For a reviewer who has worked at home these last ten years a book written about office spaces initiated a less than excited reaction. They say never judge a book by it’s cover, or it’s title either. Chris Kane is an author, not a data programmer or fact sheet reciter. His Foreword had me hooked with the first paragraph!
For U.S. readers, it is important to note that Kane’s book mostly addresses issues that he has found in the UK, although his content is relatable to the United States as well.
In his book Where Is My Office? Reimagining the Workplace for the 21st Century Kane poses some pertinent questions as he observes his Manhattan office space which had been abandoned because of Covid-19. These are eye opening questions that should have been asked possibly well before Covid because they are answerable by a new generation working under new circumstances in an evolving environment. He sums them up in the following quote.
“Why do we carry on using offices in the way we do? How do we work differently now in comparison to 20 years ago? Why do so many of us use offices in the same way as our parents did when it is so patently outdated? What do we need to do, if anything, and how might we go about it?”
I like how Kane addresses the relationship between the landlord and the tenant. I’m not sure if this is a factor that most businesses realize. A corporation is not completely to blame for its workplace environment, not if they have to search for a building that would suit their needs. Establishing a relationship between the landowner, and the corporation about to move into the real estate is the first step to creating the perfect workplace. That ‘one size’ does not ‘fit all’ is an important concept to consider, and Kane explains in detail. He also mentions the current method of measuring office space functionality and its pitfalls, explaining the shifting landscape of real estate.
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. John F. Kennedy
Where Is My Office? Reimagining the Workplace for the 21st Century not only addresses physical office space, but lease agreements, the fact that construction uses the metric system and that there is a difference between usable space and rentable space.
Kane’s charts and graphs are interesting additions to the book and are great visuals. Much of what he writes is technical information designed for a specific target audience. It’s indeed a guidebook and one with a particular niche. That being said, it’s all inclusive and I don’t believe Kane has left any detail or concept out of this, his historic project.
Indeed, Where Is My Office? Reimagining the Workplace for the 21st Century tackles what is needed to keep businesses fluid, relationships active, and individuals and corporations alike productive.
Kane has some excellent thoughts, and as was mentioned, covers probably everything one needs to know concerning the efficiency of work space. Well thought out and developed book worth