Is Workplace Design Reflecting Trends or Shaping Them?

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 8.43.41 AMOffice design is reflective of new work styles and the trends toward “agile” working. Many companies utilize and combine different styles like hubs, clubs, at home and roaming.

This brings up the classic chicken and egg question: are changes in the way people work requiring new office design approaches or are trends in design itself influencing the way people work? In my view, work itself is being redefined and design is playing catch up. Go back in time and note that in the 1950s and 60s many executives had their own offices and even a dedicated (almost always) female secretary- think “Mad Men.” Over time and to save money as companies were under pressure to trim costs, the now dreaded cubicle was invented – which gave people their own cordoned off space, but were hardly private. And now we have all sorts of variations including what WeWork calls the Hot Desk – a first come, first served desk in a common area; as well as dedicated desks in open space plans; sharing of conference rooms as the perennial private office.

WeWork, in fact, has become a global force in incubator spaces and is now in 15 cities in the US and 13 countries around the world. To read more see this excellent article in Design Week:

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