The Code of the Cowboy: Wide Open Spaces and Free Range Thinking Are Putting the Traditional Office Concept Out to Pasture
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Don Traweek and Elizabeth Dukes, cofounders of iOffice, just-released Wide Open Workspace to chronicle the whirlwind changes that have occurred over the last 10 years in how people work, where they work, and the very nature of the office itself. iOffice, as one of the fastest growing facility management software providers and consulting companies in the country, provided a rich source of customer input on these issues. And the enduring image of the archetypal American cowboy and the “code” he lived by provided a metaphor that makes a lot of sense.
“all the unsung heroes of the back office – those who make sure the doors are open, the lights are on, the air is pleasant, and the coffee is brewing.”
Millions of us spend our days – and sometimes nights – in the office, and some of our most beloved writers have tackled the subject. Robert Frost said, “The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” Woody Allen said, “Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.”
Authors Elizabeth Dukes and Don Traweek dedicate Wide Open Workspace (aka W.O.W.) to “all the unsung heroes of the back office – those who make sure the doors are open, the lights are on, the air is pleasant, and the coffee is brewing.” More importantly, it’s dedicated to their changing roles. It’s all about productivity and how it’s achieved in the contemporary business environment. “W.O.W.,” they say, “is not a passing phase, but a transformation that is already touching companies around the globe.”
The book breaks down the “cowboy code” into its conceptual components and addresses each, like “Cowboys Ride for the Brand,” not only discussing what it means in the office space and worker context, but providing highly engaging parallels to cowboys themselves. For example, driving cattle along the Chisolm Trail from Texas to Kansas illustrates the trailblazing spirit of the cowboy and of the people who manage today’s work environments.
iOffice customers shared their views on the evolution of the work environment. Two of the forces driving change are the expectations of employees and companies looking to improve economics around developing and maintaining space. More specifically:
- Generational Shift. Younger workers have changed the way people view a piece of paper. They are accessing and placing documents directly in the cloud, not printing them and filing them in folders and cabinets.
- Corporate Citizenship. Employees are interested in being part of an organization that is environmentally responsible, community driven, and that promotes employee wellness.
- Collaboration. The emphasis is on collaboration and open spaces, with lots of natural light, color, mobility, and amenities.
- Smaller Footprint and Smaller Expenditures. Today’s CEOs, CFOs and facilities managers are keenly interested in new concepts and create more efficient workspaces in order to reduce the overall spend on real estate. This includes promoting worker mobility and investing in technology. While the corporation increases productivity and reduces the cost of hosting workers, employees can be more productive and experience better work/life balance.
“Wide Open Spaces articulates the philosophy behind iOffice,” adds Dukes. “The best workspaces must be flexible, mobile, and managed by technology that gives workers what they need to be successful. We help companies prepare for the changing workspace and become more innovative with their facilities, work-from-home policies, real estate costs, and more.”