Thinking outside the cubicle

By Sharon VanderKaay
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/30/2001

An office can be a stimulating hub of activity… or a place that saps everyone’s energy. A workspace can support forward-looking decisions… or raise stress levels to the point that people merely exist in a reactive state. Employees can thrive in an environment that encourages cross-functional interaction and innovation…or be victims of the latest office-planning fad.

We know that surroundings affect productivity. Factors such as privacy and the ability to concentrate, as well as appropriate places to discuss the latest workplace dilemma — all have an impact on performance.

While HR professionals should have responsibilities involving productivity, rarely do HR surveys ask a key question that can uncover staggering costs: “If your physical environment changed to reflect your true needs, what difference would it make to your job performance?”