26 BUILDINGS 05.14
both true,” says Fran Ferrone, director of the Center for
Workplace Innovation at Mancini Duffy, a New York City-
based architecture and interiors practice.
Measuring productivity can also be tricky, but Ferrone
believes that it can be done with metrics that have adequate
emphasis on people – a firm’s most valuable and expensive
resource – and not on real estate alone. Data from different departments, including human resources, finance, and
product development, may be needed. While each organization needs to develop its own benchmarks, metrics may
include the average number of applicants for positions, top
applicants successfully recruited, absentee days, staff turnover, and average time required to complete new projects or
Transitioning to Alternative Spaces
Change always creates unknowns and obstacles. To gauge
the impact of new layouts, Ferrone recommends that firms
develop a pilot and be sure to communicate its goals and
benefits to all.
The potential benefits of greater productivity are so great
that firms should continually evaluate their space. Business
models stayed much the same over the previous century, but
now they evolve rapidly and the workspace should evolve
with them. “People need to experiment a little and not wait
until events like a lease expiration or new requirements
force a review,” says Ferrone.
The following articles in this issue’s Blurring Office
Boundaries Report provide ideas for alternative spaces,
including kitchens and cafés designed for collaboration,
reception areas that double as lounges or town hall spaces,
quiet rooms that supersede private offices, and wellness and
recreation features. B
Chris Olson firstname.lastname@example.org is content director
DATA POINTS ABOUT OFFICE PRODUCTIVITY
Walking boosts creativity by 60% over sitting, according to
a Stanford University study. But the research discovered no
measurable effect on focused thinking.
A survey of financial services firms by architect/engineer
HOK found that meeting rooms are oversized. Some 73% of
meetings involve two to four people but most meeting room
space is designed for much larger groups.
The HOK survey also found that more space in financial firms
is being allotted to conference space. For each workspace
seat, three-fourths of a collaborative seat is allocated.
Workers with access to sunlight are 18% more productive,
says the World Green Building Council (WGBC).
The average American spends 7. 7 hours each day sitting,
which has been linked to muscular degeneration, disorders
of the back, neck and leg, and some types of cancer.
The Harvard Business Review reported data showing that
when salespeople interact 10% more with coworkers from
other teams, their sales grow by 10%.
According to a study cited by WGBC, a CO2 level of 1,000
ppm has a detrimental impact (11–22%) on decision-making tasks compared to CO2 at 600 ppm. WGBC also
quotes research showing that occupant performance is
reduced by 4% at overly cool temperatures and 6% at
Would You Use Alternative Workspaces?
What prevents you from doing so?
39% Lack of alternative spaces
24% Spaces are not properly furnished/equipped
23% Lack of technology to support work
15% Perception of peers and/or management
SOURCE: MANCINI DUFFY