Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Tag Archives: Productivity

Psychology of the Office Space [Infographic]

A look at the history of the office reveals that office space configurations have changed considerably over time. Naturally, different space configurations impact workers differently (and of course, at the individual level, the manner in which physical space impacts people depends on the individual’s personality, job, and tasks the individual performs). More specifically, environmental space can positively or negatively impact attention spans, productivity, creativity, job satisfaction, and stress level.

University of Southern California, Dornsife, designed an infographic that expands upon this subject. Personally, I find myself agreeing with this assessment of the complete open office plan. However, I doubt that this phenomena, along with cubicles and private offices, will become extinct. A reduction? Yes. However, the complete absence of such configurations? No.

Not only do companies and work cultures vary, but there’s also great heterogeneity when it comes to people, the roles they play at work, and the types of tasks they perform. So, I think that there will always be a need for a variety of office configurations even if some configurations are more prevalent than others. For example, those who deal with sensitive information and interactions (like lawyers, doctors, and therapists) will continue to need a private office. This infographic is surely thought-provoking. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Better Collaboration: A Year in Review & Invitation for Event Suggestions

Better Collaboration


In the past year, Better Collaboration has had the honor of featuring a number of distinguished presenters speaking about virtual collaboration issues at our events. The subjects of these events ranged from demonstrations of collaboration platforms and tools such as Sqwiggle, Sococo, and Rofori to actionable methods for ensuring effective virtual meetings as well as facilitating virtual team collaboration, social cohesion, and productivity. To summarize, here are all of the presenters in chronological order: Read more of this post

10 Shocking Stats About Employee Engagement [Infographic]

Are these percentages shocking? Perhaps not to those of us who’re very intimately acquainted with the typical work scene. Likewise, perhaps not to those of us who’ve been following the issue of work engagement for a long while and are familiar with what studies have been saying. However, it’s important for leaders and managers to familiarize themselves with the concept of engagement, its implications, and what may be the reality at their organization. Take a look at this infographic, see if this describes the scenario at your organization, and share! Read more of this post

Images of Industrial Age Office Work: Clock Watcher

Clock Watcher 16" X 20" acrylic Copyright © 2013 by Nathan Myhre

Clock Watcher 16″ X 20″ acrylic
Copyright © 2013 by Nathan Myhre

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Nathan Myhre would be contributing art that represents the life of the average Industrial Age knowledge worker. I say “Industrial Age” even when it comes to post-Industrial parts of the world because we’re still bidding a long and difficult farewell to the Industrial Age work-style with most knowledge workers coming, going, and working essentially the same work-shift (9-to-5). What’s the alternative? Harness and utilize today’s technology to give workers more control over where and when they work as well as to work more productively. Read more of this post

This one is for those who think that work environment doesn’t matter

As a strong proponent of giving people more control over where they work, it was only a short matter of time before I ran up against those who erroneously insist that work environment doesn’t matter. Their claim is that the only thing that matters is that you’re doing what you’re good at and that it doesn’t matter where you are doing this at. They don’t get it. If work environment really doesn’t matter, then the following clip from the popular film Office Space would not register as anything significant. What’s the difference anyway if Milton works on the same floor as everyone else or in the basement if work environment doesn’t matter? Read more of this post

Work-Life Detours: Reflections on Yahoo’s Remote Work Policy Change

English: Yahoo! headquarters

English: Yahoo! headquarters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By now many of you have heard the news about Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, requiring all remote workers, regardless of where they live, to become onsite office workers or else quit. Even those who telecommute one or two days a week will no longer be able to do so. If you haven’t heard about this, here’s the story in a nutshell: Read more of this post

Why Managing Sucks and How to Fix it

Conventional wisdom posits that the needs of employees and their employer are at odds with each other, however this assumption is not necessarily true. A mutually symbiotic relationship granting employees freedom and flexibility while increasing engagement and, hence, productivity is achievable! Why Managing Sucks and How to Fix it: A Results-Only Guide to Taking Control of Work, Not People will force you to examine how you think about work as well as how we unknowingly support the current, conventional view of work through the establishment and use of flexible work arrangements. Conventional flexible work arrangements, by the way, can’t achieve what a results-only work environment (ROWE) can. Read more of this post

They need to see you there to know that you are working… Not!

Any knowledge workers here ever pretend to work? Perhaps you’ve squinted your eyes to feign concentration as you gaze at that document you’re working on and, all the while, thought about what you’re going to have for dinner. People around you just tended to assume you’re working right? If pretending to work is new to you, head on over to Google and search “how to pretend to work” or “how to look busy at work” and you will find that some people have it down to a science. How did we ever get here? You can gain an understanding about the problem of measuring knowledge work productivity by reading GSA Enterprise Transformation’s Knowledge Worker Productivity: Challenges, Issues, Solutions (click to download).  As of the year 2011, the author explains (pp. 2-3): Read more of this post


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