The growing demand for new approaches to support the changing nature of work and organizational structure has spawned innovations from both manufacturers and space designers. The result is a multitude of new concepts and designs, but little data on how well and under what circumstances these innovations are effective. New products, technologies, and concepts are frequently implemented without knowledge of their impacts on work, much less their value to high-level organizational goals. The measurement most commonly used is still cost, or even less sensibly, square feet. To remedy this shortcoming, the U.S. General Service Administration's Public Buildings Service assembled an interagency research team and recognized academic and private sector leaders to identify "best practice" workplace strategies and the research tools holding the most promise for evaluating their impact. They evaluated the linkages among organizational performance (Business), the physical attributes of the workspace (Building), and the changes in work processes, perceptions, and attitudes that result from changes to this physical space (Behavior). This article provides an overview of the GSA program and preliminary results from two pilot projects.
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