Large round conference table with charging pods surrounded by black and tan office chairs.

Bringing Warmth & Soul To The Modern Workplace

Today’s employers desire to make the office feel more residential and inviting. In this month’s design news aggregate, we explore how modern companies are bringing warmth and soul to the workplace through personalization and customization. 

CHANGING VIEWPOINTS & CULTURE SHIFTS

Forward-thinking organizations have taken notice of workplaces that feel welcoming, inspirational and comfortable, and these new spaces are influencing the office of the future. An article in Bisnow predicts that the office of 2050 will feature a “blend of high-tech tools, natural materials, tactile fabrics and a warm atmosphere.” Moreover, industry conversation surrounding the relationship between the physical workspace and wellbeing is more prominent than ever as bringing a sense of warmth to the office has become a key consideration. Wellness in many ways has replaced productivity as a measurement of success, explains Workplace Insight.

The role of personalization and customization in the office has similarly gained importance as companies seek to differentiate themselves. Work Design Magazine proposes having an open mindset to help establish a culture of trust, encouraging employers to allow employees to take control of the workspace and make it their own. By incorporating thoughtful combinations of furniture choices, colors, patterns, materials and textures—and by enabling people to define and personalize the workspace—today’s organizations are bringing creativity and character to the traditional corporate environment.  

WARMTH & COMFORT THROUGH CUSTOMIZATION  

One tech giant with particularly curated workplaces is Airbnb. Commercial Property Executive explores the company’s approach to design around the globe, showcasing several workspaces that embrace local cultures. The Paris office, for example embodies a welcoming attic apartment, with a kitchen for people to cook and eat together as the core of the space. In Tokyo, the space incorporates elevated platforms covered with Tatami mats, tea house phone booths made with local oak and other elements inspired by traditional Japanese culture. Each of the offices worldwide creates an authentic identity and sense of place with a distinctly local flavor.

Interior Design highlights the New York offices of spirits company Edrington.  Gensler principal and design director Jean Anderson describes the feeling as being in an “old, historic home,” but with collaborative spaces geared for the modern workforce. Other features include custom, internally lit cabinetry to display bottles, a mural of logos on an original brick wall and a welcoming, linen-upholstered sofa positioned near workstations. 

Today’s knowledge workers seek spaces imbued with a distinct local sensibility and a unique brand personality, with thoughtfully crafted details that create an inviting ambiance. Employers that customize workspaces, through color, tones, patterns, materials and other design elements are becoming increasingly attractive to top talent. 

THE UNDERLYING IMPORTANCE

HR Dive emphasizes that culture and identity “should be more than a sign on the wall or knick-knacks on a table. It should provide an opportunity to live, play with and experience a newfound culture.” Thoughtful, customized spaces that have a natural sense of warmth and soul, often using design elements like color, pattern and material, can play a significant part in culture and identity development. Work Design Magazine refers to the changing office landscape as a result of five generations working together – known as the “5G Workforce.” As top employers navigate the swiftly changing needs of the modern workforce, creating an inviting sense of comfort that inspires employees to do their best work is just one way to engage people across generations.  

Incorporating tactile textures and materials that foster a feeling of warmth, or nature-inspired patterns and colors that evoke relaxation and calm, are just a few ways top companies can create a more comfortable ambiance in the office.  

To read more on the blurring lines between work and home, read our blog on the rise of resimercial design. To learn more about opportunities to customize with Coalesse, explore our custom capabilities and custom programs insights article.

Published On: July 24, 2018
Filed under: Design News

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