Tag: workplace

In-depth look at how and why financial institutions are changing they way they work 

In-depth look at how and why financial institutions are changing they way they work 

HOK's new report, “The New Financial Workplace,” is an investigation of the forces reshaping the financial industry and how workplace design can position these companies for success.


This 35-page paper examines the banking industry, the threats it's facing, and how their workplace strategies are evolving to meet the challenge. It includes:


  • Threats and challenges
  • Disruptive technologies
  • Talent imperatives
  • Benchmarking data
  • Case studies
  • Industry trends 


While the paper is industry-specific, other sectors will find the journey enlightening. 



A simple ‘thank you’ will help you attract and retain talent? 

"On a given day, only 10 percent of people say “thank you” to colleagues—and 60 percent of people report that they never or very rarely express gratitude at work. So OpenIDEO posed a challenge for the best ideas on how  express gratitude in the workplace. Over 300 contributions later they announced the winners.


You can have a look at the winning ideas here, but the real winners are the employers that are doing something about the sad state of gratitude. In addition to lower turnover, research by Harvard and Wharton shows a simple 'thank you' can boost productivity by over 50%.

The article points to a number of great research papers and articles about gratitude. Here are a few quick tips for getting started:

  • Start at the top; people want to hear it from the boss
  • Thank the people who do thankless work
  • Quality and authenticity trump quantity
  • Gratitude isn’t one-size-fits-all
  • Make it personal

And there's a bonus in expressing gratitude. It feels good. 

Thank you for reading this post!

The fake news about Millennials…Let’s get the facts straight 

The fake news about Millennials…Let’s get the facts straight 

Maybe many of the assumptions we make about Gen Y aren’t unique to this generation. Maybe they’re specific to young people in general, writes Amanda Ruggeri


Garbage in, garbage out as they say, and in terms of designing for millennials, your workplace may be the garbage. That Gen Y is so different really is fake news. Remember beanbag chairs, lava lamps, and nahru jackets? What if workplaces had been completely redesigned to fit young boomers? 


This article debunks nearly all we think we know about Millennials. Compared to other generations:

  • They work harder
  • They are more respectful of authority
  • They stay on the job longer


Though not covered in this article, other research shows they are not more collaborative, tech savvy, or social.


Critically, in terms of workplace design, like every generation in the past, they will change throughout their lives. Already, the trends are showing the eldest among them are buying cars, having kids, and moving to the suburbs to raise them.


The bottom line is, it's time to stop making assumptions about how people are , get out there and talk to them about what they want and need, and design with the knowledge that they will change over time. 

Microsoft renovating Redmond campus to hold its appealy over time 

Microsoft renovating Redmond campus to hold its appealy over time 

“We are building the kind of space we need for the future. We’re building for the employees here now and the eighth graders who will be here one day,” said Michael Ford, general manager of Global Real Estate and Facilities. “In the past, the employee had to flex to the space. Now, the space flexes to the employee.”


The refresh will, of course, be infused with technology, but more important to Microsoft is the employee experience. It will include:

  • Apps for wayfinding, parking, intracampus shuttles, transit, and even placing lunch orders
  • Driverless vehicle parking/pickup points
  • A cricket pitch
  • Potentially a food-growing program heated by the buildings servers

Similar projects will be undertaken in Ireland, Israel, Silicon Valley, Brazil and elsewhere.


 Google strategically integrates biophilia in new Chicago offices 

 Google strategically integrates biophilia in new Chicago offices 

“Increasingly, green building project teams have attempted to incorporate biophilic design into their projects, but often their efforts amount to adding trees and plants or water features to their buildings. I believe this is because nothing in their training or backgrounds has prepared them for this exercise, and their experience with green building rating systems has trained them to fulfill the minimum requirements of a checklist without thinking past that step. True biophilic design goes much further and deeper.”



This excerpt from Amanda Sturgeon’s new book, Creating Biophilic Buildings, looks at how Google employed biophilic principles in every aspect of their Chicago headquarters design. Google turned a windowless cold storage warehouse into a light-filled space. Key biophilic elements:

  • Daylighting promotes circadian rhythms and reduce stress. Task lights with color temperature settings
  • Places of refuge – private spaces where employee can feel protected but not unconnected
  • Direct visual connections to the outdoors
  • Video walls that undulate patterns of nature

She stresses the need for making biophilia part of the design strategy, rather than placing a few green things around as an afterthought.


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