The Destination Workplace: A Balance of Culture and Design
What is a “destination workplace”? Unfortunately, there is no one agreed-upon definition for the term. Rather, there is a lot of room for interpretation, made evident by the sheer number of “hot takes” from thought leaders and industry experts on what makes a workplace a true “destination” for employees.
Across the board, though, experts seem to agree on a few elements that are essential to a destination workplace. A sense of belonging. Connection and community. Opportunities for collaboration and growth. After more than two years of isolation and social distancing, we understand more than ever the importance of human connection; in fact, one recent study reported that 37% of employees stated connection with coworkers was the top reason why they chose to work from the office.
As architects, designers and engineers, we’d like to think we can deliver against all these needs. But the truth is, these critical elements of a destination workplace can’t be accomplished solely through design. Certainly, there are things we can do to create a welcoming, comfortable space for employees—an office location that allows workers to easily engage with the world around them, for instance, or dedicated areas for both collaboration and heads-down time. Ultimately, creating an environment that facilitates that treasured sense of connection and belonging—a destination workplace—demands that leadership nurture a healthy organizational culture.