Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018.
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 14 cities across the U.S. this fall.
Gain the skills you need to rise to the next level in your career. Jon us at SHRM's Leadership Development Forum, October 2-3 in Boston.
Offices vs Open Spaces
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
Goldman Sachs: Open and Flexible
As Goldman Sachs & Co. prepares to relocate thousands of employees to new facilities in London, Tokyo and Jersey City, N.J., ideas about open offices are being tested. The challenge is to create new environments that reinforce the corporate culture and improve productivity and communication, says Tom Osmond, who has a background in HR and is assigned to the project team.
The company began with an employee survey across business units, asking workers what they liked and disliked about the current space. Senior managers around the world were interviewed, costs and designs benchmarked.
We found that about 20 percent of our population consumes more than 40 percent of the space and accounts for more than 60 percent of the costs, Osmond says. The only people who really benefited from private offices were the top 30 percent; the others were in cubicles.
Then Osmonds team ran pilot studies, setting up model offices, moving people in and assessing the impacts. The open offices received a resounding endorsement. People said that teamwork and communication went up, he says. In the London office, 80 percent of the people said the work environment was better.
As a result, when the rollout receives the final go-ahead, most private offices and cubicles will give way to moveable, low-partitioned workstations. Spaces for conferences and informal meetings, private alcoves and coffee spots will be centralized in the interior of each floor.
Flexibility, Osmond says, is key. Were aiming to provide flexibility for individuals, groups and business units. Each person will decide about the layout of his or her desk, the group will choose how their work area is configured, and the business unit will determine the overall layout.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Join us for the largest and best HR conference in the world, June 23-26, 2019 in Las Vegas.
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies