When global telecommunications company Vodafone merged its Dutch business with Ziggo, the country’s largest cable provider, one of the biggest challenges company leaders faced was internal: joining two very different workplace cultures. While all Vodafone employees, including its leaders, had become highly mobile with all-unassigned workspaces and the ability to work wherever they wanted, Ziggo relied on assigned workstations in the open plan and private offices for its executives.
When the Washington, D.C., office of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, a leading international architecture and design firm, had the chance to expand into an 1,100-square-foot space being vacated next door, leaders realized this was more than just an opportunity to become bigger.
The demand for casual, shared environments at work is at an all-time high. At the same time, organizations are more challenged than ever to use every bit of their real estate in meaningful ways. It’s often hard to know for sure what employees really need or want, and so often spaces are sitting empty. New research from Steelcase points the way with guidelines for creating casual work settings that are purposeful, productive and appealing— sure-to-be-used places for getting real work done.
Almost 20 years ago, long before laptops replaced PCs, the team at Orangebox had a vision of where work was heading, and they responded with innovative, thoroughly non-traditional workplace furniture solutions. Today they’ve blended their portfolio with Steelcase — a natural fit of two companies speaking the same language and prioritizing people’s changing needs at work.
Whether you call it “resimercial,” “ancillary spaces” or “loose furnishings” the goal is the same: attract the best talent by offering a workplace with a relaxed vibe and hip sensibility. This decidedly “anti-corporate” approach to the workplace is intended to inject creativity and humanity into our culture and work process.
Flexibility, mobility, choice and comfort are expectations of today’s workforce. Informal, casual meeting nooks, cafés, lounges and outdoor spaces continue to dislodge traditional work environments such as benches and workstations, as more and more employers recognize that inspiring work environments attract top performers and fuel creativity and innovation.
For high-tech software company PTC in Boston, integrating Steelcase’s Smart + Connected tools in their new headquarters has made it possible to leverage data and technology to support space management, wayfinding and collaboration and put their culture change in hyperdrive.