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The Technology is the Culture

Since the pandemic began millions of Americans have been forced to use technologies in ways that they never knew they could. Zoom (and ‘zoom calls’) has become a household name in short order. Slack, the simple messaging platform, has also quickly leaped the chasm of adoption. From ordering groceries online to conducting all of one’s work online, we have collectively been through a shift of rapid adoption that is historic.

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The Design Ecology of Work

In a previous book- The Fifth Age of Work– I began with a simple but perhaps odd question: What would HR in a company look like if a designer were put in charge? I tried to answer that question as best as I could, but I think that discussion was probably about 15 minutes early. Binary Impasse…

Flat isometric Modern office interior, businesspeople working vector illustration. 3d isometry business concept. Cafeteria, Fitness, Meeting room, Teamwork brainstorming, Analytics department.

Trust: Making it Work

In a much overlooked 2007 article, “Dignity at Work” (in the journal Organization), sociologist Andrew Sayer outlines the connections between employee autonomy, trust in employees, respect for their work, and being taken seriously as the foundations for what he calls ‘dignity at work.’ Sayer was approaching the subject from perhaps a more critical perspective than most corporate decision…

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Architects have long known that well-...

Too often, office design ignores this and proceeds to lavish wasteful workspaces on the company’s senior executives while relegating rank and file employees to supposedly “collaborative” open plan offices. Any truly open and innovative company culture starts with workspaces that reflect the signature values of the company. What are those values, and how are they…

Coworking and the Open Organization

Coworking and the Open Organization

Coworking is not that big a deal In some ways many of us make too big a deal about coworking. One could argue, as some do, that it is just a (different) place to work. Like just desks and chairs, punctuated by locally roasted coffee and craft beer. And, frankly, there is something to this…

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Culture Eats Real Estate (too)

Puzzles & Roadmaps “Since when did employee engagement in our tenant companies become our business?” The Chief Strategy Officer of one of Singapore’s largest REITs posed the question in the middle of a tense session about how they were looking to reposition their office portfolio. They wanted to ‘activate’ some of their offices buildings in such a way to…

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Recommended Reading – Top Artic...

In the spirit of today being Independence Day (in the USA), it felt especially fitting to honor the global discussion around company policies that encourage independence within the evolving employee workforce. At OpenWork Agency we believe that employees who are honored with choice, flexibility, autonomy, and decision-making rights are more productive, healthier, and ultimately contribute to a…

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Business Culture in the Sharing Economy

Introduction According to the historian of science Thomas Kuhn, scientific paradigms change only at glacial speed. Even as evidence in a particular scientific field mounts to challenge existing theory, a field’s professionals, institutions, associations, and journals often acknowledge and embrace the new paradigm over the course of a generation. This is clearly happening in the…

office culture

Company Culture in the Age of Coworking

In my current book project (tentatively called “After Corporate Culture”), I am trying to understand the long-term impact that fluid and mobile working is having on company culture. For quite some time, of course, many firms have allowed, either officially or unofficially, employees to work from home or off-site at least some of the time. However, as…

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Are You Ready for Coworking?

Are You Ready? For the past four years we have been closely watching as more and more mainstream users have embraced coworking as a new way of working. What at first seemed like a fringe phenomenon that was suited primarily for freelancers and startups has grown to be much more than this. Recently, while walking through a…

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Boomerangs & Slingshots – ...

Culture Past and Future In his 2015 Wall Street Journal article, “Data is our New Middle Manager,” Christopher Mims chronicles the emerging management practices of lean startups. The article suggests that, in an era of radical transparency where ALL employees have access to ALL the relevant data that impacts a company (small or large), there is less…

OpenWork Partners at SAP Design Thinking Workshop

Coworking and Company Culture

Marc Andreessen once famously said that ‘software is eating the world,’ and that if your business can’t be boiled down to a simple (software) solution it probably doesn’t have much of a chance. Or at least, in his world of venture investing, if your startup isn’t predicated on an elegant piece of software, then your…