Offices shape the lives of millions of people. How we plan, design and equip them says a great deal about the culture of organisations, the mentality of managers and the motivations of staff. But getting the right balance between management efficiency and individual wellbeing is as elusive as ever. New Demographics New Workspace looks for answers in some new places. The authors address ways in which the office environment can be redesigned to offer greater levels of comfort, flexibility and fitness for purpose in the new age of the older knowledge worker. Based on the findings of the authors 'Welcoming Workplace' research project at the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre, New Demographics New Workspace examines the impact of two of the most significant shifts in the workplace: the ageing of the workforce and the changing nature of work itself in the knowledge economy. By examining the movements and motivations of older knowledge workers in the UK, Japan and Australia, the authors have generated new conceptual approaches to office design that offer an alternative to the current outdated model derived from the factory floor. In particular they question the value of open-plan offices that favour collaboration over concentration and contemplation. Given the growing pensions crisis and anticipated knowledge gap in the workforce in many developed countries, this book has real political, economic and social resonance. If we are all going to have extended working lives in the 21st century, the places in which we work will need to flex and adapt to make us want to keep on working.
Jeremy Myerson is the Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art, where he also leads the Helen Hamlyn Centre. A journalist, academic and design activist, he was the Founding Editor of Design Week and he also established the InnovationRCA, the Royal College of Art's innovation network for business. He is the author of a number of books on workplace design, including New Workspace New Culture for Gower, and lectures and consults internationally. Jo-Anne Bichard is a Research Fellow in the RCA Helen Hamlyn Centre. She trained as a social anthropologist at Goldsmiths College and her MSc at Imperial College involved an ethnographic study of neuroscience laboratories. Her research focus is on barriers to and opportunities for inclusive design of products and environments, including the workplace. Alma Erlich is a chartered psychologist with 20 years experience of consulting to organisations, providing management development, evaluation, training and coaching to senior management. Alma is a consultant to the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre, advising on research for design innovation and workplace environments. She is also a Member of the British Psychological Society, the Association of Business Psychologists and the Social Research Association.