CHICAGO: The Challenges of Flexible Workspace
Flexible, collaborative office spaces are all the buzz, but ESD VP Andrew Lehrer (who spoke at our Chicago Creative Office Summit yesterday) notes some engineering challenges. You must adjust the client’s corporate culture to the reduced privacy and balance aesthetics with proper air distribution and acoustics in open spaces. He recently worked with Motorola Mobility at Chicago's Merchandise Mart (right). The company needed to move its extensive lab facilities from the ‘burbs and condense them into an urban high-rise setting.
Andrew sees companies investing more in employees’ technology up front. Everyone’s easy access to data through highly mobile computing will soon be incorporated into the systems that engineers design. For example, employees could adjust their own temperature and lighting via smartphone, or real-time schedule updates via the cloud could show coworkers you’re stuck in traffic and will be 10 minutes late to the meeting. This seamless incorporation of data is still five to 10 years away from widespread use, he predicts.