'An office workplace, like so many other products and services in the future, will fail if it only manages to be ordinary'... Adryan Bell, one of the pioneers in the design of work and workspace, uses his new book Re-imagining the Office as a canvas on which to paint a vivid and, at times challenging, image of the future office. Through six inter-related themes, efficiency, effectiveness, engagement, expression, e-work and experience he encourages the reader to challenge and re-invent many existing long-standing workplace conventions. These include basic aspects like office design and image, workplace status and symbolism, dependency on desks, use of alternative work settings and locations, territorialism, use of paper, exploitation of technology and flexibility with time. More fundamentally, he encourages a rethinking of the whole concept and location of the workplace - and its role in supporting our work and the organisations we work for. The book is both backward as well as forward looking as the author remarks: 'we can learn from the past. And we should not throw everything completely away in boldly pursuing, as we must do, the new future'. Re-imagining the Office is a call to arms for all those concerned with workplace design; with the engagement of employees; with the practical task of nurturing the culture of knowledge, innovation and transformation that are now seen as key to future competitiveness in business and the delivery of relevant and sustainable services in the public sector.
Adryan Bell started his career as a civil servant, undertaking a variety of roles across locations and departments, as civil servants do. He joined the international workplace consultants DEGW in the mid 1990s, from the Government agency Scottish Enterprise, becoming Director of workplace strategy and change. He has worked on a wide range of public and private sector projects with DEGW, both within the UK and internationally - focusing particularly on the cultural change associated with the transitions to new work environments and new work practices. Adryan currently works on a freelance basis, as well as holding a senior part-time advisory role with the Northern Ireland Civil Service as Head of Work Innovation.
'...this is a good quick overview of the politics involved in creating a new environment...Would I recommend it? Yes, to those looking at making a change to the work environment as a starting point to consider all factors at the higher level.' Nicola Thorp for Arras People