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Oct 24 2018

Orgatec: Interview on the working world of the future

In a study entitled “Effective office and working environments”, different types of office were put to the test. We discussed the findings with Samir Ayoub, co-initiator of the study and Managing Partner of designfunktion.

ORGATEC 2018: An interview with Samir Ayoub about effective office working environments

In the study "Effective office and working environments", different types of office were put to the test. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), the designfunktion Group has been investigating the importance of working environments for the strategic goals of companies.

More than 11,000 experts were surveyed on the topic. We discussed the findings with Samir Ayoub, Managing Partner of the designfunktion Group.

Mr Ayoub, at ORGATEC’s 2018 European trade press conference, you presented the findings of the “Effective office and working environments” study, which you conducted together with the Fraunhofer IAO. What is the fundamental question at the heart of the study?

We commissioned the study because we wanted to investigate the importance of working environments for the strategic goals of companies. What must be taken into consideration for a new office concept to be a success?

One focus of the study was an investigation into different types of office. Which office concept performed best?

The study shows that “multi-space” working environments achieve significantly more positive results in various aspects than other office layouts. When there are a wide range of options in terms of rooms that can be used flexibly by all employees within the working environment, the support function is significantly stronger.

Furthermore, teamwork is significantly more common and there is a higher degree of autonomy. Of the study participants, 54 per cent also expect multi-space workplaces to become the dominant office type in their companies.

What are the special characteristics of such work environments?

In ideal circumstances, a multi-space working environment corresponds with the principle of activity-based working. This means that suitable spaces are available for all activities in the company. The employee is therefore free to choose a room for creativity, dialogue, telephone calls, exercise or relaxation.

This variety does not exist in a workplace with traditional single- and multi-person offices. In addition, the arrangement of space within multi-space working environments reflects company hierarchies the least.

What conclusions do you draw from the study’s findings?

We found it particularly interesting that there is a lack of private spaces in all office forms, even in a structure of individual offices. A survey of our projects showed that 75 per cent of the private spaces required are designed for two to four people.

There is a private space of this size for every ten employees. A comprehensive needs assessment is necessary to determine the correct number of private spaces.

And what do you expect in terms of the working world of the future?

The issue of "space branding" is becoming increasingly important. A high recognition value for employees and customers is especially important for those companies that operate out of various locations. Well-being is also a top issue.

Another strategic goal is to increase communication within the company in order to encourage the innovativeness and creativity of employees. There is a substantial need for action in this respect.

Samir Ayoub is Managing Partner of the designfunktion Group. At the upcoming ORGATEC, designfunktion will present the study’s findings, daily from 23 to 27 October 2018 at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Lounge (passage between Halls 10 and 11, P013).

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