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The Shift From Bland To Brand In Workplace Design

Forbes suggests the multigenerational workforce – with 5 generations working together – will be a dramatic change in the coming years. While traditional, standardized environments remain present in workplaces today, office design is changing as the modern workforce evolves.

Today’s employees are rejecting the monotonous offices of the past, instead searching for engaging, inspiring and purpose-driven workplaces. With this societal shift, employers are prioritizing creativity, branding, and diverse, tech-efficient spaces over standardization in design. In this month’s news aggregate, we explore the trend toward these unique spaces and the potential impacts of this transition for future workplaces.

The Creative Focus

Knowledge workers are increasingly tasked with developing original ideas, signifying a new emphasis on creative work. The escalating need for creative thinking has brought workspaces designed with innovation and brainstorming in mind to the forefront. Workplace Insight explores new research indicating that investing in creativity can increase productivity, employee happiness and financial success.

In conversation with Fast Co Exist, the CEO of Steelcase discusses his decision to rethink the company’s office space to encourage more “creative collisions” and collaboration with the senior leadership team, as well as the opportunities for employees to make their individual workspaces unique. Fast Company also notes how an emphasis on creative collaboration in workplace layout affects the bottom line, highlighting the need for organizations to focus on design, brand experience and unique, creative environments.

The Desire to Stand Out

The modern workplace is pushing the boundaries of what defines a great place to work, diving into brand and culture-specific design. Raconteur echoes this shift as the development of “workplace destinations." Business Insider tours Bain, winner of this year’s Glassdoor Employees’ Choice awards of the best places to work in the US. The office features Bain’s signature red color throughout the space to create a cohesive environment that reflects their branding.

Fast Co Design explores global organizations like Airbnb, who hired local designers to integrate unique, country-specific flavors with the company’s international brand aesthetic. Meanwhile, offices like that of Gentera Innovation energize and inspire employees through bold colors and collaborative spaces. Departing from the uniform approach, companies looking to inspire and motivate employees are designing their offices to be physical representations of their brand.

The Spotlight on Tech

Tech companies often set the standard for forward-thinking employers, and efficiently integrated tech is becoming a key differentiator for organizations. JLL explores the necessity for connectivity and access to high speed wi-fi and outlets in diverse spaces throughout the office, along with work sharing screens for seamless transitions among employees.

Metropolis Magazine discusses the ways in which algorithms and machine learning can inform office design, while the impact of smart technology and AI has also joined the workplace conversation. However, Metropolis also reminds us of the importance of humanity in an era of reliance on technology. With the digital service economy, person-to-person communication and human expertise is more needed than ever. Successful modern workplaces will efficiently integrate technology into the design of their spaces while also fostering in person communication.

Thoughtfully curated destinations that focus on creativity, branding and effective use of technology will define 2017. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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