Core activities of the knowledge worker
The most characteristic aspects of a modern office worker’s daily activities are communication and cooperation with others. This is documented by the IBA/bso studies. Beside this focused individual work continues to play an important role.
An average working day
Focused individual work continues to determine large parts of office workers' everyday work. Therefore, they need a workplace where they are undisturbed and unobserved. In the absence of such areas, personal well-being diminishes. Studies from the USA have shown that also the productivity will be negatively affected. Companies that neglected their workplaces for focused work were significantly less productive.
Traditionally, team and project work takes place within departments or in fixed project groups. A characteristic feature of the New Work is that cooperation is increasingly extending beyond departmental and company boundaries. A high complexity of tasks, high investment costs for new technologies and a shortage of skilled workers will accelerate this development.
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Networking does not only take place at special events, but often also in the companies themselves. This is essential to developing a sense of community and stabilizing it. At the same time, communication beyond concrete tasks is also a source of exciting ideas and new impulses.
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Coordination is an important part of office work. It takes place within the project work, but also creates bridges between different activities. Often, the different forms of coordination account for considerably more time than the average of 5%. Interactive communication tools can contribute to making the different forms of coordination more efficient.
The distribution of office work presented above presents the average values. This data is not suitable for developing office design concepts. Office design developers should always consider the specific characteristics of the company, the department and the employees’ activities.