Friday, July 17, 2009

World 2.0 - Emerging Work Strategies Changing the Workplace

How to cope in today's changed marketplace? What kinds of choices may company executives make in today's harsh economic climate to help lower business costs? Can green and sustainability principles be of help for companies seeking to regenerate themselves? Steelcase's Workplace Futures Group headquartered in Grand Rapids just recently produced a fascinating Deep Dive 360 for June, How Emerging Work Strategies are Changing the Workplace: Telecommuting was just the beginning.

Here's are two lists from the Study. They summarize data gained from a joint Steelcase and CoreNet Global 2009 Sate of the Industry Report, March 31, 2009. So the data is fairly fresh and perhaps helpful. It certainly identifies the kinds of choices and behaviors organizations have made in the last year or so as the economy melted down. However, many are short sighted stop gap measures, and do not offer healthy sustainable long-term choices.


  1. Redesign office space to increase density

  2. Deferment of capital projects / Expansion plans

  3. Implement telework programs

  4. Accelerate projects that reduce ongoing expenses

  5. Restructure leases

  6. Shift work to lower cost locations

  7. Move to lower cost facilities

  8. Cancel capital projects / expansion plans

  9. Reduce / Defer maintenance

  10. Sale of owned properties

  11. Exercise early termination options in leases


  1. Telework or telecommuting in which an employee works from home, substituting telecommunications for the commute to work.

  2. Mobile work, a work style in which a person consistently uses multiple spaces, both inside and out of the office, to accomplish his/her work.

  3. Hotelling temporary workspaces assigned through a reservation system; typically used by mobile workers but also used by any worker not near his/her assigned workstation.

  4. Home office used as an alternative location to the primary office. Employees may work from home on a set schedule or on an as-needed basis.

  5. Satellite offices which are smaller spaces located in areas closer to employee’s homes for greater convenience.

Does any of this help you and your company? Are you and your team exploring other strategies which are working for you? What are they? Largely absent are longer term Green Workplace Strategies and a Triple Bottom Lined approaches putting People, Planet and Profits into the overall space strategy equation.

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