General Session #2: Moving Towards the Light: Collaboration and Productivity in Tomorrow’s Laboratory

Monday, April 23, 1:20 - 2:10 PM

Room #: Liberty Ballroom A

The style of work in the research field today is drastically shifting from individual, heads-down work to a more collaborative and innovative style that sparks connection and interaction among researchers. Learning from new workplace strategies, laboratory designers are promoting open, flexible and collaborative lab and office spaces to increase discovery and productivity.

How are organizations managing this change? Is productivity measurably increased? What are the highest priorities in space accommodations for their work? What are the biggest challenges? Do the end users like the change? This session reports strategies for successfully presenting new workplace trends to users as well as the results of post occupancy surveys from lab users.

Key Takeaways:

• All too often, the debate on the scientific workplace setting tends to focus on one question: open or enclosed. This polarization short-circuits the real possibilities of the new academic workplace, which should reflect the impact areas of mission, community, workflows, environment, health and economics.

• Learn about innovative workplace design, tools and technology that best support productive, challenging work.

• How do we encourage interaction and collaboration balanced with the need for focused work and limiting distraction?

• Work across disciplinary and departmental boundaries is increasingly prevalent. Faculty members of widespread fields are driving new opportunities to collaborate and making new discoveries in the process. What are the ideal environments for interdisciplinary faculty?

• Simple efficiency measures of square footage per person will continue to play a role in thinking about making changes in the work environment. Utilization, satisfaction and productivity measures can help us better understand whether the space offered is truly meeting the needs of the faculty and the institution.

• Post occupancy survey of lab users in new open/transparent lab environments offers valuable insights.

Attendees will learn:

• Workplace strategies to use in the design of research environments.

• Best practices in lab design that are working with users.

• Metrics for amount of desk, office and lab space.

• Tools for successfully presenting new workplace trends to users.