Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 38

management, but they would be located in the interior of the building with glass fronts to keep the open feeling and allow natural light to come through the space. "Nobody is tucked away," Sawicki says. All offices would also be the same size, so as groups expand or shrink, they could be relocated without concerns about each person being in the right size office, she adds. Office and workstation size still matter for many engineers. There are "mixed feelings" among employees regarding the design of Mead & Hunt's new workspace, Culver says. "A lot of our people had much larger cubicles before we moved into the new space. The tradeoff was that the new furniture was a lot nicer." There's one change in particular that's been a big hit-variable height desks for all employees, she adds. "We didn't want to be so trendy that two years from now the workspace wouldn't be workable anymore." WENDY CULVER MEAD & HUNT Sound Effects When Lamp, Rynearson & Associates (LRA) moved its Kansas City, Missouri, office, they selected an older building that was to be rehabbed. Being a part of the initial planning afforded an opportunity to influence the design. When reviewing design Lamp, Rynearson & Associates reviewed various design trends, including open work stations and standing desks, to determine how they would affect the productivity of staff. 38 ENGINEERING INC. SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2016 70 % of time spent at work is seated trends like open workstations and exposed ceilings, the effects on staff and productivity were considered. "The exposed ductwork is really cool, but we were also concerned about controlling sound," says Nancy Pridal, LRA senior VP and director of organizational development. To absorb some of the noise, they boxed the ceilings up, so they're higher over the workstations, and put in drop-down "reverse cloud" ceilings between workstations. The firm also keeps the volume down by placing teams close together. Open space is organized into pods of six workstations with two project managers plus four engineers and technicians working together in each group. Each pod has its own collaborative space replete with tables and chairs. The pod design is intended to foster collaboration. "There's more opportunity for mentoring and coaching," Pridal says. "You're able to talk to the person sitting next to you; you know what's going on and what they're doing, and they can ask for support." The firm moved into the new space in late June and, so far, "feedback has been positive," she adds. Open Space, Open Mind A shiny new office space with all the modern features may sound like a win-win for everyone, but change often doesn't come easy. Some employees-both young and old-might begrudge a more open office design for several reasons. * Why mess with a good thing? If you've been doing something the same way for 30 years, there's a threat of not being as successful in this new environment, Fiser says. * Big Brother is watching "There are pieces of control that people have and fear losing," Fiser says. For instance, "Now my monitor I used to do work on can be seen by other people. Do I really want them to see my work every minute? Whether that's reality or not, that's what people think about," he adds. * Don't judge me! Millennials-who have learned to multitask on phones, laptops and social media at the same time-are often perceived by veteran employees as not really doing work, Fiser says. "That causes tension in the workplace just because of different workstyles." Design and HR professionals try to head off these fears by including employees in the design process in order to address concerns and develop plans that will keep the majority happy. LRA employees, for example, filled out an anonymous survey during the planning phase to air their concerns and ideas for the new space. At Mead & Hunt, the furniture company came into the old facility and set up different variations of cubicles. Employees could try them out, explore chair options and even work in the new space for a week. "It was not a surprise to them what we were planning to do," Culver says. Keep in mind, though, that you can't please everyone, Fiser says. "Hearing their concerns and acknowledging them doesn't necessarily mean that's going to drive your decision. Maybe you are going for a culture change in the organization." Finally, know that it's not going to be perfect, he adds. "That's OK. You can tweak elements as you operationalize the space." ■ Stacy Collett is a business and technology writer based in Chicago, Illinois.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016

Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016
Contents
From Acec to You
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Presidential Preview
Paving the Way to Winning
2016 Fall Conference Preview
The Smart Revolution
Going Global
Designed to Inspire
A Day of Giving Back
Mergers and Acquisitions
Members in the News
Business Insights
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Intro
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Cover2
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Contents
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - From Acec to You
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 3
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Market Watch
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 5
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Legislative Action
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 7
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Presidential Preview
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 9
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 10
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 11
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 12
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 13
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Paving the Way to Winning
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 15
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 16
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 17
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 18
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 19
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 2016 Fall Conference Preview
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 21
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - The Smart Revolution
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 23
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 24
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 25
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 26
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 27
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 28
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 29
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Going Global
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 31
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 32
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 33
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Designed to Inspire
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 35
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 36
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 37
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 38
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 39
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - A Day of Giving Back
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 41
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 42
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 43
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 44
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 45
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Mergers and Acquisitions
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 47
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 48
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Members in the News
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 50
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - 51
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Business Insights
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Cover3
Engineering Inc. - September/October 2016 - Cover4
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