Telecommuters aside, we spend at least eight hours a day at work. So why is the office so unbearable?
(And no, your micromanaging boss isn’t the only reason.)
Your company’s office costs it an awful lot of money — especially if it’s located in a major metropolitan area, like most companies’ are — yet for some reason it’s often not optimized for the work being done inside it.
LUNAR’s John Edson writes at Co.Design that it doesn’t have to be that way. When his company moved locations three years ago from a makeshift hub to a proper studio in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood, he realized that there were essential elements that couldn’t be short-changed in an office: the space for employees to express themselves (”voice”), the office as a stand-in for company values (”culture”) and the guidelines that nothing’s permanent (”flexibility”).
Does no one sit in the common areas? Is the kitchen merely a room for the refrigerator? Does the lighting evoke a prison environment? Does anyone really know your name?
Because companies can’t draw a direct line between profits and workspace, it’s often difficult for established companies to bring a facilities manager on board with the idea. But in the 21st century, corporate executives are going to need to find ways to stay a step ahead of the fully customized home office.