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  • Writer's pictureDavid George

Bread Making and Workplace Design - What's the Connection?

Picture of loaves of bread
Any two loaves (workplaces) the same?

There are many misconceptions around creating a workplace that delivers for today’s way of working. We see far too many companies spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars creating aesthetically pleasing workplaces.

To what end? No change in occupancy, employee morale or performance.

We’ve written about this before, but for a workplace to be successful for both employees and the company, it’s a combination of a number of factors. 

I’ve listed the main ones here, but there may well be more.

  1. It’s as much about the process of designing the space as it is the outcome.

  2. The worksettings designs, quantities and space availability must match the activities, occupancy levels and diversity of employees.

  3. These worksettings must be configured to enable intuitive and fluidity in use.

  4. There needs to be technology that enables flexibility in use.

  5. There needs to be common protocols and behaviors by employees in the space.


Let’s dig a little deeper into these.

  1. Co-creating office configuration, design and enrichments by fully involving those who will be using the space leads to higher levels of buy-in and productivity. Fact.

  2. Activity Based Working analysis is the ideal approach to identifying, quantifying and configuring the worksettings.

  3. Intra and Inter team connections along with 2. above inform the ease in use of the space.

  4. Flexible workplaces and workforces require super connectivity between spaces and intuitive, interactive connectivity between places.

  5. Team agreements including core in-office days, hours, meeting and communication arrangements supported by agreed in-office etiquette and behaviors result in successful, holistic working practices that leverage the best from both employees and the workplace.

So where does the bread come in?

Coming up with a range of “collaborative worksettings” – which is often the go-to solution we see, is just like having a simple list of ingredients to make bread: flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water and oil. And not everyone agrees on that being definitive, there’s a bunch more you could add if you wish.

Maybe that it should strong, or special bread flour; should it be regular or active yeast, slow or fast rising? Should the water be cold or warm? What type of sugar? Rock salt or sea salt?

But how useful is that list without understanding the quantities?

Even if you work out exactly what the ingredients are, how do you turn that into a loaf of bread?

You’ll need the instructions, the full recipe to be successful; for those of you that have successfully made bread at home you’ll know it can be a complex process.

Creating high performing workplaces is the same, it is complex too. It needs the right recipe aligned to on the project in hand.

An aesthetically pleasing collection of worksettings are the ingredients, select the wrong type, shape, size or quantity and it’ll spoil the finished product, making it (uneatable) unworkable.

The engagement of employees to co-create the space, and the team agreements are the instructions on how to bake the perfect (loaf) workplace!

If you want to create that high performing workplace, optimize occupancy, right-size your real estate, and enable your employees to be productive, start with the best baker you can find.

Just look up ‘Workplace Consultant’ or send me a message!!

My advice? don’t do the grocery shopping until you’ve got the recipe.

Oh! And I have a great recipe for gluten-free bread too!


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