4 Generations at Work

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In a few years, workspaces will have to accommodate four generations of workers, each with different work styles. Here’s what HR leaders need to know.

Increasingly, Human Resources is influencing workplace strategy. We know from years of study that work environments greatly affect employee health, engagement, and well-being. Collaborating on decisions impacting planning and use of office buildings, HR leaders can help organizations create workplaces that produce positive effects. Exponentially changing technology has paved the way for a new workplace—with the need to accommodate agile workers who span four very distinct generations.

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4 Types of Collaborative Spaces

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When people work together, great ideas are born and connections are made. People learn from one another. And project progress happens faster. As technology has expanded our ability to work anywhere—including from home—we are increasingly seeking out opportunities to collaborate and connect face-to-face with our teams.

Designing for collaboration helps create an environment where employees feel valued for their unique experience and input.

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5 Reasons to Bring Back the Water Cooler

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While it may no longer take the traditional form of a glugging five-gallon jug next to a stack of cone-shaped paper cups, the “water cooler” is finding its way back into the office. Often referred to as “hydration stations,” “refresh areas,” or “water bars,” today’s water cooler spaces offer benefits you may not have thought of.

Organizations are beginning to understand that in a world of virtual connections, informally gathering and socializing in person—while also fulfilling a common physical need—can lead to increased happiness, well-being, engagement, and productivity at work.

More specifically, there are five main reasons every office should have a water cooler: Here’s why…

Design A Happier Workplace

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These days, the office is less a tool for increasing productivity and more about making employee well-being a priority.

This shift is partly due to Millennials who blend their work and personal life. They come to work with the need for belonging, connection, and contribution to a greater good. This change in workplace expectations led the Haworth Research team to ask: Could office design become a driver of happiness and meaningful work?

The team’s findings show that a person’s workspace does affect happiness in two key ways. First, thoughtful workplace design gives people more control at work. Second, organizations that invest in flexible interiors where people are empowered to work the way they want demonstrate that they care about their people. This investment makes employees feel valued and contributes to their happiness. Read more…

6 Design Tips to Keep Employees Energized

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In physics, the simple definition of energy is the capacity to do work. When it comes to human beings, though, it’s really more than that. All people have some level of working “capacity,” but that doesn’t mean they are inherently overflowing with the energy to do good work—especially in a less-than-inspiring environment.

  1. Remove Barriers
  2. Add Social Spaces
  3. Places for Individual Work
  4. Support Physical Well-being
  5. Integrate Brand and Culture
  6. Ask People What They Need

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Social Norms in the Office

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Let’s face it: Change in the work environment can be disruptive for people and processes. For example, a well-planned workspace reconfiguration—intended to achieve a positive end goal—is sometimes challenging for people to accept initially. We feel comfortable with our routines—sitting in the same place, talking to the same people next to us, with everything set up just the way we like it.

But space transformation doesn’t have to be painful, especially when a change management process is implemented. We know this well at Haworth, where we frequently reconfigure our floor plans to support new ways of working, especially at our corporate headquarters—a showroom and workplace that demonstrates our research in a living lab we share with customers. Read more…

Konmari in the Office

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Could the “magic of tidying up” apply to your office space?

Absolutely! Follow the same few steps taught by Marie Kondo regarding decluttering.

Ask yourself if each item that surrounds you in your office sparks joy.

I have a purple flower tape dispenser on my desk. It is a practical item that sparks a sense of whimsy and makes me smile. I also have a red Swingline stapler which brings me joy every time I look at it because of a character named Milton from an old movie called Office Space. Other than that, a picture of my kids and a hand lotion that smells divine are the key items that remain on my desk at all times.

Take a moment to scan your desk and decide if you are surrounded by things that make you smile. If not, make some changes and enjoy your workspace. After all, you spend a good fraction of your life there.

Leadership Tips…Tell It Straight

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Tell it straight and walk the talk.

If you’re open and genuine, if you say what you mean and mean what you say, then people will always know where you stand, what to expect from you, and where they stand with you. If you also consistently follow through with actions, then you’re transparent, honest, and impartial. That, to me, means you’re fair.

That also means you don’t tell people what they want to hear, take the easy way out, sugarcoat, spin, BS, play political games, or behave passive aggressively.

by Steve Tobak for Inc.com