Autonomy at Work – Create workplaces that give people the freedom to choose where and how they accomplish their goals
Provide Purposeful SettingsAn environment that offers people choices in where they work clearly supports the need for autonomy. But purposeful selfdirection requires a variety of purposeful settings aligned with the unique character and activities of an organization and its people. Living Office Research Partners identify and prioritize essential traits and activities for support and then allocate space accordingly. They use meaningful landmarks and planned adjacencies between workgroups to differentiate settings and guide individuals to the spaces that best suit specific tasks and work styles. Given these design considerations, post-move studies of our Living Office Research Partners found a relative percentage increase of 100 percent in employee agreement with the statement, “My work team and I have the ability to choose where we work in our workplace.”
Offer Variety in Tools, Posture, MoodTwo different people performing the same task may have very different ideas about the best way to accomplish it. A Living Office workplace accommodates diverse preferences by offering support for a variety of tools and postures. Our Research Partners make provisions for connecting and charging various types and quantities of personal technology. They also ensure that analog tools like whiteboards and tackable surfaces, as well as places to display work-in-progress and symbolic artifacts, are available. Accommodations for different postural preferences and choices of formal or casual seating arrangements contribute to a sense of autonomy, as do flexible, mobile furnishings that people can position themselves. Landscapes that offer sensory variation let people choose settings that stimulate or calm, depending on changing moods and task requirements.
Accommodate Flexible Schedules and Contingent WorkersFlexible work schedules, a growing number of permanent part-time employees, and a rapidly expanding contingent workforce of contractors, consultants, and temps requires an agile and dynamic workplace that can accommodate fluctuating numbers of workers on a day-to-day basis. Our Living Office Research Partners use well-appointed shared work points to provide equitable accommodations for both full-time staff and contingent workers so that everyone feels valued and integral to the team. Centrally located Plaza Settings that offer enticing amenities and comfortable and convenient meeting and work locations encourage information exchange and camaraderie at all hours of the day.
Plan for ProsperityWhen people have choices about how, where, and when they accomplish their work activities and goals, they are more likely to feel motivated and empowered to perform their best. Organizations that design their work environments to support autonomy in alignment with business goals and values are poised for ongoing success. This adds up to prosperity at the broadest and most personal levels. If you’d like to explore how Living Office can work for your organization and your people, visit hermanmiller.com/livingoffice or contact Widmer to find out how we can help your business work to their best ability.