Ingredients for an Effective Work Environment
What is required in order to realize a work environment that helps the people and the organization work comfortably, effectively and efficiently? In 2006, this question was the starting point for a joint initiative by the Center for People and Buildings and the Rijksgebouwendienst to publish the first Planning Office Spaces workplace guide. This publication functioned as a practical guide and inspiration to anybody in any way involved in thinking about or developing new work environments. The book was a resounding success. It was consequently translated into multiple languages (including English, French, Spanish, Chinese). Click here to learn more. The book was updated in 2013.
The core of the book is "hardware," an overview (sampler) of ingredients for contemporary workplaces, meeting spaces and facilities. In total, 30 places are described, illustrated with three photographs per workplace. A number of case examples are included as well, providing the reader with an insight into the various solutions encountered in practice. The "software" involved in developing and designing a new work environment is also discussed briefly; process stages, crucial decisions, workplace placement relative to each other, frequently encountered complaints in more open environments, and tips to avoid them. The book is intended to be approachable; technical specifications and similar are kept to a minimum.
Who and when?
The Planning Office Spaces workplace guide is intended for two groups of readers. On the one hand, office users incidentally involved with accommodations issues: managers, works council members, project or focus groups, etc. On the other hand, the professionally concerned: designers, facility managers, consultants, students.
The book is useful during the initial stages, in exploring the possibility of an innovative office concept, as well as during the development phase (e.g. in choosing the workplaces). It may also be used during implementation, to inform end users about the new accommodations concept.
What good is it?
The Planning Office Spaces workplace guide quickly familiarizes managers and end users with the world of physical work environments. The book thus contributes to better decision-making, a good dialogue between the user and the consultant/designer, and improved support for new accommodations. The book is also intended to encourage architects, facility managers, real estate specialists and other accommodations professionals to pay more attention to the "people" aspects of accommodations for organizations.