Caitlin Schauster

Caitlin Schauster


Recent posts by Caitlin Schauster

5 min read

5 Ways to Cultivate a Collaborative Workplace Culture in 2021

By Caitlin Schauster on Apr 7, 2021 9:11:32 AM

No matter where you work, collaboration is important. In fact, the Steelcase Active Collaboration study found that 97 percent of global workers believe teamwork is crucial to company success, while 93 percent say it helps generate better ideas.

That being said, there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding collaboration and how it works. Some people define collaboration as being in the same room as other people, but in reality, collaboration is far more complex than that. 

Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we know how challenging it can be to design for successful collaboration in your workspace, which is why we're here to help you overcome barriers and guide you through the process, every step of the way. 

In this article, we'll take a look at all the ways you can design a workspace that supports collaboration and allows your employees to come together, solve problems and generate game-changing ideas.

5 Ways to design for Collaboration in the workplace

1. Make it easy to book space with room scheduling systems 

Topics: Collaboration
4 min read

How to Encourage Employee Engagement through Workplace Design in 2021

By Caitlin Schauster on Feb 4, 2021 8:15:00 AM

Employee engagement is a serious bottom-line issue. According to the Steelcase Global Report, only 13 percent of global workers are highly engaged and highly satisfied with their work experience. 

When employees are disengaged, companies lose money, projects slow down, resources are drained and company goals are undermined, which is exactly why employee engagement is one of the key issues facing global organizations today. 

At Egyptian Workspace Partners, we know engagement is a complex issue that requires time and money. Still, we believe it's important to pinpoint exactly why  your people are disengaged and think of new ways to engage them through workplace design. 

In this article, we'll show how to create a great employee experience with these five design tips, so you can help boost employee engagement and productivity within your organization. 

4 Ways to Encourage Employee Engagement in the workplace

1. Give People Control over where and how they work  

Engaged employees have more control over their experience at work. But still, 51 percent of people say they need an escape from working in the same place during the day, and 53 percent can’t find the right types of spaces they need at any given time.

The fact is, people need the freedom to work wherever they want. They need access to a broad ecosystem of spaces with different tools and atmospheres to meet their changing needs throughout the day.  

Highly engaged employees have greater flexibility to make choices about where and how they work. They can move around the office easily, change postures and choose where they want to work based on the work they need to do. 

In fact, the Steelcase Global Report found that as the amount of choice and control increased, employee engagement also went up, resulting in 88 percent of workers being more highly engaged and highly satisfied than before.  

Design Considerations

  • Offer a variety of settings, both in and out of the office, to help employees feel supported in their work
  • Install a room scheduling system like Steelcase Room Wizard or Crestron Room Scheduling so users can easily book space to collaborate or focus
  • Create separate zones for individual, team and organizational needs
Topics: Engagement & Productivity
4 min read

Privacy in the Workplace: 3 Ways to Promote Worker Productivity in 2021

By Caitlin Schauster on Jan 26, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Engagement in the workplace is at an all-time low. In fact, according to the Steelcase Global Report, disengaged employees make up one-third of the average workforce and only 13 percent of workers are highly engaged.

There's a lot of evidence to suggest that this lack of engagement has to do with the inability to find privacy in the workplace, threatening people's engagement, stress levels and overall job performance, as well as their emotional, cognitive and physical wellbeing.

To solve for the lack of privacy, every workplace should provide access to a variety of areas where people can easily collaborate, and private spaces where they can focus without being subjected to constant noise or distractions.

Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we believe solving for the lack of privacy in the workplace is as simple as creating distinctly different spaces that work for different people at different times.

In this article, we'll help you understand what the four different types of privacy are, and how you can incorporate them throughout your office to drive innovation, growth and employee engagement.

What are the 4 Types of Privacy in the workplace? 

As reported by Steelcase, there are four different types of privacy that people instinctively consider when looking for a private space. All four types tend to overlap with one another:

  • Acoustic privacy – Users are undisturbed by noise or can create noise of their own without disturbing others
  • Visual privacy – Users are unseen by others or free from visual distractions
  • Territorial privacy – Users can claim a space and control it as their own
  • Informational privacy – Users can keep analog and digital content (or a combination of both) and a conversation confidential

3 wAYS TO pROMOTE pRIVACY in the workplace 

1. Craft tailored experiences with an ecosystem of spaces 

To solve complex problems and generate new ideas, people have to be able to come together. However, too much interaction and not enough privacy can actually take a toll on employee creativity, engagement and wellbeing. 

Topics: Privacy
5 min read

The Future of Workplace Technology: Designing for People & Place

By Caitlin Schauster on Jan 13, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Have you ever scheduled a team meeting and walked into a conference room, only to realize it was already being used? Or perhaps you had a Zoom meeting but couldn't find a space that provided easy access to power and data?  

Whatever the problem was, the outcome was probably the same: you struggled to get your work done and meet the deadline, all because you didn't have technology that made it easy to book space in advance or collaborate with team members working remotely.  

The truth is, technology can help drive innovation, but it doesn't do any good if your workspace doesn't properly support it. Technology should be embedded in offices, so it actually helps people work better.  

Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we believe creativity at work is driven by people, place and technology, which is why we're here to help you overcome the challenges of integrating technology into your workspace.  

In this article, we'll show you how you can use technology to keep your business moving forward, adapt to ever-changing work needs and help your people work efficiently. 

6 ways to integrate technology into the workplace 

1. Design Spaces for Distributed Collaboration

Distributed teams are the new normal. In today's economic landscape and the post-COVID world, companies are adopting hybrid remote and in-person work strategies to keep employees safe, making collaboration a lot harder than it used to be. 

When people work remotely, collaboration can negatively impact their physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing. It can also become unpleasant, taxing and hurt their overall productivity.   

Now and in the future, companies will need to implement efficient collaboration technologies to foster seamless conversations both on-site and at home, so people can easily work together without batting an eye.  

Collaboration spaces will need to become inspiring, high-performing and safe. They should also provide easy access to power and support distributed workforces with large-scale collaboration devices and videoconferencing solutions.  

These spaces can range from private spaces and informal collaboration spaces to larger conference rooms or fluid workspaces with modular solutions, as long as they create a more inclusive experience for everyone. 

Design Considerations 

  • Choose a conferencing solution like CrestronFlex with touch-screen capabilities and the ability to collaborate on any platform for seamless collaboration 
  • Use similar tools and technology controls in all spaces, both on-site and at home, to help distributed teams collaborate and communicate effectively 
  • Install videoconferencing solutions and collaboration tools onto all employee desktops, laptops and mobile devices 
  • Consider camera and microphone placements carefully, so all users can be clearly audible and stay on-camera without disrupting the flow of information 

2. Make it easy to find and reserve space

Finding or booking space to work can be time-consuming, especially if you need a quiet space to concentrate or a conference room for a team meeting. Plus, if all the rooms are in use, that means you've wasted time walking around the building and you still have work to do. 

People need a system that makes it easy to locate and book the space they need, whenever they need it, so they can spend more time connecting and collaborating with colleagues. 

A room scheduling system seamlessly connects to your email calendar so open spaces are always visible and available for booking. It has a touch screen panel that lives outside the meeting room and displays real-life information, including the day's full schedule and room availability.

In a post-COVID workplace, room scheduling offers a wide range of benefits, including contact tracing and cleaning reservations. Employees can use it to plan for in-person meetings and take full advantage of their time in the office without coming into close contact with others.  

Design Considerations

  • Install room scheduling systems so people can easily reserve meeting spaces from the device or popular calendar platforms like Microsoft and Google
  • Use an advanced scheduling system like Steelcase Room Wizard or Crestron Room Scheduling to gather occupancy data and make it easy to book space 
  • Customize your scheduling system with customization options, like logos and infinite color options, to reflect your brand and culture

3. display company content and news with digital media 

Technology is everywhere. From retail stores to sports stadiums, businesses use digital signage and media like video walls and kiosks to project live news feeds, corporate messaging and other forms of digital content.  

Regardless of your industry, digital signage and media can be extremely valuable and has the potential to have a powerful impact on your business. You can use digital signage to engage and inform your visitors and even welcome them with a personalized message.  

Unlike traditional static signs, digital signage is highly customizable. You can quickly and easily update the content over the web and customize it to include your logo and branding to add visual appeal and reinforce your company culture and values.  

Design Considerations 

  • Choose a solution with a secure platform and a wide range of connectivity options like Crestron DigitalMedia to send content anywhere 
  • Install digital kiosks and displays at entrances and reception areas to welcome guests, provide interactive wayfinding and show visitor checkpoints
  • Incorporate customized video walls to engage your audience and draw attention to company news or upcoming events 

4. prevent annoying distractions with acoustic privacy 

Noisy, unwanted interruptions can create a workplace full of disruption. Whether it's the hum of the air conditioner or a loud conversation between colleagues, these distractions can keep employees from getting their work done. 

According to recent studies, noise and lack of speech privacy are top complaints among American workers. These studies also indicate that people feel their productivity would improve if their offices were less noisy. 

Fortunately, there is a solution. Sound masking is a specifically tuned ambient background noise that targets the same frequency as human speech and reduces its clarity to provide speech privacy without installing physical barriers. 

The addition of sound masking can help improve speech privacy and keep conversations private. It can also help reduce distractions to increase overall office productivity and keep your people highly engaged. 

Design Considerations 

  • Opt for a direct-field sound masking system like Steelcase QtPro with the ability to adjust volume levels across multiple zones
  • Stream music legally with a sound masking solution like the Crestron Sonos Sound Machine that can be controlled from a web browser or mobile app
  • Limit noisy disruptions with modular walls that have PVC-free sound seals and double acoustic seals for improved speech privacy 

5. Use big data to build a better workplace

The workplace is constantly evolving, especially in the post-pandemic world. In fact, work is changing so quickly that you can't really understand how often a space is being used or approximately how many people are using it at any given time. 

To create human-centered workplaces, organizations should use real-life insights and technology to reveal what spaces are being used and what spaces aren't being used, so they can finetune those spaces to support their employees better. 

Sensor-based technology, for example, can clearly and accurately report real estate usage. Companies can use sensors to make impactful decisions that drive future real estate strategies and make a difference for their people. 

5 min read

Building a Resilient Workplace: 6 Ways to Optimize Office Real Estate

By Caitlin Schauster on Dec 28, 2020 8:30:00 AM

From rising real estate costs and focus on more collaborative work, to an increase in distributed teams in a post-COVID world, many organizations are choosing to adopt real estate optimization strategies. 

If you've stumbled across this article, you're probably wondering, what exactly is real estate optimization and how can it help me rethink my workspace? 

While the answer isn't so simple, your partners at Egyptian are here to help understand you what real estate optimization is and how it can help you shrink your real estate footprint and amplify the performance of your people. 

What is REAL ESTATE OPTIMIZATION?

Real estate optimization is making effective use of commercial real estate to maximize square footage, reduce overhead costs and increase efficiency and productivity.  If you’re paying for an office space that’s too big or unused, that’s not real estate optimization.

The key to real estate optimization is to embrace and build a resilient workplace to support your organization's unique strategy, core purpose and culture. Most importantly, you should also focus on your people. 

According to Steelcase, researchers define resilience as the ability to adapt to changed circumstances while continuing to maintain core purposes and integrity. To put it simply, it's not just about making things smaller, but better. 

5 ways to build a Resilient Workplace

1. Use big Data to Develop a Better Workplace

Topics: Business Issues
7 min read

7 Ways to Reimagine the Role of the Workplace in a Post-COVID World

By Caitlin Schauster on Dec 8, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Have you considered how you're going to get people back to work in the post-COVID world? Well, if you haven't already, it may be time to start thinking because 88 to 90 percent of people are ready to return to the office.

The workplace may look different from now on, but it's still the best place for employees to come together, align on priorities, solve problems and generate new ideas. 

As organizations plan for people to return, they need a strategy for the physical workspace that follows new safety guidelines and lets employees create, collaborate and be productive without compromising their health, safety or wellbeing. 

At Egyptian Workspace Partners, we realize your business needs are going to evolve as people return to work, which is why we're here to help you with your return-to-work strategy and help you reimagine your workspace. 

In this article, we'll show you how we can help you redesign your current workspace so people not only feel safe but can actually be safe in the post-pandemic workplace. 

7 ways to reimagine the post-covid workplace

1. Retrofit and reconfigure your Current office space

Despite the number of people working from home, business leaders expect their real estate footprint to either increase or stay the same as employees return to the office. 

Topics: Business Issues
3 min read

2021 Steelcase Privacy Wall Review (Warranty, Price & Features)

By Caitlin Schauster on Nov 19, 2020 9:15:00 AM

In order to be highly engaged and satisfied at work, people need access to enclosed spaces where they can collaborate, find privacy, focus and rejuvenate. To accommodate these needs, organizations need architectural solutions that make it easy to build new spaces.  

Topics: Architecture & Space Division Reviews
6 min read

7 Surefire Ways to Promote Workplace Wellbeing in 2021

By Caitlin Schauster on Nov 12, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Workplace wellbeing is a serious bottom-line issue. Traditionally, office design focused on employee productivity, but now the conversation is expanding to include a more holistic, person-centered perspective.

Topics: Business Interiors
4 min read

2021 Steelcase V.I.A. Modular Wall Review (Key Features, Pros & Cons)

By Caitlin Schauster on Nov 5, 2020 8:15:00 AM

In an open office layout, people need spaces to concentrate and collaborate without compromising their safety, especially in a post-COVID world. Fortunately, modular walls provide workers with the open and enclosed spaces they need to get their work done.   

Topics: Architecture & Space Division Reviews
3 min read

2021 HON Abound Panel System Review (Key Features, Pros & Cons)

By Caitlin Schauster on Nov 3, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Are your employees ready to return to work in a post-COVID world? As you plan for their return, you need to keep in mind that they need workspaces that support new ways of working, as well as their health and wellbeing. 

Topics: Architecture & Space Division Reviews