Thursday, February 7, 2013


It’s one of those obvious truths that bear repeating: when organizational structures get out of sync, efficiency suffers. One misalignment that we see often in our work is the gap between employee head counts—used to determine space and furniture needs—and actual need. How can this be?

For decades employee rosters and hiring projections provided an accurate basis for space planning. What you saw was what you got. In more recent years...
as companies have come to rely more heavily on short-term, contract labor—for as much as 30 percent of workforce needs—employee rosters alone provide an incomplete picture. Failing to read between the lines and accurately account for both employees and temporary workers can leave facilities teams scrambling to find enough seats and staff struggling to work in a less than optimal setting. What was supposed to be a great new workspace becomes a source of stress and disappointment.

As facilities mangers, designers, contractors and furniture dealers, we all take pride in getting things right the first time, but the increased pressure to deliver projects more quickly than ever (more on this in another post) has raised the stakes. The flexibility and agility that short-term, contract labor offers—for both businesses and workers alike—means it is here to stay. Understanding the full dimensions of a workforce—who composes it and how teams work—is more critical than ever to providing healthy, supportive workplaces.

- Sandi Jacobs

About the Author:
Sandi Jacobs, President, joined SideMark in 1989, soon acquiring experience in every aspect of commercial interiors projects. Her excellent communication skills, great energy and enthusiasm, and innate customer-focused approach make her entirely too popular. Macro or micro, she oversees all with grace and aplomb. To contact Sandi, email her at

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