Trends shaping workplace environments

With the unparalleled economic growth underway in the Bay Area, competition for workforce talent is unrelenting. An attractive workplace is not only vital for business productivity and efficiency, it’s essential in order to draw top talent to your company.

With Bay Meadows Station 4 office block under construction and ready to be delivered in 2016, the Bay Meadows design and development teams stay ahead of the trends informing the built environment.

Paul Woolford is design principal with HOK and the chief architect of Bay Meadows’ five commercial blocks. Woolford is a powerhouse and recognized innovator in the design field. HOK’s design for Bay Meadows’ Station blocks represents the cutting edge in commercial architecture.

Paul Woolford, Design Principal for HOK

Paul Woolford, Design Principal for HOK

“We see a profound change in the way the market is expecting new [office] space,” Woolford says. “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.

Previously, we’ve looked at design trends incorporating mobility, health, bringing the outdoors in, integrated technology, and urbanization. Those elements continue to shape an agenda for innovation in the workplace.

There are additional factors on the horizon in 2015 and beyond that will inform how today’s workforce will thrive:

1. Turning the campus inside/out: Gone is the walled suburban industrial park along with its urban counterpart, the tower fortress. Today’s workers increasingly seek being a part of a community. “One of the things that the new workforce is looking for is the ability to live, play, work and stay in an environment that’s integrated. That’s one of the genius elements of the Bay Meadows project,” Woolford notes.

2. Infrastructure investment: Public infrastructure, the foundation of commerce, is aging in the United States. Along with the explosive economic growth in the Bay Area has come an intense demand on our transit systems and highways. Fortunately, the region’s business and civic leaders have gotten serious about investing in the area’s systems.

Specifically at Bay Meadows, the key transportation component – Caltrain – has experienced a boon in support. Not only is the system adding more cars and more bike capacity, but in 2019, Caltrain will be modernizing. The upgrade will electrify the rail, expand the capacity for increased ridership, run more frequently and at higher speed.

3. Generational impact: Millennials and boomers continue to inform work patterns. There appears to be no end in sight for either of these generations’ desire for shorter commutes and access to urban-style amenities.

Interior, Bay Meadows Station design

Interior, Bay Meadows Station design rates Bay Meadows high on the list for walkable locations to live on the San Francisco Peninsula and for good reason! Bay Meadows has a high Walkscore because it is steps from shopping, groceries, parks, Caltrain, a farmer’s market and a few short miles from downtown San Mateo with its bourgeoning restaurant scene. Check out our Mosey suggestions for more places to explore on foot!