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Workspace Planning: Transforming a Traditional Workplace for a Diverse WorkforceDecember 20, 2012
If you want to transform your organization’s productivity, start with your workspace. Modern workspace planning aims to get maximum productivity out of a diverse workforce while maintaining a high degree of job satisfaction. Different demographics tend to prefer different situations — traditionalists and “baby boomers,” for instance, respond more readily to rigidly-defined hierarchies and work environments, while later generations prefer the freedom and flexibility of cloud computing, online collaboration and nontraditional hours. Today’s children will become a “Net Generation” of workers who have never known a world without mobile data networking, collaborative virtual environments and instantaneous global communication.
Any workspace that wants to break out of the traditional mold, therefore, must make sure it invests in a technological infrastructure built around virtualization and distributed computing. This may include the installation of routers, switches, wireless local area networks, open networks for remote collaboration and access controls to give employees the appropriate permissions. This off-site work capability enables you to make optimal use of your facility’s physical space for anyone who needs it instead of reserving designated spaces that may end up sitting idle most of the time.
For those who do work together in the same facility, the traditional office space may also need a facelift. Rows of enclosed cubicles and hallways of closed office doors discourage collaboration and the free exchange of ideas — the workspace of tomorrow will be all about flexible spaces that offer various levels of openness suited for a wide range of group and individual applications. Local cultural influences will also find their way into the decor, arrangement and overall “feel” of each space. As each culture works in the environment that it feels most comfortable with, both productivity and job retention rates benefit. The end result? A workplace that really works.