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Sharon Turner Discusses Smart Office Design with The Globe and Mail

Sharon Turner, director of interiors for HOK’s Canada practice, describes how data-driven office design can support more productive employees.

Excerpted from The Globe and Mail:

[Cisco’s] new headquarters in Toronto is a test site for Cisco’s Internet of Everything.

Lachlan MacQuarrie, Oxford’s head of platform services, says that it’s a striking example of the trend toward “cognitive offices.” These spaces use data and connectivity to improve building efficiency and better match the preferences of employees.

A major driver of smart offices is getting people more engaged, says Sharon Turner, senior principal and director of interiors for Canada at HOK, an international architecture and design firm.

“The data we are seeing shows that 70 per cent of U.S. workers are disengaged in the office and that could be slightly higher in Canada,” she says.

According to Ms. Turner, smart buildings can make a difference for employees. “Employee surveys show that having the ability to choose work setting depending on the task they are doing scores high on employee surveys of what makes them happier at work.”

People can be distracted by feeling their work area is too cold or hot or too noisy. The flexibility to move to a different space “that’s right for you at [a particular] time of day” is an important change in how people work, she says.

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