Over the past ten years, we have seen a significant shift to increasing “we space” (activity based, collaborative, and social spaces). Companies like Google push the envelope in “we space”, while most organizations look for a balance based on their cultural goals. They use the workplace to reinforce existing culture as a catalyst for desired change.
“We space” supports the growing trend of designing spaces with the concept of serendipity in mind; spaces that create opportunity for intellectual collision. With the evolution of mobile technology and people being on the go, the days of mingling around the water cooler have evolved into a much more social office setting. People today do not want to be chained to their desk behind a computer. There is a new expectation to be more mobile in our work environment.
By definition, serendipity is the occurrence of events by chance in a beneficial way. As it relates to our work environments, it’s creating the ability to have random interactions rather than funneling employees into a forced work space.
This takes shape in many forms. It can be placing comfortable furniture pieces throughout the workplace that enable people to get away from their desks and work in a more causal setting, where they can engage in conversation with others. It can be a ping pong table for a midday dose of friendly competition. It can be areas set off by different flooring, different ceiling heights, possibly furnished with high top tables and chairs of different finishes drawing people in to work together in new ways. Essentially we are interjecting social hubs into the work space.
Companies are continually competing to attract and retain the best talent. They have come to recognize one of the most important things they can do is to create an appealing work space. Prospective employees are drawn to brighter, welcoming workplace, that allows employees to work, learn, collaborate, and socialize more collectively and fluidly…leading to a collision of great ideas and possibilities.
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Jeff Lewis, AIA,
||I cut my teeth on construction documents for schools and hospitals, but found my passion in Interior Architecture and Sustainable Design. I've been fortunate to work on projects for Fortune 500 companies and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when a tenant moves into a space I've helped create for them. I thrive on the fast-paced nature of interior architecture and appreciate the intimate nature of the finished product.
I'm very active in community service and local government, and enjoy responsibility.