Research Shows That Companies That Do This One Thing Increase Worker Productivity by 25%

When we think productivity, we rarely think of workplace design as a major contributor or detractor, but compelling ongoing research shows that it plays a much larger role than initially thought. According to research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, an empowered office environment can increase worker productivity on cognitive tasks by 25%, and possibly more.

Workspace design today is undergoing a major creative shift. We’ve gone from cubicles (people are productive in isolation) to open-plan spaces (collaboration leads to success) to what I believe is the next major step – integrated multi-function design which recognizes that people need multiple spaces based on their ongoing and changing needs within a business day.

Instead of looking out across rows of cubicles, today’s office worker needs a mix of team meeting rooms, open lounge-like areas, and private workspaces.

This is the “empowered office” – an office in which workers can choose their work environment. It’s a design concept that’s gaining traction – and not only because it creates more pleasant workspaces. It also has a powerful influence on worker productivity.

Great office design isn’t just for startups anymore

Major tech companies and Silicon Valley startups were among the first to embrace the concept of the empowered office. The New York Times recently highlighted Microsoft for its forward-thinking office designs, which incorporate everything from “isolation rooms,” or soundproof private spaces, to comfy central lounges with large tables and couches.

What’s really exciting, however, is that this way of thinking about space – specifically, about the ways that spaces influence behavior – is becoming more mainstream.  

“The great thing we are seeing, as far as transformative spaces in the workplace, is that these principles are being adopted across all disciplines – all fields and industries,” says Architectural Designer Jared Skinner, co-founder at MADE Design. “Companies are realizing that these best practices are bolstering not only creative collaboration – often seen as a soft skill, but productivity and results. It’s impacting the bottom line.”

Striking the perfect balance between privacy and collaboration

When it comes to progressive, transformative workspaces. some of the most successful companies have been the ones that aren’t afraid to experiment.

At Microsoft, for example, designers began testing open team workspaces in one specific area in one building. Through experimentation, they learned that the spaces they’d started with were too open – they were built for 16 to 24 software engineers, and those who worked in them found them to be too loud and distracting.

Working with that knowledge, Microsoft then adjusted those team spaces till they held just 8 to 12 engineers, which the company – and more importantly, the employees – believe to be ideal.

To achieve higher productivity, then, companies must embrace the need for creativity and flexibility. They must allow themselves to try out new configurations and change them as needed, adding in more private spaces, perhaps, or bringing in standing desks, or creating smaller collaborative work stations.  

Workspace design must embrace our digital, connected reality

Just as today’s consumers are constantly connected, so are today’s workers. What’s more, they’re mobile – work no longer has to be tied to a desk or an office.

When designing workspaces, it’s crucial to take these realities into account. But it takes more than an espresso machine or a pingpong table to make your workspace truly progressive, and thereby productive. If you’re not baking the principles of empowerment, connectedness, and mobility into your office design at its most basic level, then you can easily end up with a workspace that feels gimmicky and disingenuous.

That’s not to mention that you won’t be reaping the real productivity benefits of empowered office design.

Integrated design is a must for attracting talent – especially among Millennials and Gen Z

Millennials and members of Generation Z take connectivity for granted in their workspaces, so companies that want to truly stay ahead of the pack must go further.

We need to create designs that engage members of these generations. This isn’t the old model of engagement, either – Millennials and Gen Zers have a completely unique approach to engaging with spaces that’s based on more than just technology. To be successful, companies must keep these new sensibilities in mind as they design or renovate their workspaces.

This shift in workplace design is both responding to and influencing the new ways we’re defining work in the digital age. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be working at the intersection of design and branding, as we do at MADE.

To quote my co-founder, Jared Skinner, once more: “We’re living in an evolve-or-die day and age. Smart companies are being proactive and taking initiative to welcome this much-needed change.”

Tech

PossibleNOW Helps Companies Avoid Consumer Privacy Litigation

PossibleNOW’s suite of technology solutions helps companies conduct activities that are compliant with TCPA, CASL and other consumer privacy rules

(PRWeb September 08, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/08/prweb13646239.htm


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Companies Back Microsoft's Effort to Alert Users When Authorities Seek Their Data

Those companies, as well as media firms and big companies that use cloud-computing services, have filed briefs in support of a suit Microsoft brought …


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BrandPost: Companies Leading in the Cloud: Firstronic

Many manufacturers share these goals – optimize time-to-market, maximize quality, and minimize costs – and Firstronic LLC is no exception.

Firstronic, an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider serving a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, commercial, industrial tier ones, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), wanted to grow its business while also maintaining the service and quality levels its customers had come to expect. To accomplish this, Firstronic realized its internal infrastructure and information system capabilities needed updating.

Firstronic evaluated several cloud-based ERP solutions and in the end chose the Plex Manufacturing Cloud—in part due to ease of implementation and superior functionality.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIO Cloud Computing


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These are 50 of Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies (fine, they’re baby EUnicorns)

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(Tech.eu) – For the second year running, Tech Tour has presented its ‘Growth 50’ list at yesterday’s Growth Forum (the organization’s flagship event) in Switzerland.

The list represents 50 of Europe’s fastest-growing tech businesses, which regular Tech.eu readers will no doubt be able to identify as baby EUnicorns, albeit with a light chuckle.

Tech Tour, together with Silverpeak Investment Bank and in conjunction with a selection committee of international investors from firms like Accel Partners, DN Capital, Earlybird and Highland Europe, has researched and evaluated over 175 European private tech companies valued under $ 1 billion.

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The organization claims the Tech Tour Growth 50 companies have created over 8, 000 high-tech jobs, attracted over $ 3.5 billion of investment, and have an estimated combined valuation of $ 14.2 billion.

Compared to 2015, the composition of the list has changed significantly in terms of vertical, with ‘B2C eCommerce’ dropping in importance (from 50% to 30%) and FinTech –unsurprisingly – coming up strongly.

Here are some more interesting facts and figures, straight from the report:

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