Inspiration comes from many sources in workplace design of the future
“The workplace of the future is always being created,” writes Meg Osman in her new piece for Fast Company – The Workplace of the Future: Brought to You by Art, Education, Travel and Startups – and, “organizations are beginning to look toward other industries for design ideas that can spur innovative cultures and enrich company offices.” This pursuit of outside innovation to enrich the workplace is the focus of Osman’s piece, which highlights examples from CA Ventures, Roche, DePaul University and Lockton. As Osman notes, this focus on cross-market design is indicative of a larger trend in the industry as companies and are realizing that several of the design principles that enhance creativity, collaboration, wellness and efficiency are universal when right-sized and strategically applied.
The full article can be read online and below are a few key excerpts.
On channeling the collegiate campus experience in the workplace
Before creating their new Chicago-area headquarters, real-estate investment company CA Ventures teamed with CannonDesign to conduct extensive research into the plans of collegiate campuses to learn how they empower students. The team recognized that diagonal cuts across campus quadrangles could be incorporated into their workplace design to evoke campus environments while functionally connecting different areas of the office for teaming and collaboration. To integrate the green space often found on college campuses, the new workspace features a living wall that anchors both its reception area and main staff quad. These design elements help the entire workplace operate like its own campus plan, incorporating a main path that connects meeting areas and offices from East to West.
On the influence of start-up culture and their focus on employee freedom
At startups, employees are often able to work as they see fit: They can stand for phone calls, sprawl out on a couch to decompress, hold meetings outside, and close all the doors for focused work. Larger organizations are beginning to model this approach to work with the design of their new corporate workplaces. Roche – the world’s largest biotech company – will soon open a new 200,000 SF office building in Indianapolis that fully promotes a mobile workforce. In the office building, employees are assigned to neighborhoods, but not specific work areas. This allows people to have a home base and identity, but also provides the space, flexibility and technology to empower them to use whatever workplace setting they need, when they need it across the building. Infused with a strategic combination of neighborhoods, offices, open work spaces, focus rooms, and team rooms, the building is designed to help employees collaborate, work and innovate as they require.