Why your office is so unbearable (hint: it's the design)

Summary:Why does your workplace suck? LUNAR's John Edson offers three traits that no company can afford to exclude when it comes to office design.

Telecommuters aside, we spend at least eight hours a day at work. So why is the office so unbearable?

(And no, your micromanaging boss isn't the only reason.)

Your company's office costs it an awful lot of money -- especially if it's located in a major metropolitan area, like most companies' are -- yet for some reason it's often not optimized for the work being done inside it.

What gives?

LUNAR's John Edson writes at Co.Design that it doesn't have to be that way. When his company moved locations three years ago from a makeshift hub to a proper studio in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood, he realized that there were essential elements that couldn't be short-changed in an office: the space for employees to express themselves ("voice"), the office as a stand-in for company values ("culture") and the guidelines that nothing's permanent ("flexibility").

Does no one sit in the common areas? Is the kitchen merely a room for the refrigerator? Does the lighting evoke a prison environment? Does anyone really know your name?

Introducting LUNAR's New San Francisco Studio from LUNAR on Vimeo.

Because companies can't draw a direct line between profits and workspace, it's often difficult for established companies to bring a facilities manager on board with the idea. But in the 21st century, corporate executives are going to need to find ways to stay a step ahead of the fully customized home office.

3 Tips For Designing A Work Space That Embodies Your Brand [Co.Design]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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