Space Affects Behavior The link between physical infrastructure and organizational performance is real. A well-designed workplace offers great potential to improve organizational performance and realize financial return far greater than the initial investment.
As the Federal Government’s premier acquisition and workplace solution agency, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is committed to designing and delivering workplaces that maximize long-term economic and strategic value for our customers.
We live in a time of rapidly changing Federal missions, workforce demographics, and technology. These changes are triggering dramatic shifts in the way Federal agencies perform and deliver their work. Over the past four years, GSA’s Public Buildings Service has researched, developed, and tested a suite of tools and methods designed to deliver workplaces that anticipate and address evolving work practices in the Federal Government.
How Work Gets Done
Current workplaces are often a poor fit for the new ways of working that have emerged over the past 30 years. They are often the accumulation of changes made over the years as organizations attempted to accommodate new demands—additional people, reorganizations, new programs, management initiatives. Especially with older, inflexible construction techniques and materials, the results can be chaotic, dysfunctional or inhibiting. To remedy this situation, GSA has developed new ways to help our clients develop their requirements for workspace. Analyzing conventional workplace programming, GSA found that a traditional focus on data such as total space needs and head counts offers little understanding of how people work, the problems and constraints they face, and why these problems exist. In other words, workplace programming typically does not solve problems that ultimately benefit the organization’s mission and business.