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Offices at Work: Uncommon Workspace Strategies that Add Value and Improve Performance

Franklin Becker, Tom Kelley (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-0-7879-7685-9
288 pages
April 2005, Jossey-Bass
Offices at Work: Uncommon Workspace Strategies that Add Value and Improve Performance (0787976857) cover image


Most Fortune 500 companies still struggle with workplace planning and design issues. Millions of dollars are invested each year by companies with the expectation that new buildings and major renovations will help transform their culture, spark innovation, and herald new work patterns that strengthen performance while reducing costs. But, as Franklin Becker points out, popular trends do not always make good sense. Offices at Work addresses the fundamental design issues that organizational leaders confront such as:
  • How do we create a low-cost flexible environment that motivates employees and stimulates learning?
  • Is it worth our spending the time, money, and effort to consolidate our disparate buildings into a new corporate campus?
  • How else can we address status concerns besides giving people offices?

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xvii


1 The Office as Invention 3

2 Knowledge Networks 11

3 Co-Location 35

4 The Right Size 45

5 Mobility 58

6 Flexibility 77


7 Getting Started 111

8 Workspace Planning Tools 125

9 Measuring Performance 144

10 Managing Workspace Change 159

11 The Value of Uncommon Sense 175

References 186

The Author 190

Index 191

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Author Information

Franklin Becker is professor of Facility Planning and Management and Human Environment Relations and chair of the department of design and environmental analysis at Cornell University. He is also the director of the International Workplace Studies Program at Cornell and founder and president of IDEAworks LLC, a management consulting firm that works with Fortune 500 companies to develop and implement innovative workplace strategies. Becker is the coauthor with Fritz Steele of Workplace by Design: Mapping the High Performance Workscape.
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The Wiley Advantage

Author Platform: Becker’s name is widely recognized nationally and internationally by anyone who has anything to do with the planning, design, and management of the office workplace. He speaks widely at conferences, has a number of Fortune 500 clients, frequently writes articles for industry publications such as Facilities Management Journal, and teaches classes on this subject.
Foreword by Tom Kelley: Kelley is a big fan of Becker's book, Workplace by Design, and called it "the best thing ever written about workspace."
Broad Marketing Appeal: This book can be marketed to audiences in business, HR, real estate, facilities management, and architecture.
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“…a useful reference source on a topic that is rearely explored in this level of detail...” (Human Resources, Feb. 2005)

“Managers—even otherwise enlightened managers—are implicitly or explicitly asking the office space question in a certain kind of utilitarian way. They are essentially saying, “What is the quickest, cheapest way I can get all 4,000 of my people a desk, a chair, a wastebasket?”
With Offices at Work, Franklin Becker has a wake up call for businesses around the world. There are rewards to be gained from fine-tuning your office environment. Far from being a mere utility, space can be a strategic tool that influences the attitude and behavior and even the performance of your employees. Focusing attention on the “final frontier” of inner space will be time well spent.”
--From the Foreword by Tom Kelley

“Using an excellent balance of hard data, case studies, and real world anecdotes, Professor Becker takes the logistically challenging and culturally complex topic of workplace design and offers a well-written and accessible approach to creating competitive advantage. Covering topics ranging from different types of office layout to productivity, innovation, and change management, Professor Becker cites best (and worst) practices to provide  new insights for experts as well as novices. This is a must read for anyone interested in workplace design, corporate culture, branding, change management, organizational dynamics, or corporate real estate.”
--Thomas Osmund, vice president, Goldman Sachs

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Related Websites / Extra

ASID ICON Article written by the author.Visit Franklin Becker's Summer 2005 "New Ways of Working" article featured in ASID ICON -- The Magazine of the American Society of Interior Designers.
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