Office Design Trends, Research & Insights

In Defense of the Open Office Layout

In Defense of the Open Office Layout

Insights from Top Workplace Experts at Simple Finance, Robin, & Chapman University.

The open office layout is having a PR crisis. Over the past few years, dozens if not hundreds of articles have been published everywhere from the Fast Company to Buzzfeed to the Washington Post trashing the open office layout. 

But are open layout offices really the root of all negative workplace behavior? Furthermore, are there instances where open office floorplans have lived up to their initial promise of improved productivity, collaboration and innovation? In an effort to learn more, we sat down with our speakers from Simple Finance, Robin, & Chapman University to discuss:

  • What separates open-office layout successes from failures? Are there any predictors of success?
  • What key considerations should office designers make before they move to an open floor plan especially when it comes to cultural readiness?
  • In what ways do open-offices live up to the hype? What are the real potential downfalls workplace designers should be aware of?

Includes perspectives from 4 Future Offices 2019 Speakers:

  • Michelle Samura, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Chapman University
  • Tia Black, Workplace Experience Lead, Simple Finance
  • Sarah Drew, Director, Workplace Experience, Simple Finance
  • Sam Dunn, CEO and Co-Founder, Robin

5 Workplace Design Technologies Transforming Employee Experience

5 Workplace Design Technologies Transforming Employee Experience

Employee experience is about more than just reducing turnover. In fact, according to Glassdoor, organizations that invest the most heavily in employee experience outperform the overall market, beating the return on the S&P 500 by as much as 122% between 2009 and 2014.

Though, at first thought, the responsibility of EX may fall on the shoulders of HR and corporate leadership teams, office design leaders certainly play a pivotal role in shaping employee experience from the very first prospective employees walk into the office for their interview until the day they leave. A high tech, fully connected office space not only communicates to employees that your company values innovation and  is willing to invest in solutions that increase employee satisfaction, but can also enable employees to work smarter, faster and more collaboratively. Furthermore, as the war for talent rages on, many leading-edge companies are now finding themselves embroiled in an “amenities arms race” trying to out do the competition by offering the latest and, often, flashiest, cutting-edge workplace features and solutions. For these companies, it’s no longer about simply improving productivity through automation or increased connectivity but delivering awe-inspiring, one-of-a-kind employee “super-experiences” that no other company can replicate.

With all this in mind, we took a look at 5 “super-experience” enabling technologies ushering in a new, experience-centric era of commercial real estate and workplace design. Continue reading to find out how you too can successfully leverage emerging tools such as IoT, AR/VR and advanced ergonomics to support innovation, productivity, learning and employee engagement.

Collaboration at Play: Human-Centric Office Design Techniques & Strategies

Collaboration at Play: Human-Centric Office Design Techniques & Strategies

The future of office design is the human experience. Over the past decade, leading-edge organizations have identified and exploited the connection between office design and employee experience to increase productivity, employee engagement and long-term business performance. 

However, to truly understand how employees interact with their work environments and which design elements will drive desired behaviors, office design leaders must do more than just track space utilization; they must forge deep, emotional connections with employees. In addition, to ensure their new human-centric office design initiatives are a success, they must work with stakeholders and partners such as HR and IT to ensure the new space is properly utilized. 

In this white paper, we’ve collected 7 case studies from a wide range of companies such as Instacart, Fidelity, Citrix and more to showcase best practices and lessons learning for embracing human-centric design to facilitate increased inter-personal connection. Download this piece to find out how you too can: 

  • Effectively communicate the value and ROI of human-centric design
  • Adopt data analytics and evidence-driven approaches to designing spaces that facilitate collaboration
  • Leveraging the latest design techniques to actuate innovation and relationship building
  • Aligning office design objectives to your organization’s unique culture and mission
  • Avoiding common missteps when design collaboration spaces
  • Ensuring workspaces are fully optimized both from technological and employee engagement standpoints
  • Embracing and enabling agile workspace design
How to Effectively Transform Your Workplace in 3 Steps

How to Effectively Transform Your Workplace in 3 Steps

How to make a successful transition from assigned to flexible seating.

You know that there’s under-utilization of desk and office space in your workplace. But how do you objectively measure and quantify it? Even more importantly, what do you do about it? The latest trend and way to save a consideriable amount of money is desk-sharing. But, how do you get there? How do you know it will be a good change for your workspace?

Maybe you’re picturing an office like Google with bright colors, social and gaming spaces, couches and flexible workspaces. Maybe you’re thinking of transitioning from an assigned desk workplace to flexspace. But how do you make such broad changes without taking a huge risk?

This is where understanding what utilization and occupancy are and how the two relate to each other becomes important.


  • How to successfully collect occupancy and utilization data
  • How to use this data to design agile workspaces that boost productivity, innovation and employee happiness 
  • Best practices and key consideration for rolling out a new flexible seating plan