Archive for the ‘workplace’ Category

Taking Charge of Your Career

Jan De Weer advises to not be afraid to self promote. Jan De Weer advises the group to not be afraid to self promote.

Stacy Krell talks to the office about career advancement.

In the first of a year-long Careers by Design series, Senior Human Resources Manager Stacy Krell talked to the St. Louis office about “Taking Charge of Your Career!”

The session is part of an office initiative for 2014 in which professionals from around the office discuss topics ranging from general industry trends, looking in depth at ongoing and completed projects and career development.

Stacy’s overarching message to the staff was the need to take …

Create, Inspire, Connect, Care

This time of year HOK’s values are shared with the City of Houston through volunteering, donations, and community involvement.

HOK Movember 2013

As we completed the month of November…and “Movember” (dedicated to raise awareness to men’s health), many thanks to those who joined the worthy cause and sported mighty stylish “staches” or donated to the team.

We Care Event

Another year of We Care is complete and the snowman hot cocoa jars were cute and tasty! The event was full of children zooming around to create crafts and with a great turnout of volunteers and kids, all 96 of HOKs crafts were made within an hour….

Build it Forward

Team HOK with their student team leader Cassandra Team HOK with their student team leader Cassandra

On Saturday November 2nd, HOK Houston along with other members of the Houston design, engineering and construction community, participated in the second annual ACE Mentor Program Build it Forward event. The event was designed to raise scholarship funds for the Houston chapter of the ACE Mentor Program while giving students and their mentors an opportunity to give back to their community.

This year teams constructed convertible picnic tables that function as benches or a full size picnic table when converted. The teams built approximately 15 composite picnic tables that will be donated to local charitable organizations.

Celebrating James Klaiber’s 40 Years of Service to HOK

 

This month the Houston office honored James Klaiber for his great accomplishment of 40 years with HOK, YES ANOTHER engineer to join “40 year club!”

James practices electrical engineering and has good company in the MEP department… many of which are here for the long haul, like 20 and 30 years, plus!

Congratulations James and THANK YOU for your continued excellence.

My Day at a Co-Working Space

My setup for the day

Last week I spent my first day in a co-working space. I need to give a big thanks to the great folks at WELD in Dallas for being so accommodating and friendly. Great space. Great people. Great coffee. WELD will be setting up a new space in Nashville in the near future, so be on the lookout for that if you’re in the area.

My day started with working from home for a few hours. WELD’s typical hours are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. so I had some time at home in the morning to catch up on a few things and jump on a conference call before …

Leverage Your Workplace to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Just about every conversation I have related to employee attraction and retention tends to turn into an HR sounding discussion about office protocols, incentives, and perks. And there are many great articles on this topic. This recent article by Josh Bersin is a great example of some economic factors and organizational approaches to retaining the best people. But as a workplace strategist, I need to help my clients make more tangible links between their physical workplace and how it can be leveraged to attract and retain top talent. Below I offer up a few thoughts. 
First Impressions

Most people would guess that …

Celebrating Ed Abboud’s 40 Years of Service to HOK

 

This month we honored Ed Abboud with a lunch event to show our support of his great accomplishment of 40 years with HOK, YES 40!  Along with his HOK family, Ed’s wife, children and grandchildren were able to join the celebration and coincidently it was also 40 years ago that day his daughter was born! He shared stories about his journey through which he has observed the advances of technology and the sustainability of construction with the less experienced staff, which includes all but a handful of us!

Congratulations Ed, and THANK YOU for your continued excellence.

In his own words, he express his thanks below.

“Your thoughts, e-mails, words, cards, hugs and gifts have truly touched me …

Get Smart About Space Utilization in the Workplace

Humana_HUB Anthropology Deliverable Final 020411“We’re just not using our space effectively” is one way clients typically sum up their pain points when we first sit down to talk with them.

“Well, walk us through your typical work day” will often be one of the first follow-up responses a workplace strategist will ask to begin to discover what’s working and what’s not in terms of how people use their space.

As we continue to look for more effective ways to improve the overall workplace experience, one tool we can use is measuring and analyzing space utilization. To gain better insight into how companies utilize their office space, there are several ways to approach these …

Communicating Across Remote Workplaces

As many smaller to mid-size companies evolve into global organizations, the way we collaborate with one another also needs to evolve. We continue to see a plethora of technology based solutions being rolled out to enable more global collaboration. I personally rely heavily on the hardware, software, apps, and the ubiquitous 24/7 access to get the job done, whatever that job may be at any given time. But lately I’ve been working with more remote teammates and I realize that while we definitely have good technology to collaborate, we sometimes forget the human element to how we effectively communicate with one another. No matter how good your technology, the effectiveness of simple …

Happy April Fool’s :)

 

 

Join the Yahoo! Workplace Debate at Inscape NYC

If you’re in New York City on March 19, please join us at Inscape NYC for a Workplace Salon discussing the Yahoo! No-Work-From-Home Memo. HOK will help moderate the event and participate in a debate on both sides of the argument. We’ll be joined by folks from Gensler, Credit Suisse, BrightSpot Strategy and Perkins + Will.

Workplace Salon: The Yahoo! Debate
March 19, 2013 from 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Inscape NYC Showroom
414 W. 14th Street, 6th floor
RSVP by March 15, 2013
jfeuerborn@inscapesolutions.com

The audience will be polled on which side they most agree with before and then again after the debate. Let the …

Flexible Work Makes Women Happy (In the Workplace, at Least)

All of this talk about Yahoo, mobility, flexibility in the workplace, and the list goes one, has sparked some interesting dialogue. There are those that see working from home as beneficial not only to an employee’s well-being and job satisfaction, but also to productivity, reduction of churn, greater efficiency, and slimmer real estate costs. However, there are also those that see a lack of innovation, difficulty managing and measuring productivity, and missed opportunities for serendipitous encounters and communication.

Accenture’s Survey Results for IWD2013

But we have tasted the freedom that technology offers (as well as the tethering – who checks email before even getting out of bed …

Why I Believe a Work-at-Home Policy is Worth Keeping


image from Wikimedia Commons

Several organizations have asked for our advice on “work-from-home” policies, particularly in light of the recent policy change at Yahoo, effectively rescinding their work-at-home program.  I can’t speak for Yahoo, but the issues they are facing are very real… how can organizations encourage employees to connect with one another now that we’re so all so mobile and can work anywhere?  Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s current CEO and formerly with Google, has seen the benefits of a culture that encourages employees to come into the office.

As our team learned in HOK’s design of Google Canada’s new Toronto office, they go to a lot of trouble to make …

The Secret to Productivity Is…

Not only have I been seeing this NYT article (Relax! You’ll Be More Productive) circulating around Facebook lately, but a coworker also just emailed it to our whole group.  It seems that many people are yearning for both increased productivity and relaxation – and this article by Tony Schwartz just may be the golden ticket to helping us achieve that magical balance!

It seems a bit counterintuitive at first.  Schwartz states that they key to achieving greater productivity is not found through getting swept up in a whirlwind of working/going/doing longer and faster, rather, it is found in quite the opposite state: that of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Schwartz’s thesis …

Top 10 Reasons Your Workplace May Not Be Working for You

When you visit your doctor to talk about what is hurting or not right, you may find yourself describing sharp pains, headaches or numbness. If your doctor is doing her job, she will then ask you follow-up questions about these symptoms to get to the root of the problem.

You are probably painfully aware of some symptoms. Others are less obvious and take some probing and testing to figure out. Having studied for many years and seen many patients, your doctor should be able to give you a reasonably accurate diagnosis of what is ailing you.

That’s our job, but for space. At HOK, we listen to our clients and evaluate their complaints. …

1,000 Days without a Car: A Transformation of Transportation

It has been nearly one thousand days since Earth Day 2010.  I’m proud to be part of a firm that celebrates this day as passionately as we do.  It means something.  Our belief in and commitment to sustainability is unparalleled amongst our competition.  Every year we campaign and rally around our messages as if an election was at stake.  We’ve turned the lights out.  We’ve recharged.  We go above and beyond to prove to the world that we care about the world.  I like this.

One thousand days ago, it was this passion and commitment that drove me to stop driving.  On Earth Day 2010, I sold my car.  For many of …

Leaving Space for People too.

This is a short post I’ve written as a guest contributor for a friend at Otto. Check out other amazing posts on design and products at 3Rings!

There’s an intrinsic dilemma that all architects and designers carry with them: the struggle with the idea of control. We lose precious sleep over the often unknowable outcomes of our projects.

20121114 - HOK Office-248 small

An ever-present but less contemplated thought is the impact of those outcomes. While this also can be “unknowable,” designers can draw on evidence and research to predict the impacts of projects with more accuracy. From a business culture standpoint, we crave predictability. Yet, it rarely leaves room for growth, …

Morning Habits of Highly Successful People

Eat the frog first?! That’s what Fast Company Magazine recommends in Kevin Purdy’s article What Successful People Do With the First Hour of Their Day. I am not one to eat the frog first, for sure. My day usually starts about an hour before others show up at the office. This allows me some time to get my list of things to do together, catch up on email and voicemail, and sart checking a few things off my list. I typically accompany this start up time with a cup of “fancy coffee” and some breakfast (usually greek yogurt).mmm…coffee!I save my frog eating for mid-day. I wondered if …

How is Generation Y Transforming the Workplace?

I’m a hard-core Gen Xer. The year I was born falls right in the middle of the “sandwich generation” between the Baby Boomers and their babies. I know that it drives me crazy when people make gross generalizations about Gen Xers – probably because I’m a Gen Xer and want to break the mold. So, when I saw this CNN article about Gen Yers transforming office life, I couldn’t help but reach out to a few of them around HOK to ask for their reactions. What I found was a fascinating range of opinions…


Thales Rail Signaling Solutions Offices, Toronto

Stefana Scinta
C
onsultant, Washington, DC

I …

HOK Workplace Experts on Working from Home without Slacking Off


HOK’s Robin Ellerthorpe in his Grand Rapids, Mich., home office

Sue Shellenbarger’s recent Wall Street Journal piece on “‘Working from Home’ Without Slacking Off” reminded me of the question so many clients ask about the benefits and drawbacks of home working.

HOK gets drawn into the conversation because when our clients’ employees work at home full- or even part-time, they typically lose their assigned seat in the office. With more and more people working outside the office, large portions of office buildings can sit empty for long periods and there can be less of a reason to be there. Heck, with everyone away from the office, will there even be people to …

Happy 4th!!

What a better way to start summer than with a Summer kick off/Independence Day party?!


We had a great turn-out on a perfect day today… Clear skies, not too hot, nice breeze and a ton of fantastic food from our food truck caterer, the Greasy Wiener.  Not to mention much thanks …

LA Kings Rule (yea.. that’s right!)

Why the Los Angeles Kings are going to DESTROY the St. Louis Blues! (ahem.. St Louis office.. we are talking to you…)

  1. We have Jonathan Quick! Everyone knows the playoffs can revolve around goaltending, and not only is our goalie a top Vezina Trophy candidate, his name is QUICK! I mean a goalie couldn’t have a more fitting name if his parents had named him, Jonathan “Brick Wall Between the Pipes”. Who do the Blues have in goal? Good question, cause he was riding the pine a few games ago.
  2. Dustin Brown is going to crush Elliott, with a LEGAL hit. With all the crappy fights and horrible penalties of the first round, Dustin Brown has easily 2 or 3 of the

Pretty Female Architects

I was curiously Google-image searching the term “female architect” one afternoon and the results were stereotypical as expected; hard hats inside finished buildings, abundant rolls of paper, every face with a huge smile and the occasional Zaha head shot (go girl!). Another observation was that every female is young and attractive; this made me wonder where that portrayal was conceived?

Soon after, I came across an article in February’s “Architect” magazine (p.29) stating that “Only about 3% of executives in major American corporations – including architecture firms- are women (according to McKinsey & Co.).”

I wasn’t so shocked; it’s a man’s world we’re infiltrating, and only for the last few generations. However, the …

More ‘We’ than ‘Me’: HOK’s Lisa Fulford-Roy Discusses Workplace Design in the Toronto Star

Thanks to Lauren Gibbs and Dale Pozzi of HOK’s Strategic Accounts + Consulting group for passing this our way:


Fraser Milner Casgrain, Vancouver

A recent article published in the Great Features: Ideas in Innovations section of the Toronto Star featured how new ways of working, along with changes in working environments, have promoted collaborative, effective team environments for many organizations. Several companies that have recently redesigned their work spaces are featured in the article, including those designed by HOK.

Lisa Fulford-Roy, HOK’s vice president of client strategy, stated that many companies are looking to implement agile workplace standards to reduce costs and space while also improving flexibility for …

Weighing in on Open Workplans: HOK’s Paul Wheeler on BBC Radio

Thanks to Dale Pozzi from our New York office for passing along this guest post about London workplace strategist Paul Wheeler‘s recent appearance on BBC Radio:

The open workplan format is facing no small amount of scrutiny lately as a creativity killer. Among the most recent sources of controversy is the publication of new book, “QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” whose author, Susan Cain, posits that the open workplan may be stifling creativity.

Fortunately, advocates have Paul Wheeler to defend the cause (or at least to define it properly).

On Monday morning, BBC Radio’s Vanessa Feltz dedicated a portion of her program to an interview with Susan …

Reflections on World Workplace (part 2)

My last post about IFMA World Workplace 2011 focused on HOK and my FM friends. This post shares some of what I learned (always a highlight of attending conferences for me). I was only in Phoenix for a day and a half, so I didn’t hit quite as many sessions as I would have liked, but I did get to see a couple of really good ones.

I’ve included links to each of the sessions where you can learn more about the presenters and download some additional information if you’re interested in learning more.

Dispelling the Myths of a Telecommuting and Flexible Workplace Program.  Great presentation by TIAA-CREF and DEGW sharing information on some …

Reflections on World Workplace (part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Phoenix for IFMA World Workplace 2011. For those of you not intimately familiar with the facility management profession, IFMA is the International Facility Management Association and World Workplace is the organization’s annual conference – typically about 5,000 folks from around the world attend.  IFMA is one of my favorite organizations – lots of really wonderfully nice (and smart, and interesting) people!

This year, Angie Earlywine and I were selected to present a concurrent session: Space Matters – New Ways of Maximizing Space Utilization, and I was selected to present Make the Most of Social Media for Your

HOK Stars at NeoCon East

Today and tomorrow, the design world is converging upon the Baltimore Convention Center to share thoughts, best practices, cool products, and swag at NeoCon East

This year, I had the great priviledge of presenting with my friend and colleague, the fabulous Claire Whitehill.  Our presentation was focused on workplace benchmarks and best practices, and shared a few case studies of things that were working well. We had a great audience who were happy to participate and offered some great comments and asked some of the tough questions.  Let me know if you’re interested in the presentation – we’d be happy to share!

At 1 pm, one of your favorite bloggers, Sean

Did ya hear…..

The US Southern Command Headquarters project received a Design Build Excellence Award at the National DBIA Conference last week! 

http://www.dbia.org/about/awards/national/2011projects.htm

U.S. Southcom Headquarters is one of the U.S. military’s ten Major Combatant Commands. It includes a four-story, 440,000-square-foot headquarters building with offices, command suite, computer data center, conference and training rooms and the command center. Additional buildings include the 40,000-square-foot Conference Center of the Americas and the 150,000-square-foot Services building for support functions, child development center, health and medical center, fitness center, warehouse facilities, loading docks and central utility plant.

US Southern Command Headquarters also received an Eagle Award from the Associated Building and Contractors Central Florida group on Saturday evening.

http://www.abccentralflorida.com/

And…

In MarketWatch (a …

Welcome to HOK Airways

On Thursday 22nd September, London’s property industry came together to celebrate the inaugural HOK London Annual Party on board HOK Airways.  Having celebrated a number of  successes and project milestones particularly in our Aviation  sector, we chose this theme for our 2011 Annual Party.  On the following evening we opened our doors to the public in celebration of the London Design Festival.

We wanted to celebrate 2011 with clients, partners, consultants supporters and journalists whom we have had the pleasure of working with through this challenging yet rewarding year.

Planning began in June and we made it just in time to register to be part of the London Design Festival. Weekly meetings were …