As a self-professed codger, curmudgeon, and contrarian, I am increasingly disturbed that so many “designed solutions” of built environments have very little to do with design thinking, understanding users’ requirements, or meeting a specific goal. They are mostly just presumptive designs. By that I mean, the design meets a single or set of underlying assumption(s) most often based on rather tenuous logic.
Presumptive design has dominated approaches to workplaces for more than a decade, resulting in so-called designed solutions that include smaller and smaller individual space, more openness, and less enclosure. In truth, this meets one primary goal: reducing the cost per occupant of these workplaces.
This paper by James Detert and Ethan Burris in Harvard Business Review has an interesting take on something that has been in the news a lot lately (and even a TED talk). The topic is “power posing” and the basic message is that if you adopt a power pose you exert a wide range of influences. It creates an internal frame by making you more confident in yourself. Even if you can’t see yourself in the pose, you know you are doing it.
Studies on power posing show that intentionally adjusting your body posture, facial expressions, and voice can help you express your ideas and concerns and win greater influence. This is true no matter what title or position you hold. Simply comporting yourself as if you’re a rung or two higher makes people act more deferentially toward you. Often, they’re not fully aware that they’re responding this way, yet the effect is in full force in any kind of hierarchy, whether it’s based on formal or informal status.
Note from the Editor: We are pleased to have the first guest post from the site manager – France Jackson. I don’t expect it will be the last, so please give her a warm welcome as you post your comments.
We have done a series of articles centered around the workplace environment. There have been numerous pieces on standing desks, leaning workstations and a modern collaborative space. But with many companies shifting to mobile workers and telecommuting, the home has become the workplace for many Americans. According to Green Biz, companies can save up to $10,000 per employee a year by having workers telecommute. A recent article by Fast Company highlights the homes of some of the “top creatives from around the world”. The article mentions how creative offices spaces are designed to inspire, but inspiration starts at home.
I don’t know about you, but I find this to be incredible intriguing. I am not ready to say yet whether I think it would actually work, but it is certainly thought-provoking and a great topic for this week’s “Thought-Provoking Thursday.”
Forget standing desks. In the office of the future, you might lean instead—supported by giant rock-like sculptures that designers argue are a healthier, more active way to work than anything that’s come before. A prototype of the office design is now on display in Amsterdam.
Fortune Magazine recently published its annual 100 Best Companies to Work For issue. This is important to all of us, because we spend so many hours of our lives each week working. That is why we have covered workplace design and teleworking here at EID.
Now … drumroll, please! … Our winner for my Best Company to Work For is an organization that enjoys a strong leader, very clear goals, a truly disruptive vision focused on growth, with high stakes, and when the day is done, it’s Stoli time.
I just finished reading Jonah Berger’s book Contagious: Why Things Catch On. In his chapter on triggers, he talks about a phenomenon that is pretty well established in marketing. People are more likely to wear the same brand of shirts as their coworkers and friends than they are to wear the same brand of socks. The visibility of the social proof matters, especially for product categories that we don’t talk about a lot (like our brand of socks)…