Aspects of Flexibilityin Modernization of Office Buildings
Authors: Wacław Szarejko
Abstract: The progress in data processing and transmission technology over the last 25 years has revolutionized the concept of office work which prevailed in the whole 20th century. Thanks to a possibility of cooperating in virtual teams it is possible nowadays to work in any place at any time provided there is an access to the global digital network. Such a high level of flexibility may, however, cause significant difficulties. They may include first of all a worse flow of information within the company. It is connected with fewer direct, informal, interpersonal contacts which are replaced by remote contact. Another serious difficulty is the presence of so called logistic stress whose generation is connected with the difficulty in juggling professional and private life, which may be especially difficult for people working irregular hours and in various locations. Those issues may negatively affect both the efficiency and the satisfaction level of white-collar workers. The objective of this article is to demonstrate a possibility of preventing such problems by conscious designing of office space, taking into account both the need of informal contacts and the necessity of equipping the office building with a number of facilities which might cause the reduction of the logistic stress. With the example of an office building erected 30 years ago it will be demonstrated how it is possible to transform the old building with a corridor layout into a building with a flexible layout better suited for today’s needs.
Keywords: virtual work, knowledge workers, flexible work, flexible office, neighbourly office, nomadic office, nodal office, adaptation
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