Improving the Open Floor Plan Arrangement

You know you’re making an impact on people’s lives when there’s a parody about your field of work on McSweeny’s.

Many good points were brought up in that article. Has the Open Floor Plan Office been over done, and is it really effective?

The Pros

Open Floor Plans have been revolutionary in both good and bad ways. The pros are:

  • In most situations, it allows more people to occupy a space.
  • It was revolutionary when it was first instituted because no one before had done anything similar.
  • It encourages people to interact.
  • It appears to have a democratizing affect as it tends to reduce territorial complaints.

The Cons

It has also had some unintended consequences. The cons are:

  • Environments can be loud.
  • There is limited privacy.
  • Employees find ways to screen out their neighbors (i.e. headphones).
  • Phone calls are difficult to make.
  • Meeting rooms are impacted.
  • It can be a difficult transition for employees who are used to their own space.

Adapt to Your Company’s Style

If you are considering moving to Open Floor Plans, consider whether or not  this will work for the type of tasks your employees need to accomplish. Also consider how can you make it more palatable and individualized for your company’s and staff’s needs. Companies that succeed in implementing the open floor plan have found a few common factors that help the transition:

  1. They provide other amenities to their staff to help mitigate the stresses that come with open offices.
  2. They provide conference rooms and phone booths that staff can book.
  3. They provide more kitchens and break rooms and other opportunities for staff to get up and move around.
  4. They also provide library resources for collections of items that staff would historically have had at their desks.

Making the Transition Easier

The employees at these companies tend to have roles that benefit from interaction with others.  Creative work and team project work can be helped by the proximity engendered by open layouts.  Projects that require a lot of concentration by individuals may not be improved by open layouts. Open floor plans may work well at an internet startup, but may not be as effective in an attorney’s office.

Implementing Open Floor Plans in a company that’s historically used cubicles and offices can be particularly difficult.  There will be a lot of resistance.  In those situations it becomes imperative that employees see that there are significant benefits for them in making the transition.  If not, you can easily alienate your workforce.

Keep your open floor plans from being distracting and demoralizing by providing resources and amenities that make up for the loss of privacy and noise that comes with more people in a room at a time.


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3 Simple Steps to Improving your Reporting Accuracy

Naturally, reporting accuracy can be difficult because of its complexity;  there are many, tiny pieces to the puzzle of reporting that all need to be correct in order to produce an accurate report. Accuracy can be accomplished by following the three foundational principles below.

1. Have a regularly scheduled employee synchronization with the HR department.

A regularly scheduled employee synchronization with the HR department protects your data.  It assures that all employees are up to date in the system and that employee location and assets are current and tracked accurately.

2. Have a single move process that is followed.

No matter how large or small the move is, if you ensure that one particular move process is followed every single time, without exception, your data is significantly more likely to come out accurate.

3. Walk the floors on a regular basis.

Commit to update your data by walking floors anywhere from once a quarter to once a year.  Whichever time period you decide, keep it consistent!  The more consistent you are, the more accurate your data will be, resulting in more accurate reports.

Consistency 

The key to all these processes is consistency. Once these processes are established and consistent, reporting accuracy will be easier and relatively automatic.


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Success Story: Silicon Graphics, Inc.

What an awesome quote by Henry Ford.  We at Robert Stephen Consulting, believe in the value of hard work and finding a solution.  That’s why we promise to provide our clients with exactly the type of IWMS service they deserve.  We believe in solving problems as quickly as possible and saving our clients as much money, time, and space as possible.

For years we’ve worked with one of the great Computer Hardware companies in the Silicon Valley — SGI.  Back in the very early days of RSC, Bob Stephen (CEO) managed to save SGI approximately $30,000,000 in a matter of only five hours.

Here’s how:

At the time, Silicon Graphics, Inc. was preparing to sell the eight buildings they had built on two different campuses in the Silicon Valley.  One afternoon, the Vice President of Corporate Real Estate came to Bob Stephen with questions about seemingly inaccurate numbers.  After about 45 minutes of reviewing the background data (drawings and spreadsheets of square footage information) from SGI’s real estate company, Bob came to a startling conclusion.  It was determined that there was a dramatic miscalculation of the vertical penetration according to Bowman Standards by the real estate company. He informed the VP of CRE the square footage had been inflated, meaning the vertical penetration was never included.  Bob then walked all 8 buildings with their people from the corporate real estate company.  An hour and a half later, at the end of their walk through, everyone agreed — Bob’s number’s were correct.

The VP reported back that SGI was able to increase the sale of their buildings by $30 million,  all because of Bob’s knowledge of the Bowman Standards, commitment to accuracy, diligent data recording in ARCHIBUS, and ability to catch the miscalculation in square footage.

You can read more about this success story in one of our case studies here.


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Article Review: 10 Tips to Immediately Improving your Key Performance Indicators

Did you know Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help increase productivity and profitability? We came across this article about improving your Key Performance Indicators.  If you haven’t read it, we’ve provided the article’s main points on planning, thinking, and managing your way to a better KPI process.

Click through to read the full article for more on each of these 10 tips.  We think these are spot on and it just might help hone your KPI process this year.


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Thoughts? Questions? Comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear your insights.