Design Workplace for Collaboration and Socialization

In early December 2021, i+s Magazine hosted a Dinner + Discourse event in New York City, bringing together A+D professionals for connection and conversation around current trends in commercial design. I participated in the evening’s panel discussion, and with guests, we explored ideas around the topic, “Big Picture Trends that Will Last.” With workplace design existing in an ever-changing landscape, what will we expect to see as we move into 2022 and beyond?

As we enter 2022, many people have not yet returned to a typical office setting or workplace environment. For this group, two years of working from home has provided flexibility and a work-life balance that will be difficult to leave behind. We do know that virtually no one is interested in returning to the office space of 2019.

One of the key trends that was projected to last is a request from the workforce for a distinct workplace experience. Employees are seeking a unique draw to return to the office rather than just returning to work on a screen. People have shown they can work this way from home, so what is the incentive to return in person? Many companies are working through these very challenges. First, how do we invite people back to the workplace? And second, what type of environment do we need to create in order to be successful not only with current team members, but as we look to expand and grow our future workforce?
The future of the workplace in action. Designed by NELSON Worldwide, this space offers flexibility with options for collaborative and individual work.
In this space designed by NELSON Worldwide, the “Social Clubs” concept embraces a focus on collaboration and socialization bringing company employees together.
As Regional Design Leader at NELSON Worldwide, our clients are asking this very question and looking to us to help provide design guidance that helps create new and inviting spaces for connection and collaboration. Our responses are often rooted in ideas that have become central to our approach to creating spaces for all.

Today’s workplace needs to be designed for collaboration and socialization, inviting people to return for unique experiences within spaces that promote wellness and balance. These evolved spaces will provide amenities that transform the workplace into a social place, offering flexibility reminiscent of working from home, as people come into the office for creativity, socialization and connection.

At NELSON Worldwide, we recently unveiled a “Social Clubs” concept that envisions the workplace taking on the role of the social glue brings together company employees. The workplace will not follow previous patterns of a typical 9-5, Monday to Friday office environment. Instead, we will see flexible and adaptable schedules where people come to the office for access to distinct amenities—from food to fitness, community-based clubs to cooking classes, we see these “Social Clubs” as innovation in action. As employers and designers consider spaces that bring a more empathetic perspective to workplace design, workers will continue to feel a sense of balance upon returning to the office. Designing for experience will be a key feature in creating spaces that people are happy to return to, providing employees with a space to thrive

A guest blog written by Danijel Pocanic, Regional Design Leader for NELSON Worldwide.