September’s Harvard Business Review includes a review of results from an office re-design carried out by consultancy DEGW for pharmaceutical company Lilly. In a radical redesign of 470,000 square feet, Lilly moved from a traditional, Dilbert-style cube-farm to a modern, flexible layout encompasses different areas for different kinds of work: team rooms for collaborative work, enclaves for private conversations etc. As found in other research, DEGW found that workers typically spend only 35% of their time at their desks.
Some of the stats gathered have been insightful, for example:
- Hours lost per employee per year, waiting for feedback or approval from manager; reduced from 29.6 hours to 13.6;
- Hours lost per employee per year to drop-by visitors; reduced from 34.4 hours to 22.8.
In addition, Lilly have enjoyed the same levels of significant savings experienced by other firms going down this route:
- Furniture cost per employee; reduced from $9,100 to $4,900
- Capital cost per employee; reduced from $34,000 to $18,000
And employees are happier:
- Overall satisfaction with workspace up from 34% to 64%