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Offices at Work: Uncommon Workspace Strategies That Add Value and Improve Performance (Jossey-Bass Business & Management) [Hardcover]

Tom Kelley , Franklin Becker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Nov 2004 Jossey-Bass Business & Management
Most Fortune 500 companies still struggle with workplace planning and design issues. Millions of dollars are invested each year by companies with the expectation that new buildings and major renovations will help transform their culture, spark innovation, and herald new work patterns that strengthen performance while reducing costs. But, as Franklin Becker points out, popular trends do not always make good sense. Offices at Work addresses the fundamental design issues that organizational leaders confront such as:
  • How do we create a low–cost flexible environment that motivates employees and stimulates learning?
  • Is it worth our spending the time, money, and effort to consolidate our disparate buildings into a new corporate campus?
  • How else can we address status concerns besides giving people offices?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey Bass (2 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787973300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787973308
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 2.1 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,283,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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“…a useful reference source on a topic that is rearely explored in this level of detail...” (Human Resources, Feb. 2005)


“Managers—even otherwise enlightened managers—are implicitly or explicitly asking the office space question in a certain kind of utilitarian way. They are essentially saying, “What is the quickest, cheapest way I can get all 4,000 of my people a desk, a chair, a wastebasket?”
With Offices at Work, Franklin Becker has a wake up call for businesses around the world. There are rewards to be gained from fine–tuning your office environment. Far from being a mere utility, space can be a strategic tool that influences the attitude and behavior and even the performance of your employees. Focusing attention on the “final frontier” of inner space will be time well spent.”
––From the Foreword by Tom Kelley

“Using an excellent balance of hard data, case studies, and real world anecdotes, Professor Becker takes the logistically challenging and culturally complex topic of workplace design and offers a well–written and accessible approach to creating competitive advantage. Covering topics ranging from different types of office layout to productivity, innovation, and change management, Professor Becker cites best (and worst) practices to provide  new insights for experts as well as novices. This is a must read for anyone interested in workplace design, corporate culture, branding, change management, organizational dynamics, or corporate real estate.”
––Thomas Osmund, vice president, Goldman Sachs

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The office isn't God-given. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
* Well written quality material.

* Informed penetrating comment on key issues and trends, together with questions to consider in developing your own approach.

* Insights for practice material at the end of every chapter.

The book is based on wide experience/consulting over many years. The author is a Professor of Facility planning and management and Human Relations at Cornell University in the US. He heads an influential consultancy in the field of workplace strategies. Plus substantial involvement in the International Workplace Studies Program at Cornell. I have not seen anything else that covers the ground as well as this book.

With work itself changing, the organizational structures within which it is done changing, the character of the workplace changing, and the tools used to do work changing, the physical spaces in which work occurs must change as well. However there is scant attention paid to workplace design and its implications for Business strategy and success.

Academics generally ignore the effects of workplace design in their research on work and the organization of work, and practitioners rarely tie workplace design to their business strategies or to the performance of their organizations. Yet there is a growing body of work by workplace design specialists, suggesting that workplace design is core to the successful execution of business strategy.(See the California Management Review, Vol.49, No 2, Winter 2007.)

To quote the author from chapter eight:

"The best management tools dont make decisions, they stimulate informed debate.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful 4 Jan 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think there are some better books around now but one for the bookshelf if you are into space planning and workplace design.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and practical, but not new 26 Jun 2009
By O. Ganel - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Offices at work is a practical guide to designing contemporary offices. However, most of the concepts are freely available as earlier work by the author on his website.
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