In the age of technology dependence and a society driven by immediate gratification, the “I need it yesterday” mindset is apparent in every interaction. Work life is no different.
High productivity is an essential job requirement and expectations for employee output in these high demand environments continues to continues to grow exponentially with an increasing need for higher skill sets with shortened deadlines. There is no doubt that architects & designers are expected to work at an accelerated pace with an evolving mix of requests coming their way. With projects changing daily and time that is billable by the hour, they see their fair share of customer expectations are ever changing and that continue to escalate.
As everyone is now an expert with the influx of home improvement shows and diy blogs that make renovation look like weekend work, the stakes have been raised with the expectation now being that high style design concepts and construction presumably should be completed in a few weeks. Due to these expectations and project requirements, architects and designers are continuously on the lookout for fast and easy ways to stay atop of trends, products, sustainability and more about all materials. And this is not an easy task!
A few things rise to the top when capturing best practices from architects and designers across the country:
- Vendor account managers are the key to success - they are required to be exceptional, providing fast responses, understanding their product line so that they can quickly offer solutions, and the ability to make specifying easy & fun are mandatory.
- Partnerships are ideal - non-competing vendors who can partner together to share presentation time is a much appreciated time saver for firms.
- The best products rise to the top - library space is limited and sometimes even extinct so more and more firms are limiting product selection kept in their library - when this happens, only the best will do.
- Brands that understand a firm’s business - segment trends, pain points, etc. and offer products and solutions are consistent go-tos for A&D.
- Inspiration is essential - designers are always looking for hints of inspiration - so sharing stories of collection inspiration, project photography and other items that spark ideas help build product relevance and connection.
Partnerships between design firms and vendors streamline processes and strengthen project success - leading to more opportunities for both in the future. Partnering with our A&D clients, we strive to help make the specification process easy allowing them to create spaces with purpose, solving problems with imagination and intention and transforming spaces for positive impact.
As we approach the second half of 2019, changes in the way we work and the momentum behind how we do business continues to push us all in new directions. These new ways of working are driven primarily by two factors:
Associate Experience & the Rise of Emerging Technologies with subcategories of:
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Flexible office space & leasing
- Smart buildings
- Soundscaping & Biophilia
- Universal design
The corporate workplace has evolved and is now driven by the expectation of experience, how employees connect and how business results can be tracked digitally. Flexible office space has become such a driving factor that large corporations are now leasing space in a new market vs investing in a 10 year lease commitment. Real estate brokers, property managers and new start up companies have seized the opportunity to take risks in designing, leasing and building floor space in efforts to offer innovative space plans to companies for short term lease.
This new way of working is greatly influenced by the emergence of celebrating and embracing diversity in the workforce, including everyone in decision making and educating all associates on different points of view and global ways of thinking. Ironically, stress levels have risen from open office noise and technology where we are seeing a strong need to connect back to nature with biophilic design incorporating plants and waterfalls to help mask noise and bring softer textures in. The goal is to help connect everyone, building a curated group while celebrating each unique individual. It is an exciting time to be a part of the evolution of the corporate space - creating interactive and flexible work spaces that encourage growth within the workforce.