In our last installment of our summary of Michael Brill's short booklet The Office as a Tool he described facets of the workplace that impact your work and productivity. He closes that part of the booklet with the assertion that the office is highly patterned and relatively stable. Their research into the workplace finds repeating patterns in both job types, and workgroup types.
He goes on to explain that 95-98% of the jobs in fall into just 11 basic categories of activities. And as far as planning an office is concerned many of those activities can take place in the same "footprint" with only slight changes to the function of a workstation. Similarly he finds that there are typically only three types of workgroups - groups in which work is done sequentially, independently, or in a team. This starts to suggest that although work may be comprised of a variety of activities - patterns, the specialization of the workplace to accommodate them is not nearly as diverse. I'm going to draw a wild conclusion from that which is that this condition makes the workplace more open to flexibility that not. In fact I'd say the bigger obstacle to a flexible workplace is ourselves, more so than the physical office.