seamlessly. High-definition video can a feeling of belonging in a way anonymousof mood on a given day. Having choice totally reshape the collaborative experience. third places just can’t. A well-designedand control are important, even if it’s as Recent studies show that up to 93% of workplace can be more than just someplacebasic as putting on ear buds to block out communication effectiveness is determined to go and instead become the place to be.noise or having a space at hand for personal by nonverbal cues — gestures, eyephone calls. movements, overall body language, For architect Brady Mick, workplaces are tone of voice, etc. Those cues just can’t all about the relationships built there. SeenPeople need and want both focus come through in emails or conference calls. any other way, they’re just sculpture. “Placeand interaction — i.e., spaces that affects people by the way they bump into“open up” easily for collaboration and Make common spaces an instant fit: each other and meet. Relationships are builtprovide adjustable levels of privacy for Intuitive adjustments and easy technology in spaces. There’s a lot of latent energy there,individual work. connections make common spaces even if it’s virtual space.” uncommonly supportive for on-the-move individuals and teams, enabling them to be Janet Crowe at TELUS agrees. At the new efficient right from the start. Toronto facility, the holistic and calmingHigh-definition video can design approach underscores the sense oftotally reshape the collaborative ThE ViBE ThAT BiNDS wellbeing and equanimity in the space.experience. Recent studies show As recently as 10 years ago, people came to “The physical environment of space is a verythat up to 93% of communication the office for network connectivity, meeting important element of employees’ wellbeing.effectiveness is determined rooms, and because they were expected to It’s not the impersonal cubicle you hid behindby nonverbal cues. be there. With today’s workers increasingly in the past. Today it’s the community you’re mobile within and away from the workplace, part of. Transparent and equitable spaces given a choice they’ll go where they want make employees feel valued,” says Crowe. to be. And a funny thing is happening on 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 21
    • ISSUE 61 Forget the old style, back-office break room/copier closet. A bright, welcoming café is like a home-based third place: a location where people can work or relax, collaborate or focus. It just feels right. A funny thing is happening on from each other and isolated in cubicles, The business benefits are clear. “We’re the way to the coffee shop: many the open plan “workbench” environment seeing innovation get more engendered in of their new space, enhanced with the DNA of all of our company because of workers are coming to the office media:scape ® collaboration settings this space,” says Koenen. instead because it can provide throughout, was initially a little intimidating, better support and a better vibe. Clearly, organizations that view their people says Koenen. But not for long. as an asset can benefit by viewing their “The biggest surprise was how easy it’s space as an asset too, making the workplace Even small increases in social cohesiveness been. The space and the technology are a less stressful, more desirable place to be. can result in large gains, according to a perfect in so many ways. When I’m working study conducted by MIT researchers of The nature of work is changing dramatically, here, I’m more relaxed and focused. I get workers who wore badges that monitored and investments in the workplace that more done, and I feel better about it. We’ve their movements and conversations. Even support wellbeing for all generations of learned that space can drive innovation as what might be considered idle chit-chat often workers can be among the most strategic much as people can. It can create a whole aided productivity, the research showed. steps an organization can make to be fit and ‘tribe’ that looks out for each other and agile for what’s ahead. Rob Koenen, vice president and general shares experiences and what they know. manager for CAT® footwear, a division of We have a happier, more close-knit and When the physical, mental and emotional Wolverine World, says that’s been true for his productive community that we didn’t have factors of wellbeing are fully realized, people company, too. This year, Wolverine moved its six months ago.” thrive — and so do businesses. product designers for eight diverse brands, Non-design teams from Wolverine are ranging from Patagonia® to Hush Puppies®, now coming to the downtown space for into Grid70, a new urban space in downtown brainstorming sessions, too, because it Grand Rapids, MI., just 15 minutes and yet supports that activity best — and gives worlds away from their suburban corporate them a reason to be part of the buzz of this headquarters. They made the move to appealing environment. An added bonus: increase communication, collaboration, and adjacent floors of the facility are used by innovation across the brands, and knew that workers from three other local companies, improving worker wellbeing was an important with large meeting rooms and a café shared part of the equation. Moving from a facility by all. So cross-company collaboration where workers for each brand were siloed is starting to happen, too.22 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61 Looking aheadduring the past few years, as the mobility of its office workforce colleagues, catch up on news, and, of course, eat. There will beincreased every day, steelcase faced the same challenge stand-up and sit-down spaces throughout, including outdoors,as many customers: too much real estate. and lots of healthy food choices available throughout the day — and beyond.on any given day, there was only about 65% occupancy in the offices at the company’s global headquarters and “for an employee who needs to stay until 6:30 p.m. for aits corporate development center several miles away. so last videoconference call with someone on the other side of theyear steelcase announced plans to move employees from its globe, if the only available food is from a vending machine,development center to its global headquarters and sell the good things aren’t necessarily going to happen for that person’sbuilding once emptied. wellbeing,” hickey points out. The new space will address that and many more issues, large and small, recognizing wellbeingalongside the goal to reduce real estate was an aspiration: to itself is a multifaceted blend of experiences. in the face ofcreate the next evolution of a better workplace. The planning increasing mobility, the space is being carefully designedteam seized the project as an opportunity to apply everything to reflect care for individual workers and robustly supportthe company had learned so far about what knowledge workers relationships, all within the context of the company’s cultureneed in today’s complex and interconnected world — and to and brand.learn more along the way. wellbeing means different things in different cultures, and it“what started as a real estate consolidation project became can also mean different things to different generations. gen Y’san opportunity to create a workplace that would increase influence and expectations are only going to become strongerour employees’ wellbeing and make our culture stronger,” forces in the years ahead, hickey says.explains nancy hickey, senior vice president and chiefadministrative officer. “Baby Boomers are postponing retirement so there’s hiring stagnation now for young people just out of college. But it isn’tonce the transformation is complete, the headquarters facility, going to last forever. about 24 months out, everyone is going tobuilt in 1983, will contain a wide variety of spaces for a wide need to bring in new employees quickly, and the competition forvariety of work — touchdown spots, team areas, private rooms talent is going to be fierce. we need to be creating workplacesfor focused work, abundant videoconferencing settings for today that are ready for that generation.”collaboration with co-workers near and far, even spaces foryoga practice and, as its most prominent expression of new The project also includes a new innovation center on theideas, an indoor/outdoor workcafe. The name says it all. it’s headquarter’s campus. The renovations will be staged overintended to be a hub and haven that supports almost anything the next three years, with the first renovated wing scheduledemployees want to do — catch up on work, catch up with for occupancy by may and the workcafé due to open in June. 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 23
    • ISSUE 61 Distributed Collaboration: Work’s Future In View24 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61 Capitalizing on collective intelligence is an imperative – and, when it works properly, one of the great benefits of a global strategy.Everyone agrees. Collaboration is more collaboration” – working with people The CHROs say capitalizing on the collectiveimportant than ever to help solve complex around the world to solve problems intelligence of global teams is one of theirbusiness problems and drive innovation in and co-create – is not the same as sitting top priorities, but the majority struggle totoday’s globally competitive environment. around a work table. effectively connect their workplace, and 78% said their organizations are ineffective atAnd collaborate we do. People are working ThE ChALLENGE oF CoLL ABoRATioN fostering collaboration and social networking.on teams more than ever before, and the Despite the difficulties, putting heads Only 21% had recently increased the amountratio of individual work to collaborative together over great distances is seen as an they invest in the tools required to promotework continues to mount on the collaborative imperative – and, when it works properly, collaboration and networking.side. Even 10 years ago, according to one of the great benefits of a global strategy.research by Gartner Dataquest, employees Although some consider collaboration as This idea is explored in the 2010 IBMspent 60% of their time working in groups a “soft” skill, the study says it can have report Working Beyond Borders, a globaland only 40% on individual work. By 2007, “bottom-line consequences.” It found study of over 700 chief human resourceindividual work had decreased to just 30%. financial outperformers were 57% more likely officers (CHRO). According to the study,And this trend is expected to continue to use collaborative and social networking organizations must capitalize on collectiveas research shows that the collective tools to enable global teams to work more intelligence by finding “new ways to connectintelligence of groups outperforms that of effectively together. Yet, only one-third people to each other and to information, boththe individual worker, thanks to the group’s of organizations are regularly applying internally and externally.”access to a diversity of experience and skills collaborative tools and techniques to enableand the benefits of team members building The study acknowledges that organizations global teams to work more effectively.on each other’s ideas. are struggling to make this happen. Even with the advances in communications technology, DEEPER LEVELS oF iNTERACTioNBut collaboration in this global environment the authors say, “the global workforce “Companies are finding that as their peopleposes its own difficulties. Members of these still finds itself encumbered by numerous spend less time together, collaborationteams are widely distributed, chosen for impediments that inhibit the ability of becomes more difficult, social networkstheir expertise and skills and not where they organizations to quickly respond to emerging can weaken, little problems become bigare located in the world. And “distributed opportunity.” So what’s the problem? problems and things slow down,” says Lew 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 25
    • ISSUE 61 The convergence of new collaborative technologies and spaces designed to promote the easy exchange of ideas and to equally engage meeting participants is happening. Employees at Venadar (pictured right) use media:scape and high-def videoconferencing to collaborate with new product scouts all over the world. Epstein, general manager of the advanced exchange of ideas and information. promote the easy exchange of ideas and applications group at Steelcase Inc. “They They just don’t create enough opportunity to equally engage meeting participants is need solutions that enable them to connect for participants to interact when generating happening. In Atlanta, a team of consultants with staff, customers, suppliers and subject- new ideas. and category experts using media:scape ® matter experts, quickly and globally.” with high definition videoconferencing “In a truly collaborative work session, teams gather around a bar-height U-shaped ledge, But connecting technology isn’t the only need to share complex ideas, drawings or each with a laptop plugged into a PUCK™ answer. Collaboration means team members explanations,” says Epstein. “They want media-sharing device. On one high-definition must go beyond simply coordinating to share content on their laptop or get screen, executives of a major corporation activities and communicating information up and write or draw on a whiteboard, based in another city engage with various to actually co-creating a solution from an and they need all the subtleties of face- participants, displaying photos, drawings, exchange of ideas and viewpoints, and so to-face communication, too. For them, charts and data from their laptops on a deeper levels of interaction must occur. videoconferencing must be as good an second HD screen. For one thing, it is difficult for groups to get experience as being in the same room.” things done without first achieving a level of The conversation is multi-sided, ideas are And that means the video, audio and data trust and understanding – a prerequisite of flowing, laptop displays change frequently, feeds going back and forth are only part of collaborative work. Group members discover and the mood is relaxed. Some people stand, the equation. It’s equally important for there the knowledge each member brings to the some sit, and they shift places or enter to be a certain comfort level, both with the group and their basic orientation toward the and leave the room without interrupting the people involved and with the place where the project. Collaborators also need to spend proceedings. When necessary, the camera interaction occurs. “For true collaboration, significant time in a creative second phase controlled by a videoconferencing system groups need spaces that nurture the process where they generate possible approaches remote zooms to one of the speakers or a of collaboration,” says Epstein. “Work is and solutions before entering a third and final product placed on a table. not defined by what you do at a desk and phase of evaluating the best route forward. organizations are no longer confined within This is the scene at Venadar LLC, a leading For these types of group sessions, phone office towers. Collaborative teams need external innovation firm that helps Fortune conferences or traditional approaches toward comfortable, versatile collaborative spaces 500 companies extend their brands by videoconferencing – with its formal face- to work in.” finding proven innovations around the to-camera, eyes-forward, upright-posture world. With scouts for these new products A NEW WAy oF WoRkiNG setups – don’t provide a productive setting based in 35 countries, high-definition to build trust and get creative because they The convergence of new collaborative videoconferencing is the best way to make don’t support a more natural back-and-forth technologies and spaces designed to everyone feel like they’re in the same room,26 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
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    • ISSUE 61 Virtual Collaboration Centers have been installed at multiple GE locations around the world to support distributed collaborative work. “We look at our collaboration centers as a true competitive advantage,” says Vic Bhagat, site leader, GE. on the same page, and on the same team It’s demand from organizations like Venadar Combined with more collaborative and looking at a tangible product. – working in a global marketplace, facing videoconferencing environments, HD video extreme competitiveness, quick response conferencing is helping creative professionals “Venadar actually has two of these and cost-effectiveness – that has driven whose work is highly visible or who need [media:scape] rooms, both in our central the evolution of HD spaces that support to share complex data, especially when hub and identically outfitted,” says Venadar distributed collaboration. no single group or individual is in charge. managing director Mark Kaiser. “They get General Electric is installing what they’ve plenty of use. A lot of times, we’re showing NEW PoSSiBiLiTiES dubbed “Virtual Collaboration Spaces” clients product as well as having a meeting. Recent technological developments have throughout multiple locations, beginning You can place it on the table and zoom changed the game, says Peter Secor, senior with its new Advanced Manufacturing and in on it. It’s very 3-D.” director of development at Polycom Inc., one Software Technology Center in southeast Venadar sits at the forefront of a new way of the world leaders in videoconferencing Michigan. These spaces support working of working – widely distributed but highly technologies. for hours at a time from remote sites on collaborative and as agile as a start-up lean manufacturing and new-product “Two or three years ago, the industry broke enterprise. It’s critical to the organizations development processes. through those technological barriers when that source, sell, consult, and compete across markets and continents. LikE BEiNG ThERE Venadar’s HD videoconference is indicative of where distributed collaboration is headed, “As people spend less time together, collaboration becomes more with comfortable, informal settings that difficult, social networks can weaken, little problems become big allow for long sessions with people coming problems and things slow down” and going, seamless sharing of digital – Lew Epstein, general manager, advanced applications group at Steelcase Inc. content, full-range audio, flexible use of the camera, and a picture so crisp that it’s just like being there. And when collaboration is seamless, organizations are getting results. At Venadar, IP networks became broad and widespread “We look at our collaboration spaces as Kaiser says the media:scape spaces are enough to handle the audio-video traffic of a true competitive advantage,” says Vic paying off. “The distributed workforce videoconferencing and the semiconductor Bhagat, site leader at the Michigan location. needs to come together,” he says. “Our industry developed chips that could “They help us reduce cycle times, reduce the videoconferencing rooms have created compress HD video down to a manageable need for travel, and help us get things done a much more intimate relationship, especially size,” says Secor. “Now, over a cheap faster. This is changing the game for us.” for our international workforce, and that Internet connection, it’s possible to support pays off in the amount and level of work full HD videoconferences with anyone we can accomplish.” in the world.”28 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61 “Distributed collaboration is an area of great impact from several key strategic perspectives: global competitiveness, productivity, human resources, and real estate.” – Ryan Anderson, product manager for media:scapeSPACE TAkES CoLL ABoRATioN contact with each other as well as with the and visually – with your data, drawings orTo ThE NExT LEVEL information – as if the information had taken photos, and to respond and create thatEd Hemphill, director of sales and a seat at the table. Democracy promotes enriched conversation that’s so essential.”engineering, Americas, for LifeSize collaboration more than hierarchy, so we EVENiNG oUT ThE FUTURECommunications, Inc., an industry- used table shapes that didn’t encourageleading company that’s developing HD someone to sit at the front and take control. This evolution of the collaborative workspacevideoconferencing technologies, says these The content becomes the priority. Another is welcome news for companies that needtypes of environments can make participants principle was to create settings that are to knit together teams working acrossforget they’re on a videoconference. optimal for up to four, six or eight people. time zones and continents. With the trend Our research indicated that groups of more toward distributing teams around the world“That’s important because if you feel they’re than eight often need to break down into instead of in one building, the challengeright there next to you, you achieve another smaller groups or they revert back becomes how to connect those people andlevel of communication. That can really pay to leader-led meetings with someone in their knowledge. As more people connectoff in the long run. Sure, it keeps you from control. We were aiming for a greater level instantaneously with the tools they carry ingetting on a plane sometimes, but it’s really of interaction between meeting participants their pocket and back pack, the willingnesseffective in making something out of all those and the content being displayed.” to use collaborative technologies has nevermeetings that are now so effective and full of been higher.information. And that’s why it’s the next step CoLL ABoRATioN BEyoND CoNVERSATioNfor videoconferencing.” “Distributed collaboration is an area of The combination of the comfortable setting great impact from several key strategicDESiGNED To MAkE A DiFFERENCE and the easy sharing of data and images perspectives: global competitiveness, creates an environment that will connectThe media:scape environment used by productivity, human resources, and real globally distributed teams seamlessly andVenadar and GE directly targets these deep estate,” says Anderson. “Decisions in all transform any meeting space into a moreand extended kinds of collaboration. these disciplines are being influenced by the dynamic forum for teamwork, within the role of space and the use of these improvedBehind media:scape lies considerable workplace or around the world. It becomes technologies in enhancing creative work overresearch into collaboration and how groups a space where people can stay for long great distances. It is right at the center of thework together. Steelcase along with IDEO periods of time and where interaction can go future of work.”began a study into ubiquitous computing far beyond a formal transactional meeting.back in 2004, and has conducted numerous In 2003, author William Gibson wrote, “What you get is a space that augments teamproduct development and user-group “The future is already here – it’s just not members’ ability to collaborate effectively,”sessions in an iterative design process. evenly distributed.” Now, with collaboration says Anderson. “Collaboration moves beyond technologies that make it possible,“We wanted to create a different type simply seeing and hearing one another. the distribution is gradually evening out –of setting that would better foster We share information with one another, we and work’s future is in view.collaboration,” says Ryan Anderson, product become more generative as ideas emerge,manager for media:scape. “There are several and we are able to evaluate concepts withoutprinciples that make media:scape different. distance impeding us. We all learn. There’sAs an example, everyone can easily have eye an equal opportunity to contribute – verbally 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 29
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    • ISSUE 61As seen in the Chronicles of Higher Education 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 31
    • node chair by Steelcase Education Solutions Winner of three prestigious awards in 2010.Spark! Award – the highest honor Interior Design Magazine: Interiors & Sources:in the Spark Award competition. Best of Year Award Honorable mention, seating
    • ISSUE 61For space that works harder, saves money,and gives workers the tools they need:DoN’T jUST ShRiNk other and the space they need; and tools FiGhT CoMPLExiTysmaller by itself isn’t better, it’s just such as printers, copiers, and office use space to nurture and comfortsmaller. smaller and harder working supplies so workers can pack light. stressed out workers. provide mobilespace is 1) multipurpose, 2) user a central café adds a welcoming third whiteboards and screens so people canadjustable, and 3) can be used by place vibe. no need for the piano player. adjust their privacy; huddle rooms neartwo or more people at least some collaborative areas for quiet refuges;of the time. if a space can’t do all WhEN iN RoME... comfortable lounge spaces; and kitchenthree, it shouldn’t be in the floorplan. understand the local culture, work and break room areas. conventions, and business customsSTAy FLExiBLE before planning a workspace outside GAThERiNG PLACESspace can adapt to different needs your home turf. social scientist geert a coffee bar, kitchenette, or smallin different ways: an individual hofstede posts information on five café is a multi-faceted space: breakworkstation can also host small cultural dimensions for individual area, meeting room, collaborationcollaborations; a private office countries on his website, a good place spot, mentoring space, a semi-privatecan morph into an effective group to being learning about business norms. workspace, a place to bring a client orspace; a storage piece can triple customer or to catch up with a colleague.as a worksurface, visitor seat, oR RoME AND NoME such inside third places supplant theand transaction top; etc. distributed collaboration only works need to visit an outside coffee shop. when the worksetting on both sides what goes on here fosters companyA MoViNG ExPERiENCE of a long distance collaboration allows culture, collaboration, and collegiality.people sometimes spend 14 hours or everyone to contribute ideas and sharemore a day sitting down while working information as if they were in the same LiGhTEN UPand commuting. for optimal wellbeing, space. for that they need the right tools: everyone likes daylight. share naturalworkers need to be able to move, high-definition videoconferencing, light throughout a workplace witheven when seated. ergonomic task media:scape worksettings, and shallow floor plates, glass walls in anychairs are only the beginning. height- the same furniture you’d put in an enclosed spaces on the periphery, fewadjustable worksurfaces, stand-up café in-person collaborative space, such internal walls, and low panels so lighttables, chairs specially designed for as easily reconfigured tables and imbues the workspace.collaborative work, and even treadmills chairs, whiteboards, etc.with worksurfaces are ways to put LiSTEN AND LEARNmovement in the office. No DEDiCATED VC SPACES last, but really first: don’t plan any a space dedicated to one purpose will workplace without engaging withBE oUR GUEST! sit empty — a lot. a videoconferencing workers at all levels. use surveys,when planning workplaces with shared space should be open to any interviews, an outside resource tospaces for mobile workers, take some collaborative meeting and include help uncover internal issues and worktips from the hospitality industry: furniture that works just as hard off process needs, workshops to generatea concierge to greet people and help camera as on. ideas. involved, engaged workers helpthem find what they need; helpful way- create a better work environment andfinding and web-based room scheduling embrace change faster.systems to connect workers with each 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 33
    • ISSUE 61 Photo by: John Hyrniuk with Richard Florida On the economic crisis and its effects on work and the workplace Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and author of, The Great Reset, says the current economic crisis is nothing less than a massive transformation when “new technologies and technological systems arise, the economy is recast and society remade, and the places where we live and work change to suit new needs.” The relentlessly optimistic Florida, dubbed “the Bono of urban philosophers” by a Halifax newspaper, talked with 360 about how this reset affects our personal and professional lives.34 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61How is the use of space evolving?In the Industrial Revolution, we drew this strict dichotomy betweenthe place we live and the place we work. That dichotomy got biggerand bigger thanks to technology. We tended to live in one place andwork in another place. Technology changed, the economy and societychanged, and now we no longer draw the distinction. People will stillcome to work in what we think of as a traditional company office.We also need better and more productive spaces for people to workat home and in third places.We’re going to work Yet people need to workplace dynamics and design,in multiple places? collaborate on work and apply it to third and fourthWe have to live closer to where more than ever. spaces and to workplaces inwe work. We created this There’s a need for somewhat people’s homes. Not to mentionsystem that separated work regulated, not intermittent rethinking what people think ofand home, and taking it to meetings and group work, but as a hotel business center, whichits illogical extreme led us to I don’t think that that need is is a complete abomination.suburbanization and sprawl. very great given the nature of Few of us know how toAs an economy, we’re wasting technology, which really enables design a home office that’shundreds of billions of dollars more collaboration and in a way ergonomic and healthy.with people sitting in traffic. that leverages productivity.We can improve the roads and People do need interaction and For the first time in my life, inbuild high speed rails, but if we collaboration and colleagueship my early fifties, my back wentwant to solve this problem, it and they just need other people out this summer and it causedmeans enabling people to live around them, but I don’t know me not only to buy a better officecloser to where they work and if that’s necessarily other chair but also to learn how to sitbe able to get to work much colleagues. It may be taking and do exercises to strengthenmore easily. How do we take a a walk in your neighborhood, my core. Someone has to comesingle site corporation or single getting a coffee, plugging into along with solutions to dealingsite factory or corporate office, a coffee shop and feeling other with the injuries of the modernand disaggregate it and make it human beings around, or work place: bad backs, straineda part of neighborhoods? That meeting a friend or colleague shoulders, carpal tunnelwould reduce the need for people for lunch. All of this requires syndrome, etc.to be so isolated and it would more research.enable them to live closer to How long will thewhere they work. We’re moving Do you see more people “Great Reset” take?away from is a single workspace working at home? Compared to the historicalin a corporate office, to multiple I think most of us are engaged evidence, with the Greatworkspaces, some of them in a in this mad scramble to build Depression of the 1930s andcorporate self-standing facility, our own office environments. the panic and depression of thesome in a shared facility, some Not only as freelancers and 1970s, I think we’re looking at aof it in a coffee shop, hotel lobby, small business owners, but time scale of about two decades.neighborhood office facility and also as productive peoplesome of them at home. who work at home. We’re That’s a long time. scrambling to figure it out and These are long time scale there I think it’s a ginormous events. They don’t occur as the business opportunity to take the result of any one great thing. knowledge that a company like The Great Reset is really the Steelcase has in ergonomics, culmination of millions and 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 35
    • ISSUE 61 millions of individual resets Do you see differences the kinds of work where manufacturing, service, and that occur over a large time between the generations? you’re applying lots of design, knowledge work, and I think scale, as people slowly but surely Younger people seem to be ingenuity, and creativity that’s where our economy reset their own lives and society saying no. They seem to be to manufactured products. is heading. We’re moving adapts to those changing wants saying, ‘Mom and dad got away from a routine oriented and needs. We have to build new How will these jobs change? economy, to an economy that themselves in a huge amount kinds of cities and new kinds of of trouble with lots of debt, Manufacturing is more global, values creativity and analytical places that are both denser and by over-buying a big suburban investments in manufacturing skills, cognitive skills and bigger, with new infrastructure. house, by having two and three don’t just come from domestic social and team working skills. On the individual level, we’re all cars, and we’re not going to do companies, they’re coming from And we’ll get there. grappling with: How do I change it. We’re either going to bunk all around the world. In order my life, to make my life better, with mom and dad for a while, to make it in manufacturing, happier, and more efficient? or we’re going to move and share we have to become more How do I make the trade offs an apartment with our friends. productive and more creative, in terms of where I live and the And we’re certainly not going and apply the intelligence and neighborhood I live in that’s to go into a big debt with our insights of workers on the shop close to where I work, without house or go overboard in buying floor. The real problem in the commuting horribly long cars.’ People are recalibrating United States is not that we distances, which we know are how they spend their lives. have a labor market where very detrimental to subjective We’re right in the middle knowledge and creative workers wellbeing and happiness? How of these changes. get paid significantly more do I optimize my consumption? than factory workers, it’s that Do I want a big house in the How will the great reset service workers make half of suburbs, do I want to downscale, affect the types of work what a manufacturing worker can I move closer to the city? we do? would make, and a third of I’m working with more affluent what creative and knowledge The big thing is that U.S. individuals who have a lot of workers make. There are 66 manufacturing has become resources to spread around, and million service workers and they so much more productive. they’re saying, ‘I no longer want account for 45% or our work Of course some low scale to spend 70% of my income on force. The biggest agenda item activity shifted to China, housing and cars and energy,’ has to be applying the lessons but we’ve become massively which is about what we spend, we learned in manufacturing more productive by applying on average. It’s unbelievable. and increasing the productivity, knowledge and intelligence With all the other necessities efficiency, innovativeness, and and creativity to production. like food, education, healthcare, creativity of the service sector. We have 20-25% of our work no wonder so many of us went The real lesson is that every force in production activities, into debt. One of the things that single human being should including construction, people are adjusting is their be valued as a creative asset transportation, installation, spending, and that’s taking in all of our companies, so we and maintenance workers. place gradually and over build a creative and knowledge But that’s not going to grow a long time scale as people based economy across the board. a lot. What will grow are make these choices. That includes agriculture,36 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyresay nature can revolutionize industry.It started with a walk in the Their natural products use that’s been working for billions the mistake of a singular focuswoods, noticing how mushrooms a fraction of the total energy of years. We can learn a lot on the bottom line, Ecovativegrew on wood chips and bonded needed to manufacture from it.” is always looking at the triplethem with dense, root-like fibers. synthetics. Moreover, they use bottom line effects of how they If attention is a measure ofThen there were the Tupperware agricultural by-products that operate — planet, people, and success, Ecovative appearscontainers of mushrooms that would otherwise be thrown profit. They try to reduce waste to be well on its way. Theirthey grew under their beds for away, and are completely in every way. For example, work has been supported withclassroom projects while they compostable, returning nutrients most employees walk or bike to awards and grants from variouswere students at Rensselaer to the soil in about 30–45 days. work. They use energy-efficient agencies, including severalPolytechnic Institute. If that isn’t appealing enough, laptops and light bulbs, and heavyweights: the Environmental Ecovative products claim even drink loose tea insteadFrom small beginnings, their Protection Agency, the U.S. another advantage: they’re cost of using tea bags.vision grew big: to become Department of Agriculture, and competitive, says co-foundera world leader in sustainable New York State Energy Research Most of their office furniture Bayer, now the CEO.materials. Soon after they and Development Authority. Fast is reclaimed from what othersgraduated, in 2007 Eben Bayer Harnessing “the incredible Company, Time, The Washington have left out for the trash.and Gavin McIntyre founded efficiency of nature” for Post, and CNN are just some “I’ve always said we won’ta company, Ecovative in Green industrial applications makes of the media that have featured buy new until it comes in ourIsland, N.Y. perfect sense in Bayer’s view. the young entrepreneurs and packaging,” says Bayer. their company, and Bayer wasToday they’re producing organic “Synthetic packaging materials Ecovative recently worked with recently a speaker at the hippackaging and insulation grown are used for just a few weeks or Steelcase to develop the first and hyped TED Global 2010from mycelium, the mushroom months, but then they last for commercial-scale application conference.root fungus. It acts as a resin thousands of years in a landfill. of their packaging materialto bond agricultural by-products, We’d rather design sustainable What’s most important, he says, in the office furniture industry.such as rice hulls or cotton materials that are a renewalable isn’t fame or fortune. Instead, “It may be time to revamp thehusks, to create a material that part of the natural world. After it’s operating their company in office,” says Bayer.can replace Styrofoam and other all, the earth’s ecosystem is a harmony with nature and people.petroleum-derived synthetics. phenomenal recycling machine While many businesses make 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 37
    • ISSUE 61 SEEiNG CAN BooST ViRTUAL TEAMS • 93% of americans have cell phones and soothing sounds from nature. at least one in four virtual teams isn’t or wireless devices, and one third it’s all done in the name of wellbeing, producing at an acceptable level, of those are smart phones. and research suggests it’s an easy and according to new research of more affordable way to reduce absenteeism • computer use has replaced radio as than 100 of them, mostly in high-tech and revive people’s energy levels at the #2 media activity for americans, companies. among the most common work, reports U.S. News & World Report. with TV still #1 and print now #4. pitfalls identified in Virtual Team Success • 1.8 trillion mobile text messages — a Practical Guide for Working and were sent June 2009 – June 2010. Leading From a Distance by darleen derosa and richard lepsinger: • 56.3 billion mobile multimedia messages were sent June 2009 – • lack of cooperation and trust — June 2010. without face-to-face contact, building good relationships takes • The amount of time u.s. kids and time and can be tough. teens spend on the computer has more than tripled in the last 10 years, • lack of engagement — dynamic and teenagers now spend at least personal interaction energizes people. two hours each day texting. without it, they can easily become bored and distracted. The next step • u.s. internet users currently spend URBANoMiCS is to check out — mentally or by 23% of their time online using social people like being closer to each other. leaving the company. either way, networking platforms. for the first time in history, more than talent is wasted. half the world’s population of nearly 7 • facebook is now the third-largest “country” in the world, with a billion are urbanites. close to 180,000 population of more than 500 million of us are moving into cities every day, active users. reports intuit. Just 100 cities currently account for 30% of the world’s economy, • about 70% of facebook users and almost all its innovation. are outside the united states. • people spend over 700 billion WANTED: GooD hEALTh minutes per month on facebook. good health is becoming almost • at last count, Twitter boasted a status symbol. in the u.s., 73% of 75 million user accounts. consumers consider being physically fit important to being “well,” says • skype is now the world’s largest hartman group research. So jUST hoW CoNNECTED ARE WE? carrier of transnational telephone calls. • 90% of the global population • gaining about a million members WoMEN DRiViNG To ThE ToP? has access to mobile networks. a month, linkedin has more than in 2010 women became the majority • 15 years ago, less than 3% of the 50 million members worldwide. of the u.s. workforce for the first time world’s population had a cell phone. in history, and most managers are now Today it’s 50%. PoWER NAPS AT WoRk women as well. about 75% of the 8 • 15 years ago, less than 1% of people a quick snooze on the job is acceptable million jobs lost in the recession were throughout the world were online. behavior at a growing number of lost by men, and women earn an average Today it’s 25%. companies that offer “renewal rooms,” of 42.2% of family income, up from just mats or reclining chairs, or even private 2-6% in 1970. The trend is unlikely to nap rooms complete with aromatherapy stop: 60% of u.s. college graduates are38 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61now women. in china more than 40% and presenteeism (employees at work NEW WoRk PATTERNS ChANGiNGof private businesses are owned by but not engaged) can be three to four hoME DESiGNwomen. “The attributes that are most times higher for employers than the in the so-called “bedroom communities”valuable today — social intelligence, dollars spent in the healthcare system. of 1950s-1980s, office workers got upopen communication, the ability to sit before dawn and returned home afterstill and focus — are, at a minimum, not the sun went down. so who needed orpredominantly male. in fact, the opposite wanted a home office? But now thatmay be true,” speculates The Atlantic. work is mobile, a home office is the newest trend in home design, usurpingBooMERS hiTTiNG RETiREMENT AGE libraries, sewing rooms, formal diningon every day for the next 18 years, rooms, guest rooms, and other “extra7,000 – 10,000 u.s. Baby Boomers spaces” of decades past. steelcasewill celebrate their 65th birthday. researchers say workers with a home office tend to view it as a retreat — a welcoming place for focused,MADE EVERyWhERE individual work — while those who makemore than 35 different contract LESS STRESS, MoRE WoRk do at the proverbial kitchen table tend tomanufacturers around the world provide at least 25% of u.s. respondents to a feel less positive about working at home.the necessary parts for a typical health and productivity study conducted another way that work has affectedmanufacturing company’s goods, and by watson wyatt worldwide in 2009 home design is larger kitchens. nowfor auto and airplane manufacturers the said a lack of technology, equipment that many households are two-income,number can be in the tens of thousands. and tools to do their job was a source cooking duties are shared, requiringTrade in intermediate goods as a of stress, and in canada the number more space. at the same time, livingpercentage of total trade has doubled was even higher at 29%. interestingly, rooms have become smaller; there’sover the past 40 years, say mckinsey an unrelated survey by gensler, the just less time for formal entertaining.researchers. The global trade grid now architecture firm, showed that half of allincludes emerging-to-emerging nations, employees say they’d work an extra hourtoo. Trade flows between china and PRiVACy iS A MoViNG TARGET per day if they had a better workplace.africa have been growing by 30 percent cell phones have introduced newannually, and asia is now the middle methods for securing privacy. most ShRiNkiNG WoRkSPACESeast’s largest trading partner. noticeable, say steelcase researchers, The average amount of space per is people seeking privacy by movingSMART STUFF employee in the u.s. has dropped to 250 rapidly through space so that only square feet from 400 square feet in 1985, snippets of their conversation can bemore than two-thirds of new and it’s expected to drop to 150 square overheard. You notice this behaviorproducts made today have some form feet within 10 years, according to Jones especially in airports and office lobbies;of smart technology, and more than lang lasalle, the commercial brokerage unfortunately, in parks, restaurants,35 billion are connected to the internet. and property manager. and the workstation next to yours —mckinsey aptly calls the trend“the internet of things.” not so much.PooR hEALTh CoSTS EMPLoyERSas healthcare costs rise, a recent studyby pricewaterhousecooper’s healthresearch institute says related costs —lost productivity, absenteeism, 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 39
    • ISSUE 61 “A 360 DiSCUSSioN: EDUCATiNG ThE CREATiVE LEADERS oF ToMoRRoW” In today’s fast-paced, global business environment, how can educators best prepare students to lead in this interconnected world? What skills must leaders in the 21st century possess and how can the education system help develop those skills? Join Steelcase live online for a 360 Discussion event as some of the most influential thinkers in higher education discuss these themes. Moderator and former BusinessWeek reporter Reena Jana will lead Roger Martin, dean of Rotman School of Management (left); Daniel Pink, Best-Selling Author (center) and Jim Keane, president of Steelcase group (right) in the lively discussion. Watch live online Friday, March 18, 10:30 EST at www.360.steelcase.com or www.facebook.com/steelcase. SPARk hoNoRS STEELCASE Three high-performance Steelcase seating products were honored by the 2010 Spark Awards, an international design competition. node, a mobile, flexible chair that supports the way students learn today, received a Spark! Award – the highest honor in the competition. Collaborative seating products i2i® and cobi® earned gold and silver awards, respectively. “The Spark Competition is a globally prestigious and competitive award,” said James Ludwig, vice president of Global Design for Steelcase. “Steelcase is honored to have not one but three chairs among its recipients. We based all three products on extensive ethnographic research, and truly sought to design products for the classroom and office which addressed the need to connect and collaborate that students and office workers face each day.” The winning products are on permanent display in Spark’s unique design display at San Francisco’s Autodesk Design Gallery. Launched in 2007, the Spark Awards promote better living through better design. The jury seeks products from designers around the globe – with any range of skill and education – that address problems through design. The awards for node, i2i and cobi (below) are the first for Steelcase in the Spark Awards.40 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity °
    • ISSUE 61Boy oh BoyThe node classroom chair was recently awarded the Interior DesignMagazine’s “Best Product of the Year” Award in the Contract/Task Jim Keane, president of Steelcase Group,Seating Category. The Best of Year (BoY) Awards is the preeminent and Angela Nahikian, director of globaldesign competition recognizing superior interior design products environmental sustainability, recently satand projects in more than 50 categories. down for a chat with CBS’s SmartPlanet.In addition, Steelcase’s recently introduced FrameOne™ benching In an article called “Rethinking the corporatesolution was named a Best of Year Honoree. office for the 21st century” the two discussed the role of green buildings in corporateBest of Year Product Design award winners and honorees were sustainability, the value of rethinkingselected by interior designers and architects via an online vote the design of office spaces, the needsduring a two-week period last October, and winners were of a 21st-century workplace and thedetermined by a jury of leading architects and designers. impact of emerging technology. http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/ smart-takes/rethinking-the-corporate-office- for-the-21st-century/13282/DESiGN yoUR SoLE joiN ThE CoNVERSATioNThis spring Steelcase is giving designers in Dallas a chance Connect with Steelcase via social media and let us know what you’re thinking.to ‘style their sole’ while giving back to the community.Steelcase partnered with TOMS shoes and a local Dallas Facebookhigh school to give designers a chance to decorate a pair http://www.facebook.com/Steelcaseof TOMS and make a contribution to improve the school. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Coa-With product donated to the school from Steelcase, the designers lesse/51331944213will support the updated space renovation as well as participate http://www.facebook.com/TurnstoneFurniturein a book drive. TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie will http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nurture-by-Steel-present to students and attendees at the event, which will take case/121261541235551place at the high school.  All students will have the opportunity ...................................................................................to participate artistically through styling their sole in art classand select students will also design their very own pair of TOMS Twittershoes. For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, the company http://twitter.com/steelcasegives one pair to a child in need around the world. http://twitter.com/coalesse http://twitter.com/Turnstone_bySCS http://twitter.com/nurtureasksNEW GEN y RESEARCh FRoM iNDiA & ChiNA ...................................................................................As residents of the world’s hottest centers of economic growth, young youTubepeople in India and China are breaking new ground while surrounded by http://www.youtube.com/user/STEELCASETVtraditions. Providing the best workplaces for these workers starts with http://www.youtube.com/user/coalesseunderstanding what their generation is all about. A new white paper fromSteelcase examines these workers and their impact on the workplace. http://www.youtube.com/user/turnstonefurniture http://www.youtube.com/user/nurture09Learn more about the research at steelcase.com ................................................................................... BlogLook Who’S TALkiNG! http://blog.steelcase.com/ http://blog.nurture.com/Fast Company’s Co. Design site (which according to the site tries tobridge the fuzzy border between design and business) recently ran“How Steelcase Redesigned the 21st Century College Classroom.”The article highlights how learning has changed but classrooms havenot and cites how Steelcase LearnLab environments and partnershipswith Arizona State University and Richland Community College havehelped remedy this by creating classrooms where “at long last,cooperative learning is primed for center stage”.http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662898/how-steelcase-redesigned-the-21st-century-college-classroom 360.steelcase.com Leveraging Complexity ° 41
    • 360.steelcase.comThe magazine of workplace research, insight, and trends