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Interior designers recommend ...Consider 10 key questions before redesigning office

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The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has developed hands-on tools to help interior designers and their clients improve workplace performance. The tools are based on findings from interviews conducted in conjunction with a survey and literature review.

The survey, a component of a major research initiative by ASID and industry partners Armstrong World Industries, Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings and Steelcase, was released Oct. 20, 1998, according to an ASID news release.

Following is one of the hands-on tools resulting from the research: a list of 10 questions that company leaders should ask themselves when embarking or before embarking on a major office redesign project.

The answers to these questions will help managers develop the facilities component of their company's strategic plan, ASID stated.

1. Do we, as an organization, have a common language and a shared vision about what our facilities need to be like to support our company's strategic goals?

2. Are we truly committed to producing change or do we just want to do the same things in a new or different-looking space?

3. Are we setting clear, overall direction for the company, leading the effort to define key challenges and opportunities and then making sure these are addressed in the new office design?

4. Have we committed sufficient time and resources to develop a long-term strategic facilities plan as a major component of our overall strategic vision?

5. Are we setting the overall "feel" or "atmosphere" to create the corporate culture we desire and are we making sure that our office design supports this culture?

6. Are we committed to long-term monitoring of how well our workplace fits the goals and processes of the organization?

7. Are we clearly establishing the start, goals and boundaries for the redesign project?

8. Are we clearly communicating about the redesign project our goals, the expected effects on the organization and its members, and the time frame for the different stages?

9. Do our personal work processes and the work policies we adopt truly reflect our stated organizational objectives Ð and does our workplace design support these objectives?

10. Are we using our workspaces to set a tone of thoughtfulness and conscious choice-making for employees involved in the planning process?

"Management needs to set the pace and the direction for major redesign projects, and these 10 questions help leaders look at the right issues," said Gary Wheeler, FASID, former ASID national president and managing director at Perkins & Will, Chicago.

"At the same time, it is critical for management to include employees in the redesign process to get the best results," Wheeler added.

ASID is the oldest and largest professional association for interior designers. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., ASID provides more than 30,000 members with ongoing support, education and resources. For more information, check out ASID's Web site at[[In-content Ad]]


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