Designing for Health: Rethinking Workplace in Healthcare

To improve the bottom line, healthcare systems have made incremental changes to slow the historical escalation in healthcare costs. They have implemented lean/six sigma changes, improved patient safety, and developed better measures and matrix for patient outcomes. A different approach to patient care and communication has also enhanced results. Team-based, interdisciplinary problem solving is becoming much more prevalent in patient care.

Source: www.contractdesign.com

The issues facing the medical field has healthcare providers scrambling to balance costs without impacting the quality of care they can provide.  As this article describes, an increase in patients, an aging population, and rising costs has an already overloaded system pushed up against the wall.
To push back, providers have begun exploring different ways in which their administrative employees work to ensure efficiency.  One such opportunity for improvement lies in the design or layout of space.  Opening up an office layout, they’ve found, can serve two primary purposes.  The first, is to cluster employee seating to reduce the amount of square footage per worker.  This, of course, reduces the need for larger floor plates which provides a real estate savings.  In leftover spaces, focus rooms can be built-in to ensure adequate levels of collaboration and privacy are possible, as well.
The second reason behind implementing an open work environment is to establish a collaborative, team approach to healthcare. Working together, administrative staff, nurses, and even doctors can generate ideas and potentially solve problems faster than had everyone been working in isolation.  Again, the goals are better care, and lower costs — an office redesign in this mold can accomplish that.
Stegmeier Consulting Group has been fully aware of this shift in medical field space utilization for some time now.  Founder Diane Stegmeier recently partook in a panel discussion at the BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) Conference in Cleveland, Ohio addressing this very topic.  If your organization (healthcare related or not) is hesitant to implement such a drastic change to the work environment for fear of employee resistance, contact SCG.  We can help your team develop a workplace and workforce strategy to overcome your current business challenges, and then prepare your employees for working in new ways.

The top 5 issues affecting interior design today

Interior design is undergoing its most drastic transformation since the sustainable design revolution of the 1990s. Advances made in creative methods, the application of data, neuroscience and health, and building performance are demanding new interior design leadership.


Designers who have mastered the skills to create functional and beautiful spaces are reshaping the interior landscape, from historic preservation and adaptive re-use to innovation in newly constructed spaces to meet the needs of changing working-and-living prototypes. Design entrepreneurs have moved the delivery of their services into cyberspace and are practicing their profession in a mobile, connected community. 

Source: inhabitat.com

Functionality is just one of many aspects being taken into consideration in today’s contemporary office designs.  No longer does a phyical workplace exist solely as a place for employees to “do work”.  Instead, organizations are increasingly using workplace designs to trumpet who they are, what they do, and what they stand for.  

A common theme is the use of branding within the workplace.  Designs that relate back to a company’s product or service engage employees and enthrall visitors.  We highlighted Coca-Cola’s Toronto headquarters in a recent article, but similar approaches can be seen in workplaces such as CSXNPR, and Goodyear Tire.

At the end of the day, however, interior designers will be pressed to answer why their new concept is in fact more efficient and will allow for increased productivity – even if one of the goals of the project was to decrease the amount of needed space!


It is at this juncture where Stegmeier Consulting Group can provide our knowledge and over 13 years of experience working with organizational change initiatives to prepare and train individuals to effectively use their new environment.  We serve as an insurance policy of sorts for design firms and corporations to make sure new workspaces are being used correctly, and that productivity does not drop during or after the transition.  If your organization is interested in partnering with Stegmeier Consulting Group for these purposes, or is in need of assistance in selecting the proper design firm for your workplace strategy, contact us.  

The Elements of Great Workplace Design

What makes a great workplace? A quick search on Google shows a combined global monthly total of over 50,000 searches involving the combination of terms “office”, “interior” and “design ideas”.

Source: servicefutures.com

Those who examine the evolution of the workplace have come to learn that over the years the phrase “going to work” has shifted from “going to DO work” to physically being present at a certain location for a period of time.  Given that realization, it’s not surprising that such a strong emphasis has been placed recently on the quality and design of work’s physical location, especially as it pertains to the psychological state of the employees that occupy the space.

This article presents some interesting research and new ways of thinking about the workplace.  Mentioned, of course, is the popular topic of open-office layouts, which Stegmeier Consulting discusses in-depth in a recent blog.  Other items covered include interesting findings about how productivity is affected by natural lighting and even a room’s paint colors!

SCG has seen many clients transition their workplace from an outdated and bland office design to a re-energized layout using some of the very suggestions that are presented in this article.  If you’re making a change to your work environment, regardless of which particular workplace solution you ultimately land on, it’s important to ensure that your workforce is ready and empowered to use the space as intended.  It’s important to examine how a proposed change may affect employees and then come up with a game plan to make it a smooth transition for your workforce.

Check out both our Case Studies page as well as our project with Iron Mountain to see some examples of clients for whom we’ve led change management efforts and you’ll see how they’re happily conducting business in a vibrant environment!

Stegmeier Consulting Group can assist with a wide range of challenges involved in implementing a workplace change initiative.  Contact us to find out how our services can help your organization.


https://stegmeierconsulting.com/contact/

Phone: 440-846-1410

Changing the way organizations manage workplace change


How Coca-Cola Put People First in New Toronto HQ

In 2010, the Coca-Cola brand acquired the North American operations of Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Coca-Cola Canada was faced with the challenge of merging the newly consolidated business units into a single headquarters.

The company decided to abandon their offices in suburban Thorncliffe and move everyone to the heart of downtown Toronto – a bold choice, geared at attracting and retaining top talent to work for Coke.

Source: workdesign.com

The images of the new Coca-Cola Canada headquarters are stunning, and the people-first theory behind the design is equally impressive.  Many businesses claim their employees are their most cherished asset:  they are the foundation of the organization, the front line and the behind the scenes miracle workers that connect a product or service to the rest of the world.  But while many make this claim, how many can back it up simply by offering up the look and feel of the workplace they are providing their people?

The bright colors and corridors filled with natural light (not to mention a relaxing looking outdoor break area) are meant to put a bounce in the step of employees as they make their way through the Coca-Cola headquarters.  The fact that the design offers a variety of work areas  (not just all open space) is key as well.  The idea that there is something for everyone  is an important factor in what makes this new design so appealing, and is sure to assist with Coca-Cola’s goal to attract and retain top talent.


However, it is important to focus not only on creating a great environment, but also for preparing employees for working in new ways, including taking ownership of the full gamut of work areas available to them. If your organization is considering a change to the working environment, contact Stegmeier Consulting Group.  We can make recommendations on architectural and design firms, as well as provide your organization with the guidance and training needed to fully prepare the workforce to use the new space as intended and to ensure a smooth implementation of your change initiative.  

  

Stegmeier Consulting Group can assist with a wide range of challenges involved in implementing a workplace change initiative.  Contact us to find out how our services can help your organization.

https://stegmeierconsulting.com/contact/

Phone: 440-846-1410

Changing the way organizations manage workplace change


On-Site Productivity, Engagement and Comfort Drive Next Generation of Millennial-Based Office Designs | NAIOP

Say goodbye to bland-looking cubicles, dueling thermostat wars, constructed walls and flat panel TVs, as the office of the future instead will be comprised of sleeping pods, self-luminous walls and treadmill-operated desks, according to winning entries in NAIOP’s 2014 Build-Out/Interior Design Competition. Winning entries were submitted by design firms Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, Albuquerque, New Mexico; DLR Group, offices coast-to-coast; and Ware Malcomb, Irvine, California.

Source: www.naiop.org

Treadmills and bicycles at workstations.  Nanoparticle lighting systems.  Biowalls to improve air quality.

The future workplace is being built today, and by all accounts we should be in for some exciting enhancements thanks to ergonomically appropriate and eco-friendly designs.  But while the future concepts are sure to pique the interest of young talent, what of the existing workforce?  Convincing an older, or more established workforce to trade their personalized cubicles and offices for open, flexible designs can be quite the challenge. 

In fact, companies have invested large amounts of time and money in workplace change initiatives only to see those projects fail due to encountering unforeseen or unaddressed employee resistance.  Teaming with Stegmeier Consulting Group can help you transition your outdated work environment, and prepare the individuals in your organization to be productive and innovative in the workplace of the future.

Stegmeier Consulting Group can assist with a wide range of challenges involved in implementing a workplace change initiative.  Contact us to find out how our services can help your organization.


https://stegmeierconsulting.com/contact/

Phone: 440-846-1410

Changing the way organizations manage workplace change

Believe It: Co-Working Space Startup WeWork Is Now Worth $5B | WIRED

WeWork, the New York City-based startup that rents out office space to entrepreneurs across the country, has just raised a $355 million round of funding, a deal that values the company at a whopping $5 billion

Source: www.wired.com

Co-working spaces are becoming more and more popular worldwide and it is not difficult to see why.  With the global workforce becoming increasingly mobile and flexible there are fewer limits on where and when work can be conducted.  Co-working spaces can serve as a home-base for employees that travel often, and can free workers in a home-office environment from distraction and isolation.

This particular article concludes with some questions about the future of co-working, pointing to the current favorable market conditions for entrepreneurs.  It may be worth noting that in the event of a downturn in the economy, co-working spaces still stand a chance to thrive.  In this scenario, an organization conducting a re-evaluation of their corporate real estate needs may recognize the cost effectiveness of allowing their employees to work remotely, specifically at a “third place,” like a co-working venue.  By our estimate, companies can save upwards of one million dollars a year simply by eliminating the space needed to house 100 dedicated workstations for employees.

It is important for an organization to establish policies based on best practices for employees utilizing co-working spaces.  For instance, a public setting may not be an ideal place to conduct business that involves sensitive information that could be seen or overheard by someone outside the company.  Training your workforce on how to best navigate the waters of maintaining privacy and staying in line with information security standards are a big part of ensuring success in a more public work environment, such as a co-working location.  If your organization would like to learn more about how to combat the risks involved with an increasingly mobile workforce, contact Stegmeier Consulting Group.

Stegmeier Consulting Group can assist with a wide range of challenges involved in implementing a workplace change initiative.  Contact us to find out how our services can help your organization.


https://stegmeierconsulting.com/contact/

Phone: 440-846-1410

Changing the way organizations manage workplace change

New Habitat for Humanity HQ convenient to transit

The first “headquarters” for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, if you could even call it that, was a spare church basement

Source: www.startribune.com

In selecting a new HQ location that is well-served by public transport, an organization can more easily secure the top talent they seek; especially those Millennials they hope to employ for years to come, considering the younger generation’s draw to large urban centers.