Workplace by design: mapping the high-performance workscape

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Jossey-Bass Publishers, Apr 21, 1995 - Business & Economics - 228 pages
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Space is an organization's second most valuable resource, yet little attention is paid to how it supports the new ways of working or the high-performance business strategies driving corporations today. In Workplace by Design, Franklin Becker and Fritz Steele address the missing link for a successfully reengineered organization: the reengineered office. With graphic illustrations and examples from Levi Strauss, Chrysler Corporation, Steelcase, Chiat/Day and others, the authors show how to plan, design, and manage a total workplace in which space is a tool for achieving business goals, not a drain on profits. They demonstrate how managers, executives, human resource specialists, and design consultants can keep the physical work setting from undermining the success of workplace initiatives - such as teamwork, telecommuting, and cross-functional collaboration - that encourages high performance. Workplace by Design illustrates how companies have treated effective alternative workplace strategies and successfully put aside conventionally awkward notions of space - based on hierarchy and status - that separate teammates, pit departments against each other in turf wars, and tie up company cash. The book shows, for example, how Aetna Life and Casualty adapts to department reorganizations by utilizing one-size-fits-all workstations with furniture tailored to different functions; how IBM enhances productivity by equipping salespeople with home fax machines and laptop computers that keep them connected to their customers; how Apple Computer stimulates the creativity of its research and development team with informal and lively break areas. Workplace by Design shows how diverse companies haveimplemented total workplace strategy to effectively involve designers, consultants and internal staff in diagnosing and solving space problems.

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About the author (1995)

FRANKLIN BECKER is director of the International Workplace Studies Program at Cornell University and president of Becker-Sims Associates, Inc.

FRITZ STEELE was formerly on the faculty of Yale and Harvard Universities, and is a principal and founder of the Portsmouth Consulting Group.