When high quality design standards are applied to the office environment,
it becomes obvious that most people
work in surroundings that communicate compromise in design, superficial quality, and ambiguity in daily
operation. How does your physical environment facilitate or block your creativity on an intimate level each
moment of the day? This Domain is overtly focused on the physical world, yet its affect on you is spiritual
mental and physical. Creating the work environment as a tool for human productivity and as an expression
of the individualís worth is the act of building the enterprise's body.
In the modern workplace, we tend to discount the importance of the physical
environment: its effect on
productivity is seldom noted, except when basic standards (such as lighting or temperature control) are
not met. Contrary to this perception, the physical environment, from its broadest form down to the design
and placement of furniture and "decorative" elements, has a profound effect on the productivity, creativity
and well being of each individual within it.
This relationship of environment and performance is recognized in the
sales room, where the design of the
space, choice of materials, and daily management are aligned to communicate quality, integrity, and
certainty to the client.
The physical environment is a tool for facilitating the tempo and quality
of individual and teamwork.
Along with issues of quality, a key aspect is adaptability. With the ability to change environmental
components such as the size of session rooms, configuration of workstations, and the form of displayed
information, the physical space can assist the work process of an individual, a small team, interaction
between teams, or the group process of a large group.
A Management Center- like environment can be replicated throughout an
organization, providing tools for
teams to manage projects and track their progress, to coordinate daily and weekly tasks, to support small
and large group solutions, and increase the information- managing capacity of the entire organization.
Team should be "thinking big" and able to grasp complex problems. By
allowing all members to see
proposed solutions in detail as they evolve.
THE ENVIRONMENT AS SYSTEM
DEFINITION: " The environment as system" means that all of the architectural and physical components (including desks, workstations and tools) are designed to operate together as a system that supports the flow of information and the specific work processes involved. Such a system should have a cohesive design, appropriate integration and clear intended function.
ORGANIZATION & DISPLAY OF INFORMATION
DEFINITION: The physical environment can play a major role in organizing and communicating information; when used to display and update the information most critical to each team, each department, and the entire corporation, the environment becomes a tool that coordinates and focuses activity throughout the organization.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND TOOLS
DEFINITION: The design of each workstation and each work area should provide the user with easy access to the information and tools required by the work. Workstation design, for example, generally neglects the need to manage information as it is created and used across a variety of forms, such as books, reports, papers, planning maps, video image and computer/ electronic display and manipulation.
DEFINITION: Adaptability means the ease with which the physical environment of a facility may be modified to accommodate different needs and work modes, as projects move from one stage of activity to another.
PROMOTING CREATIVITY AND HEALTH
DEFINITION: The quality and feel of a place can be conducive to productivity, creativity, and healthó or notó depending on a multitude of choices made in its design and construction. Information- intensive work in particular requires a workplace that provides a strong "sense of place," rich in sensory appealó high- texture, high- color, with a strong use of plants.
DEFINITION: Daily management of the environment means to ensure that work areas are free from clutter and disorder at the close of each day and at the completion of each project. This requires an uncommon discipline; but just as other environmental elements do affect the quality of work, so does the management of your desk, workstation, and office.
Copyright MG Taylor Corporation, 1998