Over the last 30 years many office planners and managers have disregarded the people who work in offices, by being transfixed by the hardware. A research project conducted into the way change is managed, in six large offices over a two‐year period, identified two types of change: extrinsic and intrinsic. Each was found to have a different status with facilities managers – extrinsic was seen as essential to organisational life and intrinsic as trivial and unrelated to organisational effectiveness. Examples of how these attitudes are formed and their negative impact on productivity are given and it is concluded that the trend towards greater individuality amongst individuals and their demands for greater autonomy at the workplace in the 1990s make it necessary for managers to provide some degree of intrinsic flexibility.
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