On Point On Point

Support the news

To Build A Better Workspace53:03

This article is more than 8 years old.

Tear down the cubicle. We’ll look at the evolution of the office, and new understandings of good workspace.

The San Francisco offices of United Business Media. (Nic Lehoux)
The San Francisco offices of United Business Media. (Nic Lehoux)

Everybody knows work is not the way it used to be.  And neither are workspaces.  Offices, in particular, are all over the place these days.  Some companies still have old-school lock and key individual offices.  Big old desk.  Family pictures on the wall.  A whole lot more are in the cubicle age, of course.

Apply Dilbert cartoon here.  Then there’s the no-walls office.  Tech style.  Then there’s the no-desk office.  Grab a chair anywhere.  Or just roam.  What are we learning on this great migration?

This hour, On Point:  the evolution of the office, and new understandings of good workspace.
-Tom Ashbrook


Rachel Emma Silverman, management and workplace reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Her big piece on offices out in The Wall Street Journal is “Warming Up to the Officeless Office”.

Thomas Vecchione, partner and head of Workplace Design and Strategy at Gensler, a leading global architecture and design firm.

Sally Augustin, environmental psychologist and founder and principal at Design with Science. She's the author of The Designer’s Guide to Doing Research: Applying Knowledge to Inform Design.

Ariel Schwartz, senior editor of Fast Company Magazine’s blog Co.Exist.

From Tom's Reading List

Wall Street Journal "Office workers, grab your bobble-head dolls: The boss may be coming for your desk. As companies seek to cut costs and accommodate an increasingly mobile work force, some employees have had to say goodbye to their personal work areas."

Whitewall Magazine "The idea of corporate interiors has existed for a long time, getting fine-tuned in the sixties after WWII when big industrial companies and big office towers grew and there was an idea of a corporate working environment. Corporate design environments have their legacy in that; in service firms and the growth of the American business movement. Gensler was founded in the early sixties."

Co. Exist "Researchers have shown that a flexible schedule helps employees be healthier, happier, and more productive. If your boss still isn’t convinced that you should work wherever you want, here’s some more evidence to bolster your case: A study in the Journal of Consumer Research says that working in coffee shops and other moderately noisy places boosts creativity."

The New York Times "The table, situated in a 33-foot-high open mezzanine, enjoys great swaths of daylight through the atrium's quarter-acre of glass, and has a stunning view of the Space Needle three blocks away. It's not private, or quiet, but Ms. Choe has everything she needs stuffed into her laptop, and she finds the space inspirational."

Photos: Gensler Office Projects

This program aired on April 18, 2012.

Support the news