Autonomy at Work – Create workplaces that give people the freedom to choose where and how they accomplish their goals:

Autonomy—the freedom and the opportunity to make self-determined choices—is one of six fundamental human needs that motivate us. Research shows that autonomy at work correlates with greater commitment, creativity, and job satisfaction for people, as well as improved attraction and retention rates and productivity levels for organizations. We help organizations realize these benefits by determining the right variety of settings, and encouraging individuals and teams to test and explore how, when, and where they can work to achieve the best results. As part of our ongoing pursuit of human-centered workplace design, Herman Miller’s Living Office® helps organizations and their design partners create environments that support—rather than control—people and their work. Proprietary studies conducted with our Living Office Research Partners1 show how forward-looking companies are using workplace design to maximize freedom of choice and prosperity

Provide Purposeful Settings

An 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, Mood

Two 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 Workers

Flexible 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 Prosperity

When 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 or contact Widmer to find out how we can help your business work to their best ability.

Rockford Showroom:

Trends change faster than gas prices sometimes. That is why we update our showrooms to keep track on what is trending and letting you see what some of our new manufacturer partners are coming up with. Our Rockford, IL location recently had a nice facelift that was all designed by our very own interior Designer Molly Johanssen. We knocked down a wall and added a glass wall from Trendway, painted, got new flooring and a lot of new furniture in fun fabric patterns and colors. Stop by to see for yourself how different it looks and enjoy the pictures below!

What’s Your First Impression?:

We all know first impressions are important when interviewing for a new job or meeting the parents for the first time.  First impressions are also important when it comes to your business. Being aware of the importance of the first impression is the first step to knowing how to act and prepare for your future clients. Your customer will likely judge your success based on your layout and office. Think about it, when you visit an office for the first time and you notice the room seems to be dark, the carpet looks stained or the floors have the same tile from your jr high school bathroom, and the furniture/equipment is worn and very outdated. Now picture walking into a well-lit room with an appealing floor that matches nicely with the walls and furniture. The furniture/equipment is not only modern and trendy looking but it also looks innovative and purposeful. We have people visit our offices regularly and it is so great to hear them say, “wow, we love your space.” People notice your office layout, how your office looks can say a lot about your company. The question is, what do you want it to say? and is your furniture currently saying that? See examples below of recent businesses we’ve partnered with to make sure their office is saying exactly what they want it to.  

Herman Miller Verus:

April 17th Herman Miller came out with a new seating family called Verus.
The Verus family includes stool, work chair and side chair options that are customizable and versatile to use for any space. At Herman Miller, they believe that everyone deserves an extraordinary chair, Verus delivers their guaranteed durability, ergonomic excellence, and quality. This family is a great option when you have a tight budget with price points ranging from $358-$562. Backed by Herman Miller’s standard 12 year, 3 shift warranty, Verus is a great option when you have a tight budget but you’re wanting the Herman Miller name.
The name Verus is Latin and means genuine, true, and well founded. The Verus hold true to the Latin meaning and is best in class comfort, attainable value, durability, and quality. Stop by our Peoria office today to try it out for yourself or if you know you’ll love it you can purchase it the end of May, beginning of June. Verus Chair, Stool and Side Chair