The open office may not be dead so much as in transition, and it is being shaped by a critical new tool in the design arsenal: data. The information is being used to develop office designs that not only optimize the space but also improve the employee experience. A messy backroom in an unfinished part of the office called the “White space” is where teams with confidential projects sometimes hide away to work. “If people say open office is dead, I would say lounge furniture in open office is dead,” Heiser said. A quarter of the 37 million square feet of office space it has under management in the Americas has adopted the “New Way of Working” concept, said Michael Kruklinski, head of Region Americas for Siemens Real Estate. The company is also piloting infrared sensors in the ceilings at three of its U.S. offices to get a firmer handle on the types of spaces people gravitate to. The data in Siemens’ Chicago office revealed that less than two-thirds of employees are in the office at peak times, indicating that there is room to add staff without moving or leasing more space, Kruklinski said.
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