The Adaptive Office: Remember The Humans

Business owners and facilities managers are embracing the benefits of new flexible workspaces – maximized space utilization, minimized build-out costs – but for many workers, changing the old office environment may be an unwelcome update. Without an enthusiastic majority eager for change, facilities professionals will find it hard to implement any meaningful transformation. How can you get your fellow employees to buy in?

We humans are notoriously resistant to change. We fear the unknown. Facilities managers will find it much easier to allay people’s fears and reap the benefits of the adaptive office if they adopt these three management roles recommended by John T. Anderson:

  • The Business Strategist – “What is our overall business strategy, both outward facing (clients and recruitment) and inward facing (productivity, continuous improvement, and retention)? How do our people support the business, and how does the facility support our people?”
  • The Information Specialist – “What does the data show about the way people work together? How do we position people and departments so they interact smoothly and efficiently?”
  • The Marketing Communicator – “What is the best way to communicate with my target market – the employees – and how do I make sure they feel their voices are heard and their needs are addressed?”

Facilities professionals are accustomed to managing the built environment, and may not always think in terms of managing people. But when change is on the horizon, a personnel-management perspective will make the transition a successful one. Reach out to a designer who specializes in the adaptive workplace to get more information on making your change a positive one.


Photo © duncanandison/

Know Thyself! Is Telecommuting Right For Your Business?

The new year is a good time to pause for reflection, a time for business owners and managers to consider the best use of resources, whether human or facilities. For companies considering starting or expanding a telecommuting plan, self-knowledge is the key to successful telecommuting, according to Forbes contributor Meghan M. Biro. Some personalities are more productive in a group; others work better alone. Some jobs can happen anywhere; others require office space. A thorough assessment of your corporate culture and your employees will tell you whether telecommuting is killing your business (as Yahoo’s Marissa Meyers determined) or whether it can help you retain your best employees, motivate new hires, save office space costs, and make your business thrive. Read the full story at

And while you’re contemplating the pros and cons of telecommuting, think about the physical equipment needed to support employees’ work. Can high-density storage, reconfigurable modular cabinetry, and mobile workbenches and work spaces help support your 2015 telecommuting plan?


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Photo © Paul Maguire –

Santa’s Little Helpers: Amazon’s Robots

It’s no secret that Amazon’s warehouse management is state-of-the-art. In its pursuit of ever-faster fulfillment, Amazon has started using a robot-assisted picking system named Kiva. Dave Clark, Amazon’s V.P. of worldwide operations, says, “Kiva’s doing the part that’s not that complicated. It’s just moving inventory around.” People do the part that requires judgement, confirming that the item is the correct one (and whether it meets Santa’s standards).

In additional to efficiency gains, one of the great benefits of the robotic system is a net gain in storage space – robots don’t need aisles. Storage racks can be condensed to increase capacity without expanding the warehouse’s footprint – a cost-savings gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Read the full story at:


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Photo © Kirill_M –