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GenslerOnWork examines the modern workplace and how design can help us become more engaged and productive as we earn our livings.

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From Fitness to Bowling Alleys: How Commercial Office Buildings Are Differentiating Themselves Through Amenities 

The shared amenity space at the Tata Innovation Center at Cornell Tech. Image © Max Touhey.

Historically, New York commercial buildings have not needed to offer amenities to stand out. The city served as the office backyard, providing food, fitness, and sub-cellar bowling alley experiences. Now, buildings are full of them. The competition amongst developers and building owners to lease space is so fierce that the need to differentiate is more important than ever. Today’s employees are sophisticated consumers who are choosing where they want to work based on specific preferences. Understanding how amenities can support their growing demands is key to unlocking a building’s differentiation strategy. In the tightly competitive commercial leasing market, how can a property stand out relative to its peers and support its tenants?

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A Day in the Life of an Agile Worker

A mix of sit-stand stations and collaboration areas support agile working. Image © Gensler/John Ryan.

As companies seek to gain efficiencies in the workplace, provide choice for employees, and attract and retain talent, strategies involving agile working and free-address have gained traction. When our Gensler La Crosse office relocated last year, we leveraged the opportunity to support an agile workplace strategy. While there are arguments for and against agile working, here’s what I’ve experienced firsthand.

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Using Workplace Data to Create Connected Communities 

Life in a connected world produces a constant stream of data—from purchasing our morning coffee, to sending emails throughout the workday, to streaming music on our evening commutes home. This catalog of data provides a powerful tool. It codifies behavior, details how resources are (or are not) used, and supports analysis that can bring to light tacit information and trends. Activating the increasing ubiquity of workplace data opens new opportunities to add real value for employees and for the organization as a whole.

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Gensler Atlanta’s Office Expansion: A Co-Creating Environment for Our Clients

Gensler Atlanta’s office. Photo @ Nigel Marson Photography.

When we started thinking about our expansion space for Gensler Atlanta’s office last May, we wanted to build an environment that would continue to inspire a creative culture, where each individual’s ingenuity can be unleashed and turned into works of collective genius. Ultimately, we wanted to create an explorative environment for our staff, where our clients could come to co-create—a place where we could try new behaviors, gather feedback, and implement our own research findings to create a better workplace.

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How Environmental Graphics Can Inspire Culture and Creativity in the Workplace

LinkedIn’s Silicon Valley headquarters. Image © Jasper Sanidad.

We live in a time when the creative economy reigns supreme and most organizations view “creativity” as the most valued currency. We are seeing companies like Airbnb and Twitter led by creatives, and not just business grads. Companies are paying a premium to attract and retain employees who are smart and imaginative. The big question is, once you secure outstanding talent, how do you keep the creative juices flowing and help employees feel more connected to their company’s culture? Beyond wellness programs, transportation services, catered food & beverage, and other amenities, companies are creating enriching experiences and deeper engagement with employees as soon as they physically step into the office through unique brand touchpoints, called environmental graphics.

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