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Workspace design at VISA allows staff to gather and create a sense of community. It also allows for collisions within the organization outside typical team structures.

Employees Need Boundaries, not Walls

Gone are the executive corner offices of yesteryear. Gone, too, are the open-concept floor plans of the recent past. This is now the era of couches, cafés and quiet zones. The corporate workspace, as we know it, is in the midst of a design overhaul.

Workers, across the board, are desperately disengaged from their work. According to Gallup’s 2017 “State of the Global Workplace” report, as many as 85% of your staff are likely to have tuned out. So businesses in Canada are rapidly embracing radical new interior design philosophies to try to reverse the tide, to reengage employees, increase productivity and enhance workplace satisfaction.

Businesses need to encourage workers to return and to re-engage with their roles, their colleagues and the  company.

In the past, corporations took for granted that employees had to come into the office every day. But that’s changed now. Increasingly, employees have begun to work from home, some or all of the time.

Forty or so years ago, office layouts were incredibly hierarchical. That’s just the way it was done. Bosses occupied windowed interior offices, while the minions were crammed into partitioned cubicles in the interior. Twenty years later, open-plan became the design du jour — down came the partitions, and the bosses’ offices suddenly had glass internal walls. That design evolution improved transparency and openness but also increased noise and distraction.

Make. Work. Better.

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Sam Boyer
Sam Boyer’s writing has been published in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Originally from New Zealand, he is now based in Toronto.


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