Five Trends Informing Office Design Today

(Bay Meadows Station’s Delaware Street)

In competitive business regions such as New York, Seattle, Chicago and Silicon Valley, tapping talent is the name of the game. An attractive workplace can be the differentiator in ensuring today’s workforce is not only drawn to your company, but that the workers will be productive, efficient and will thrive.

Many recent studies point to at least five trends in design for today’s corporate campus. These trends take into consideration more than just the workday; they touch on lifestyle, community, collaboration, health and overall wellbeing. Bay Meadows Station, our urban village’s cluster of Class A office space, artfully addresses these and other trends.

Paul Woolford is design principal with HOK and the chief architect of Bay Meadows’ five mixed-use blocks. “We see a profound change in the way the market is expecting new [office] space,” Paul noted. “What was expected a generation ago isn’t what people are looking for today.” Gone is the simple rectangular building with a center core, tucked away in a suburban industrial park.

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Together, the trends below are informing an agenda for innovation in workplace design.

1. Mobility
Mobility is critical. Offices spaces are designed to encourage movement and collaboration while ensuring focus. Think lounges, community desks, standing height tables – all to create a collaborative, flexible and productive work environment.

The issue of mobility comes into play for the commute, as well. The new generation of workers are buying fewer cars and pursuing “active transportation,” such as biking and walking. A workplace that is located in a transit-rich area and that offers amenities to accommodate biking will compete more effectively for workers.

2. Health
Wellness is a social issue, one that will only grow more prominent in years to come. Design details such as colors used, the amount of natural light and the opportunity for movement all contribute to more active and healthier employees.

Bay Meadows Station, situated at the center of a social street that will have a TRX workout station and other fitness amenities, is optimized for a healthful lifestyle.

3. Bringing the outdoors in
People perform better at work when they don’t feel as though they’re cooped up inside all day. Greenery, plants, creative interior landscapes will play a greater role in office design, as will access to green roofs, decks and courtyards.

4. Technology integrated with place
As smart devices proliferate, the world will be easier to navigate. As places get “smarter,” people will shape how they experience places to reflect their preferences. While tech’s integration with place is a given, getting there will still be a challenge. Realizing tech’s full potential will be a design priority in every market sector.

5. Urbanization
According to a Wall Street Journal report, 88 percent of the Millennial generation wants to live in an urban, rather than suburban, setting. As cities prepare for a vortex of massive growth, workplaces that locate in and engage as part of the fabric of an urban area will stand out.

Bay Meadows Station has flipped the traditional corporate campus model inside out, essentially. Rather than being isolated in a suburb, our five office stations are designed to be fully integrated with the entire mixed-use urban village.

But what does Hollywood say?
For a fun take on office design, a recent story in the Silicon Valley Business Journal measured the look of HBO’s new hit comedy “Silicon Valley” against the reality inside the campuses of leading tech firms.

(image from HBO Pictures’ “Silicon Valley”)

Fame x Frame Photo Contest
As we develop community, we want to see how you live or play at Bay Meadows. Share your fun lifestyle photos with our community by using #baymeadowslife. You could WIN $50 or our Grand Prize of $500 at the end of 2014 and be featured in a live pop-up gallery exhibit event. View official rules here:

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