The power of office amenities in the workplace

With a continued focus on providing more with less, companies across all industries are continually driving their workers to increase efficiency and productivity—to get product and services to market faster and cheaper, writes LPA's Karen Thomas.

October 26, 2016 |
LPA Blog

Nothing says “we care about you” more than an employer providing meaningful amenities within the workplace environment. It is no longer enough to attract and retain the best and brightest, C-suite occupiers realize that in order to excel in today’s global economy they must provide a work environment that motivates and inspires the most highly sought after employees. The best companies are all competing for the same talent, and realize they must truly differentiate themselves by leveraging and communicating their authentic culture and vision. Well-designed active and passive amenities are key components of a successful work environment.

With a continued focus on providing “more with less”, companies across all industries are continually driving their workers to increase efficiency and productivity—to get product and services to market faster and cheaper. This push to get more done by fewer staff, while utilizing less square footage, puts increased stress on workers. Longer work hours and ever increasing deadlines add to the challenge of work/life balance. As a result, the workplace environment has become not only a place to work, but a place to innovate, socialize, let off steam, and decompress. 

The most successful venues for meaningful employee socialization have important characteristics: activity, change of pace and environment and engaging the senses. Getting people out of their normal work environment, moving around, engaging in wellness activities, bringing in sound and music, offering entertainment and even food, all bring people together and create an enriched environment for socializing within active amenity spaces.

Office amenity spaces are not always located within the immediate office interior design; we have seen proximity to outdoor spaces to be one of the most powerful opportunities for employees to interact, laugh, chat and establish meaningful bonds during breaks in the work day. There is nothing better than taking a walk with coworkers, grabbing a coffee, having lunch outside, getting fresh air, and stretching your legs.  

 

 

Active interior amenity spaces need to be strategically placed within the work environment to minimize disruption to those working on focused tasks, while being centrally located along primary circulation aisles to attract use by all staff. Daylight and views can provide a change of environment and enhanced experience for those using these amenity spaces. These types of spaces, such as café’s, game lounges, multipurpose collaboration spaces, want to be lively and active, encouraging interaction. Designed by LPA, DPR Construction’s Pasadena office includes a comfortably furnished outdoor space accessible from multiple locations throughout their offices, as well as a wine bar where employees can gather after work with clients and socialize.

Alternatively, passive amenity spaces promote quiet reflection and stress reduction. We see our corporate and institutional clients alike, providing privacy rooms, phone booths, libraries and private study areas within the work environment. California State University, Northridge’s Oasis Wellness Center even includes decompression pods that allows students to take time for themselves to decompress from the stresses of college life. 

With the continued shift toward open office plan work environments, companies must plan for private spaces where employees can work quietly, make private calls and take a break from the highly efficient and productive work process. Even the most brilliant, sought-after employees need some down time.

LPA Blog
LPA Blog | LPA

Founded in 1965, LPA has more than 380 employees with offices in Irvine, Sacramento, San Diego and San Jose, California, along with San Antonio and Dallas. The firm provides services in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, engineering and graphics. With a proven commitment to integrated sustainable design, LPA designs facilities that span from K-12 schools, colleges and universities and corporate, healthcare and civic establishments. More than 700 major design awards attest to LPA’s commitment to design excellence. For more information, visit http://www.lpainc.com.

Related Blogs

An active outdoor space for students
August 18, 2017 | K-12 Schools | LPAWinston Bao

Active design can be incorporated into any facility or campus with a few simple steps.

July 05, 2017 | Office Building Design | LPAKaren Thomas

Open offices as a strategic move to optimize office real estate and increase collaboration and innovation....

May 22, 2017 | Education Facility | LPAAndrew Wickham

Recently, in educational design, we have seen a trend toward more flexible learning spaces.

April 05, 2017 | Sports and Recreational Facilities | LPAArash Izadi

With the completion of the athletic facility upgrade—dubbed the Arden Project—students will have access to...

February 24, 2017 | Healthcare Facilities | LPAMarcus Thorne

Higher costs and low occupancy rates have forced healthcare facilities to rethink how healthcare is deliver...

January 10, 2017 | Education Facility | LPATravis Rice

Interior and exterior spaces harmoniously provide a campus experience to challenge children in the classroo...

December 07, 2016 | Education Facility | LPAKate Mraw

Learning is a lot like working; it varies daily, ranges from individual to collaborative, formal to informa...

How active design is reshaping higher education campuses

Photo courtesy LPA

November 05, 2015 | University Buildings | LPAGlenn Carels

Active design, a dynamic approach to design with a primary focus on people, assists students in learning to...

Insert Image: 
Overlay Init