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Adapting to the Evolving Workplace: Insights into Designing Dynamic Workspaces

Updated: Jan 18

As we enter 2024, we reflect on what is ahead for the workplace landscape which has fundamentally changed. Workplaces of 2024 will be agile, flexible, and highly tailored.

We are seeing specialized experiences in adaptable and versatile office spaces ensuring that they evolve with the changing needs of the workforce by week, by month, by quarter. These spaces are not only functional but also attractive enough to make commuting worthwhile for employees and entertaining enough for hosting elegant events and clients. 

We asked our clients and collaborators, including our founder, Carly Rose, to share insights into the modern workplace. 

Jamie Edwards, Manager at Lattice

Size of the company:

Approximately 550 employees.

WFO/WFH policy: 

Remote-first hybrid that allows employees to choose their preferred work environment.

What strategy has worked well for your company and why?

We have prioritized hospitality in our offices and created spaces where teams can come together on-site to share ideas, create meaningful connections, and focus on work. This approach has been well received by our employees.

What were your measurable results? The most important findings?

Our key metrics include office occupancy and engagement scores in terms of fit and belonging. Offsite and onsite team meetings have proven to be effective.

What advice do you have for companies trying to achieve the same results and what should they avoid?

We had originally introduced a desk reservation system, but it proved to be an extra step for employees and difficult to enforce as there were too many empty desks. We therefore decided to eliminate the system and allow employees to choose their seats on-site. In addition, offering free lunches and events has proven to be a good way of attracting employees on-site.


Workplace Design

Neal Jean, CEO at Beacons

Size of the company: 

We're a series A company with 38 employees.

WFO/WFH policy: 

We don't have a strict policy. There is an office in SF that SF employees can visit, with most coming in a couple of times a week. The employees outside of SF work completely remotely.

What strategy has worked well for your company and why?

Our WFO/WFH policy isn't rigid. Individual employees and teams decide when and how often they work from the office, depending on what suits them best. Wednesday team lunches draw SF employees into the office and coincide with company-wide collaboration events.

What were your measurable results? The most important findings?

While we haven't measured the results specifically, offices are beneficial for fast-paced and highly collaborative processes.

What advice do you have for companies trying to achieve the same results and what should they avoid?

We recommend designating specific days to be in the office, such as our Wednesdays. Open floor plans encourage collaboration, complemented by meeting rooms and phone booths for private conversations. For those working out of town, offering WeWork options and scheduling coworking sessions at WeWork can be beneficial.

Carly Rose, founder and lead designer at Rose Design

Size of the company: 

Less than 5 employees.

WFO/WFH policy: 

In the office with the flexibility to work from home if needed.

What strategy has worked well for our company and why?

Given the nature of our work, which involves hands-on testing of materials, intricate planning, and collaboration on high-end design projects, working in the office is our standard. However, recognizing the importance of on-site work and showroom visits, we value the ability to work remotely. This flexibility allows our team to be productive from any location, especially while working on the job site, so less time is spent commuting between home, the office, and job sites. To align our efforts, we reserve Mondays for face-to-face team meetings to develop a common strategy for the week. This mix of collaborative work in the office and remote flexibility has worked well for us.

What were our measurable results? The most important findings?

We closely monitor decision time and project progress as key indicators. Any slowdown often correlates with reduced face-to-face interaction. To counteract this, we schedule extra time for face-to-face meetings when these aspects are compromised.

What advice do we have for companies trying to achieve the same results and what should they avoid?

Clarity on outcomes and expectations is key. Prioritize open work time for informal discussions, quick check-ins, and casual second opinions. Lead by example, live the desired work culture rather than just endorse it.

Chelsea Seid, Founder & Chief Consultant at Talent Praxis

As founder and chief consultant, Chelsea works with executives and organizations to build results-driven teams and businesses. With more than 15 years of experience in operational leadership of teams and over 6 years of formal coaching, she has worked with more than 30 organizations and coached more than 125 managers, executives, and senior leaders. Chelsea shares her valuable advice with us:

“The most effective strategy I have seen for transitioning to an office workplace or hybrid office workplace is early data collection, communication, and involvement at all levels of the organization. I am not suggesting here that the decision to work from the office or move to a hybrid office structure should be put to a democratic vote; it can be a top-down decision.

Rather, the strategy should include early focus groups and conversations with different regions, offices, departments, and levels to understand and anticipate needs, questions, and concerns about the specific details. This includes surveys to find out where employees currently work and why, how long they may have to commute, and what concerns there are about retaining or engaging them with the organization. From here, management can better consider the details of the strategy, including commuter benefits, parking options, in-office perks, potential days to work from home, etc.

In addition, successful policies include training for all levels of management to ensure they understand the details of the new process, can communicate the changes to their team members, and act as advocates and champions of the company's policy rather than a confused party or dissenting voice. This should include training on building trust and confidence, having important conversations, listening, empathizing, and asking open-ended questions.

Training should include communication channels for managers to advocate for the needs of their team members. Managers should be able to create a safe, trusting, and respectful environment for employees to communicate anything from "I do not want to work in the office" to "I cannot afford a car right now and have no way to commute to the office." Managers should have internal support systems in place to know how to deal with these challenges and how to effectively utilize company benefits to support employee needs. Even if a manager cannot solve a problem, listening can be very helpful in creating understanding and making the employee feel heard.


Workplace Design

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