Walls, Productivity, and Doing Your Best Work

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Chair of the Month

A round-up of the best answers to our most recent “Questions of the Week”.

We asked… “How do you measure office productivity?”

“By speaking with the building occupants on how they feel about their environment.” – Jourdan McCombe, RBS

“It seems to me that every office space needs to be measured using criteria that are established by the management of the office. As a designer of workplaces, we look to the client group to define the behavior that they want to inspire (i.e., increased creativity, speed, better accuracy). If the design of the space is a good one, the defined objectives will be met.” – Lynn R. McGregor, McGregor Design Group (read her recent article, “Measuring Productivity Over Time”)

“Usually employee productivity is ascertained via customer surveys using questions that ask whether the office environment and/or space types meet their needs. Also questions can address barriers to productivity and time wasted getting access to information, for example. In most situations results are tracked over time, or in comparison to internal benchmarks, rather than an absolute value.” – Sasha Lacey

We asked… “Where do you do your best work?”

“The gym! As unproductive as it sounds, it really teaches me how to focus in on a goal, and I really push myself to get to the finish line. This lesson applies directly to being in the office and having distractions, tasks with deadlines, and an end vision. As long as I stay hydrated, stay focused and keep looking towards the end, things always get done.” – Jordan Nolan, Georgia Department of Public Safety

“I get my best work done at home, because I can focus best in a quiet place with no distractions.” – M. Pittman, DBI Architects

“I go to a quiet coffee shop to get 60 minutes of quality head down work done. The change of scenery and a cup of coffee always seem to invoke a focused / productive time. For whatever reason, when the task is done, it just feels like I was super productive and accomplished something. KInd of puts a start and finish on things.” – Jay, Great Places Company

“In the middle of large open space space, standing at big table, surrounded by people! Love the buzz, like to be in the center of activity, like instant feedback from casual comments as people pass by!” – B. Visnick, Visnick & Caulfield

We asked… “What’s the role of walls in today’s work environment?”

“Collaboration is the word! What was once a barrier can become the venue for sharing information, ideas, project updates, Safety initiatives, and so on. A wall can be a floor to ceiling white board, chalk board, or cork board. Works great in a child’s room or play area too. A transparent wall keeps noise levels down and can still serve like a white board.” – Chris P.

“After working with a modular wall system such as DIRTT I have come to realize that a wall can do much more than just divide a space. Walls provide an opportunity to enhance and expand a space for increased productivity, more collaboration, and even improved health. As an example DIRTT Breath Walls are potted plants that hang off the wall. This allows for a brighter more oxygen rich environment improving working conditions. To increase collaboration you can have write away surfaces, embedded video conferencing equipment, and touch monitors which allows groups of people to work on fly. People are just beginning to think about innovative ways in which walls can be used. Great question.” – R. Ferons, Bialek Environments

“Use walls to represent a historic timeline of your brand/company like Heinz have recently done with ‘Wall 57’ in their new European Innovation Centre. Rather than a timeline in chronological order, this wall combines Heinz’s 5 pillars of innovation and draws on each to create a fascinating delve into the brand’s past, present and future.” – Jordanne, Acrylicize

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