How to Design Brain-friendly Flexible Offices. Based on Science, Not on Opinions by Theo Compernolle

How to Design Brain-friendly Flexible Offices. Based on Science, Not on Opinions

byTheo Compernolle

Kobo ebook | January 28, 2017

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Because modern zoo-directors know more about the inborn needs of their animals, than company-directors about the innate needs of people… the cages in modern zoos are better for animals, than modern offices for people.
That is what Prof. Dr. Theo Compernolle discovered when he gave keynote speeches and workshops, for many companies and organizations on four continents, about his research on the unrealized synergy between the human brain and Information and Communication Technology; the subject of his book "BrainChains".

Almost always people in the audience react "... but the main obstacle for me is my open plan office ...”. Many professionals complain about the negative impact of their office on their productivity. They called their office a brain-warehouse, a brain-jail and even a brain-torture-chamber. The core of their story always is that it is impossible to concentrate in their office.
Theo Compernolle did research about the "Sick Building Syndrome", but he has no personal experience of working in an open office. Therefore, he first did a survey among 1200 professionals, half of them managers, and found out that only 13% (thirteen!) answered that an open office (more than three people in one space) was a good place to work. He then dived deep in the research literature. The conclusion of this research is indisputable: open plan offices are detrimental for work that requires attention and concentration because they do not take into account very basic needs of brain-workers and their brains.

Today, all employees are brain-workers. Their brain is their most important tool. Their personal success and that of their companies depends on the way they use their brains. The problem is that they are ignorant about the most basic scientific knowledge about the human brain. What they know is often the result of misinformation and urban myths. As a result they use their great modern Information and Communication Technology in ways that very significantly undermine rather than enhance their intellectual productivity. This issue is the subject of Theo Compernolle's comprehensive book "BrainChains" and its short and crisp summary "How To Unchain Your Brain".
What's even worse is that when companies invite him for a lecture or a workshop, they regularly am kindly request him not to talk about the negative impact of open offices. Hence, these executives know or vaguely feel that something is wrong, but they avoid the discussion, notwithstanding the issue is crucial for the productivity and health of modern office workers.
Since you kept reading this description after its confrontational opening-sentence, you do not belong to the group of managers that prefers an ostrich strategy, even if it undermines the long-term productivity and well-being of their employees.

Working in an open plan office reduces intellectual productivity very significantly. If employees try to keep up their concentration, they pay the price of spending more energy, having more stress and leaving the office more exhausted than in an office with less distraction. To know if an office is fit for the work people do is very simple: do the telephone test. If their work needs attention and concentration, and they can hear other people making phone calls… then they are in the wrong office.

In this book the research about open offices is summarized. Originally, this was a chapter of the book “BrainChains”. In the final stages of writing “BrainChains” however, Theo Compernolle realized that his book was about productivity enhancing measures that office workers can and should control themselves, but the design of their offices is outside their niche of control. This is the responsibility of the executives. Therefore, he removed the chapter from “BrainChains” and turned it into this separate booklet.

Title:How to Design Brain-friendly Flexible Offices. Based on Science, Not on OpinionsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:January 28, 2017Publisher:Theo CompernolleLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9082205874

ISBN - 13:9789082205879

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