Tricking us into taking the Stairs?

center-for-active-designOffice interiors have changed and are in fact constantly evolving. Our current interiors allow for innovative employees to bloom: we design interiors to encourage interaction, we design sustainable interiors to support the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants.

David Brooks of the New York Times opined that in hiring a new generation of employees,  “ you have a powerful impact on the culture and the moral ecology of our era.” 

He suggests in the Employer’s Creed that you should seek out those with “possible imperfect resumes and credentials. Reward the ripening virtues, not the blooming virtues. Some virtues bloom forth with youth: being intelligent, energetic, curious and pleasant. Some virtues only ripen over time..”  I suggest you give them space and light and healthy air in which to bloom as well as attract and maintain valuable employees. 

Design for Health:

Design is transformative; it can change behaviors and encourage actions. Architects have recently taken on the challenge of encouraging movement.  One example is in pushing the stairs – making them more prominent and alluring to entice the use of the stairs instead of hiding them and counting on the elevator – the office couch potato!

Many people have been opting for the stairs for their own health and exercise during the work day but soon, you will be tricked into taking those stairs and you will benefit.

 Design for Welfare:

Work stations have drastically changed and executives often give up their corner offices to be more accessible.  This also contributes to the daylighting of the general office.  Evidence based design has shown that employees are more productive and happier when they have access to the outdoors even via a window. I was pleased that because of this awareness, my corporate  client was  amenable to my design of the general office work stations open to the exterior windows.  The conference room was then relocated with adequate lighting solutions which was a win-win. The conference room is not used as often and when it is, there is usually a focal point of interest such as meeting or a presentation.

Design for Sustainability:

Workstations themselves have also evolved: lowered panels if any, no longer obstruct views, air space or interaction among employees.  Many offices offer spaces to congregate or small rooms for privacy when needed. Naps and exercise are considered productive. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post recently proclaimed on national TV that she encourages the 20 minute Power Nap for her employees.

This evolution demands a different kind of employee. They need to be more flexible than before, more adept at working anywhere with a more open and out of the box thought process.  Does this not coincide with the direction Mr. Brooks is suggesting?  We are constantly changing but the old ways of schooling and their admissions policies as well as elite hiring preferences need to evolve to embrace this brave new world.  Allow your new employees the space they need to bloom.

Are you  eager to transform your corporate spaces and align your company’s vision with today’s new needs and new employees.  Call me at 201 233-4636  or e-mail







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