Environments for the Knowledge-Intensive Workplace:
Opportunities in an MG Taylor Environment

James B. Smethurst
September 21, 1997

By choosing an MG Taylor environment, you are challenging yourself and your organization to achieve an entirely different approach to work. An MG Taylor environment is more than an incremental change from a traditional work environment. It represents a philosophical shift--in architecture, in business, in "flexibility", and in humanism.

Collaboration and the Group Genius™ Process
MG Taylor designs its furniture and its environments to facilitate collaborative design and group genius. The visual space represented by the WorkWall™ systems permits individuals, teams, and entire organizations to set goals, to create visions, and to plot and track courses for getting there--or more precisely, getting here from there. Visions reside, not in the minds of a few individuals, but in the open, on the walls, for all to see and recreate for themselves. The entire crew understands the goals, the logic behind each of the steps, and the reasons for taking on this venture in the first place.

User Configuration
An MG Taylor environment also authorizes the crew of this venture to adjust the space to their personal needs depending on the work that needs doing at any given time. Only those doing the work can really know what sort of environment will best facilitate their work at any particular moment during the day. When the crew needs to work alone, they can configure the space for individual work in moments. When they need to work as a large group, they reconfigure the space for large-group work in minutes. Small teams? In minutes, the crew can arrange the space to suit their exact needs. Moreover, the crew does not need to gather their work and move it to a more suitable location down the hall or upstairs--the space can mold around their work.

Work Process and Environment
MG Taylor's work furniture, from individual workstations to the walls themselves, roll into almost any configuration, and each MG Taylor environment, whether a NavigationCenter™ environment or a Management Center, is designed to suit the kinds of work that will take place in that environment. A NavCenter environment that is designed for an engineering project, for example, would look quite different from a NavCenter™
space used for a real estate development project. The purpose for this custom design is to allow the work environment to facilitate the specific projects and processes that will take place in that environment.

Flexibility and Efficiency
Once the general parameters of an environment are set, the furniture allows the users themselves (not a team of "experts" from the manufacturer) to reconfigure the space in minutes (not over a weekend or longer). As the size of a project team fluctuates, workstations can be rolled in or out (again, within minutes) without complicated and expensive renovation of fixed structures. As workers from other offices or other companies come to work in the space temporarily, the furniture can be configured both to provide a temporary workstation for the guest and to allow the normal work processes to continue. Most importantly, this kind of mobility provides for much more efficient use of space. Since individual, small team and large group work can all occur in the same space, there are rarely offices or conference rooms sitting unused and empty. Therefore more work can get done in less space. This is efficiency. This is flexibility.

A Creation Environment
This approach to work environments represents a synthesis of architecture, business and humanism. A work environment is not a factory, and workers are not automatons. A sterile, uniform and sleek environment does not promote productivity. Efficiency, structure and uniformity are the traits of machines. Humanity, on the other hand, excels at creation. MG Taylor creates environments that facilitate this creative spirit. A pleasant atmosphere, varied with soft colors, interesting textures, pleasing woods and abundant plants, is an environment that encourages people to enter and to stay. A work environment that allows people to relax and feel comfortable is one in which creativity can emerge. In the last 20 years, MG Taylor has discovered that a flexible and pleasing environment is precisely the kind of atmosphere that allows people to enjoy their work. We have found that if people enjoy the work in which they are engaged, they generally dedicate more focus and energy to it. In short, MG Taylor creates innovative environments that are both highly stimulating and productive workplaces and pleasing, comfortable spaces in which to live and work.

Environments for the Knowledge-Intensive Workplace
In today's business environment, organizations are having to do more with fewer people in less and less time. MG Taylor offers a means of altering the structure of business to allow organizations to stay requisite with the rate of change without sacrificing the well-being of their members. MG Taylor environments are a fundamental step in achieving this state change.


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