The percentage distribution of employees across private offices, workstations, and full time remote workers. Slide the sliders to set the appropriate mix of employees. Lock a slider to keep that value fixed as you adjust other seating percentages.
Office & Workstation Percentage
The percentage of individual workspaces types: enclosed private office, open workstation, and remote location employees who are allocated to each
Flexibility: There are significant tradeoffs when considering the ratio of private offices to open workstations. Open workstations increase Flexibility and allow an organization to better respond to turnover and changing space use needs.
Focused Work: The primary benefit of private offices is the acoustic and visual privacy that they afford. Private offices boost Focused Work scores, however, they have negative effects on Flexibility, Scalability, Collaboration, Interaction, Mobility, and Health. We typically see less time lost to distractions, particularly from overheard conversations, for those in private offices. For an organization where employees spend a significant amount of time alone doing heads-down, focused work, a mix of private offices may be an appropriate solution.
Scalability: Open workstation concepts are more easily scalable as the physical infrastructure is less than what is required for private offices. It is easier and cheaper to change workstation (moveable furniture) density and configuration than to change private offices (constructed walls).
Collaboration: Maybe the most significant benefit of open workstations is their positive effect on Collaboration and Interaction. When employees can see their colleagues, and are not isolated behind opaque walls, they are more likely to initiate conversations and seek them out when needed. When employees cannot see their colleagues, it is significantly less likely that they will talk to them.
Interaction: Maybe the most significant benefit of open workstations is their positive effect on Collaboration and Interaction. When employees can see their colleagues, and are not isolated behind opaque walls, they are more likely to initiate conversations and seek them out when needed. When employees cannot see their colleagues, it is significantly less likely that they will talk to them.
Health: Open workstations can improve Health scores in the office by allowing for greater natural light penetration. Natural light has been shown to have a significant impact on Health, wellbeing, and productivity. The effect that workstations have on natural light penetration is particularly pronounced when workstations are placed along the perimeter. The low walls of workstations allow light to reach the interior spaces.
Note: One side effect of private offices may be the creation or perpetuation of organizational hierarchy. When a group of employees is isolated behind closed doors, it creates a separation between them and the rest of the office, makes them less accessible and visible, and may contribute to feelings of resentment and low morale among other employees. These effects can be exacerbated when private offices are situated on the building perimeter where they block natural light penetration and may sit empty much of the time.
Full Time Remote
The percentage of employees that are allowed to work remotely
Attraction/Retention: Telecommuting has a positive effect on an organization’s Attraction and Retention scores. Employees like the flexibility and autonomy that comes with telecommuting and many studies find that employees rank this flexibility almost as highly as salary in job satisfaction. One study found that 1/3 of Generation Y employees prioritize work mobility over salary (Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 2011). Another study found that 79% of Generation Y employees would prefer to be mobile rather than static workers (Oxygenz: Generation and the Workplace: Annual Report 2010).
Flexibility: Organizations can use telecommuting to remain flexible and adaptable during periods of growth. Rather than expanding the office footprint or increasing the density of offices and workstations, organizations may manage growth by allowing a percentage of employees to telecommute.
Focused Work: Telecommuting increases Focused Work scores as employees are able to work in private without the distractions of the office. We often hear from employees that they work from home when they need to focus and get work done on a deadline. These effects may be more pronounced when moving from a workstation heavy environment to more telecommuting rather than from an office heavy environment to more telecommuting.
Scalability: Telecommuting is an extremely scalable feature. Because there is little to no physical infrastructure required to expand or contract telecommuting policy, organizations can easily and cheaply scale as needed. It should be noted that while there are few physical constraints to telecommuting, some capital costs will need to be considered to effectively train managers and staff on appropriate telecommuting practices, expectations, and policies.
Millennial Appeal: Younger generations are coming to expect some level of flexibility in where and how they work. Hence, telecommuting contributes substantially to an organization’s Generation X and Y Appeal scores.
Collaboration: As more and more employees work outside of the office, Collaboration scores decrease as employees are not as easily accessible to one another. The negative effect of telecommuting on Collaboration may decrease as more robust and seamless social and communication technologies are introduced and as younger generations more comfortable with virtual collaboration tools enter the workplace.
Interaction: Telecommuting has a negative effect on interaction as employees are more dispersed and ad hoc encounters decrease. As social and communication technologies improve and generations more comfortable with virtual interactions enter the workplace, this negative effect may become more negligible.
Leveraging Technology: Effective telecommuting depends heavily on leveraging the most current technology to create as seamless an experience as possible between the office and other places of work.
Mobility: Telecommuting has a substantial effect on increasing Mobility as it frees employees to work from the location that is most beneficial for the task at hand (home, client site, coffee shop, etc).
Health: Telecommuting increases Health scores by cutting down on the stress of commuting and increasing the time and flexibility employees have to manage exercise, self-care, family issues, etc.