[This article is the second of a two-part series based on findings from the 2008 Gensler Workplace Survey.]

In this article the author revisits the Gensler Workplace Survey and briefly touches on the nature of the four work modes of focusing, collaborating, learning and socializing. She briefly touches on the major findings discussed in the first article, noting that workers put as much effort into collaborating, learning and socializing as they do on focusing by themselves and that employees at top-performing companies believe that time spent on non-focus work is more critical to job success than do workers at average companies.

The meat of this article, however, is an exploration of how companies have begun to redesign their workplaces to support the four modes of work. Examples are provided of design strategies that help to develop work environments that reflect company culture and encourage employees to spend higher-quality time in the modes that most influence their productivity. Each of the four modes is then treated separately and readers are given advice on how to stimulate and nurture the activities native to each. The key, according to the author, is to move from an emphasis on individually focused effort to the more collaborative efforts needed to address major complex problems. At this point it is deemed critical to support the transition with learning programs that provide employees with added expertise as well as to stimulate socializing between workers that will lead to the kind of trust and spirited interactions that solve problems and spark innovation.

Source: Janet Pogue, Employee Benefit News; Mar 1, 2009, v23 i3 p1.

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