Photo Credits Marcus Loke on Unsplash

What is Work Design?

Materializing your Future of Work

Today’s workplace experiences are driven by intensive collaboration and flexible built and digital environments. Designing your way of working allows to create good product-services and sustainable futures for your organization.
We are developing the practice of Work Design to help teams, organizations and communities to design how to work tomorrow.

Work Design is an emergent practice to holistically design spaces and processes. It pragmatically develops physical-digital environments and tools in relation to work methods and behaviors.

Work is an element that has always been ‘made’ and never really designed.
While the workspace has always been the focus of design, work as a holistic human and intellectual experience, indeed, is treated by different disciplines — HR, strategy, management, human sciences, architecture, etc.- through fragmented interventions.
Work Design look at the idea of the ‘second place’- work environments- bringing awareness on the physical, mental and social impact they carry on individuals and teams.
We observed that there are discrete designable elements of work that, if curated purposefully, allow workplaces to be platforms to design and deliver successful product and services, while create fulfilling human experiences:
Methods and processes; tools and spaces; governance and policies are the tangible and intangible elements that we shape together with our clients when we intervene to innovate in their work environment.
We found that orchestrating these elements help our clients navigate the necessary cultural and structural changes to be a successful organization.

Why design?

The humanistic qualities of design, allow to build a structured and systemic way to shape work around the worker’s need.
Design Culture brings humanistic qualities to areas that were just ‘made’ like software, products, communication, applying principles like critical observation, envisioning future solutions, prototyping.

How we do it in a designerly way?

We apply a Work Design framework that allow to evaluate the socio-technical dynamics of your work environment, test new ideas to improve the functions of your workplace and the experience of your work processes, and scale the solutions that allow to reach your strategic and productivity goals.

Depending on the project, our services have a stronge focus on either space or process redesign. Either way, we always gradually build the relationship with our client following similar stages:

  • We analyze current capacities and typical project scopes — through consultation workshops and shadowing of projects, partaking work sessions and provide help when needed, we immerse ourselves in the work routines of our client, understanding what is truly important to them in their business as usual.

To do this, Work Design brings together theories and methods from spatial design, design thinking and speculative design.
Through a multidisciplinary approach based on service-dominant logic, we also involve and incorporate contributions from a number of disciplines such as instructional design, data visualization, organisational design and operations.

Work Design Objectives and Benefits

  • Improve places of work
    by developing and test physical environments and the tools that positively impact the cognitive load and wellbeing of workers.

Work Design is a living toolkit and body of knowledge.
We publish new editions of each post as we evolve the theory and the framework applied to new projects.

Work Design Portfolio

An emergent practice to design future work environments, curated by Studio Wé.

Work Design Portfolio

This is Studio Wé’s archive on Work Design, curated to showcase projects, methos and critical reflections to design new ways of working and happy work environments.

Antonio Cesare Iadarola

Written by

Co-design consultant | Design PhD | Narrative Environments. Notes on coworking, service design, facilitation, design education | Studio-we.com

Work Design Portfolio

This is Studio Wé’s archive on Work Design, curated to showcase projects, methos and critical reflections to design new ways of working and happy work environments.