Creating a Company Culture: From Star Trek to Yahoo – What we are learning about workplace mobility

When it comes to work flexibility, technology has created the opportunity for team members to be mobile and still get their work done. This freedom within the workplace is continuously debated at both the local and national level. And the conversation impacts the future of Corporate America. Where do you stand on the issue? Are you part of a Workplace of the Future?

Consider these facts & figures presented by the Institute of Leadership & Management.

Attitudes toward flexible working Flexibility Poll The Positive & Negatives

Marissa Mayer, chief executive office of Yahoo!, put a stop to telecommuting. Was this a smart strategic business decision or a big mistake? See what Milwaukee-area human resource and employment experts think about this workplace altering decision.

When it comes to mobility, Citrix is “the cloud computing company that enables mobile work styles – empowering people to work and collaborate from anywhere.” They think we can learn a lot about mobility from Star Trek and offer a survey to help you analyze your company:

What Star Trek Can Teach us About Enterprise Mobility

Workplace of the Future Benchmarking Survey

Now, what do you think? If you want to talk about mobility in your work environment contact Schroeder Solutions 262.207.6399 or click here for our contact us page

Workplace Trends #5 – Collaboration Happens Everywhere

Teknion’s WorkplaceOne: The New Norm by Steve Delfino of the Teknion Corporation looks at the evolution of the workplace and highlights trends that are “currently affecting its process, structure and function.” He identifies—Collaboration Happens Anywhere—as one of the “key trends informing the 21st century workplace.”

Isn’t this why the coffee bar has emerged in many office environments? That is why the lunchroom is bigger and has Wi-Fi now, right? The real shift according to Delfino is a new perspective on allocating office square footage. “Generally speaking, organizations are opting to dedicate more square feet to public spaces vs. dedicated workstations and private offices.” Panel walls lowering, visual access increasing, and more shared spaces or places for employees to be mobile within the office environment start to encourage collaboration, communication and innovation. These design strategies create serendipitous moments not scheduled in Conference Room #4 at 9:00am.

Does your work environment support collaboration anywhere? You may need help bringing down the barriers to collaboration—Schroeder can help you design a workspace that allows for spontaneous and dynamic moments of interaction.

Buzzword: Collaboration – Technology is the Ultimate Enabler

Are you too busy multi-tasking on your electronic devices to pay attention to the people in the room with you?

As the illustration shows, technology often takes the place of face-to-face interaction.  Note the single figure (Hey!) who is asking for attention.  But is technology the enabler we are looking for?  Can virtual teams succeed?  The answer is, “yes” and “no.”

 The Internet, smart phone and video conferencing are a diverse set of tools that magically unite us with colleagues across time and space. They are limited, however, in providing “social presence.”  Technology makes it easy to communicate quickly, but does quality match ease and speed?  How many misunderstandings occur through email?  Do team members fail to update others with new data?  Can tacit knowledge—like learning to use the copier—be transmitted electronically?

As the illustration shows, technology often takes the place of face-to-face interaction. Note the single figure (Hey!) who is asking for attention. But is technology the enabler we are looking for? Can virtual teams succeed? The answer is, “yes” and “no.”



The Internet, smart phone and video conferencing are a diverse set of tools that magically unite us with colleagues across time and space. They are limited, however, in providing “social presence.” Technology makes it easy to communicate quickly, but does quality match ease and speed? How many misunderstandings occur through email? Do team members fail to update others with new data? Can tacit knowledge—like learning to use the copier—be transmitted electronically?

Is the amount of face-time between your team members as well as your clients declining? If so, you may want to consider the effects of Virtual Distance. According to authors of Uniting the Virtual Workforce, Karen Sobel Lojeski and Richard R. Reilly, Virtual Distance “is a psychological distance created between people by an over-reliance on electronic communication.” Their research shows that as Virtual Distance increases there is a:

– 50% decline in project success (on-time, on-budget delivery)
– 90% drop in innovation effectiveness
– 80% plummet in work satisfaction
– 83% fall off in trust
– 65% decrease in role and goal clarity
– 50% decline in leader effectiveness

If technology allows your company to communicate with ease and speed, that is great. But, you may want to evaluate the quality of that communication and monitor the satisfaction of your employees as well as your clients. Have you ever been misunderstood in an email or had a hard time hearing someone during a conference call? That affects the quality of the communication, right? Furthermore, face-to-face interactions provide opportunities for deeper connections, moments that may have lasting impact on your corporate culture and client satisfaction.

Does your work environment provide the right balance between technological and human interactions?

NeoCon Preview – Teknion

Put the Teknion Showroom on your must see list for NeoCon 2013 for previews of the Teknion Studio with Jeffrey Bernett, Teknion Textiles with Suzanne Tick and B&B Italia’s Project Collection. New visions, new relationships, the innovation at Teknion continues.

Jeffrey Bernett and Teknion Studio
Teknion Studio will initially offer soft seating, tables and related furniture products. These products will be designed by Jeffrey Bernett, founder of CDS located in New York, and his long-time associate Nicholas Dodziuk. A new lounge/table series is under development by Mario Ruiz of Spain. The Teknion Studio portfolio will facilitate blending and product integration with Teknion office furniture, as well as other brands.

Suzanne Tick and Teknion Textiles
Teknion will be launching a new brand of textiles created by New York-based Suzanne Tick to bring a broad range of sophisticated and refined fabrics to the market. The new Teknion Textiles line will be comprised of contemporary fabrics at different price points while maintaining a cohesive collection. Graded-in upholstery, panel and architectural wall textiles will be available in the open market. An extension of Teknion’s core values – clean aesthetic, attention to detail, design innovation – the line will introduce new technologies and selections to the marketplace of today and tomorrow with high-level design and quality.

B&B Italia
B&B Italia’s Project Collection – a coordinated offering of tables, chairs, high-end casegoods and soft seating – comprises ergonomic, functional furnishings that address the requirements of public spaces. B&B Italia Project products offered by Teknion Studio will be a joint venture, manufactured in Italy as well as in North America, all to the same high standards as in Europe. The partnership will allow for shorter lead times and faster delivery, making the B&B Italia Project Collection more responsive to contract client needs in the North American market.

Read the entire Teknion Press Release Here