How to Catalyze the Workplace for Growth

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When research on your people and their work informs your office design, it becomes a powerful tool for organizational growth.

Findings from our study with Living Office research partners, validated by the largest set of workplace data in the world, show that a research-based design approach improves performance for both people and business.

Throughout the following executive summary, we’ve highlighted a selection of recent case studies as well as key findings that came out of each study. These stories demonstrate how research-driven workplace design helps to ignite innovation, enhance efficiency, boost your brand, and position you to better attract and retain talent.

In October 2018, Herman Miller published the workplace research report, “How to Catalyze the Office for Growth,” which dives deeper into each of the below topics, sharing specific survey results, data, and insights from each.

Give Ideas Room to Grow

If you’re in the market for an innovation boom, start by removing unintentional barriers between people and ideas. Our research partners took this approach; see how their new workplaces are making it easier for people to solve problems and transform ideas into profitable solutions. 

Many of the organizations we work with struggle to untangle information bottlenecks, often caused by ill-equipped conference rooms, workstations with high partitions, and floorplans that inhibit circulation. Workplaces with settings and connective space designed for interactions both impromptu and planned make it easy for people to share ideas.

Organizations have unique factors that define how and why they share information—factors that determine the types of spaces they need. When DPR Construction needed a collaborative boost, they invested in spacious, tech-equipped training rooms among other settings. For Harry’s it was all about capturing the power of improvisational interaction.

See what happened when both companies used our Living Office placemaking approach to transform their workplaces into innovation incubators.

Read the full DPR case study here and the full Harry’s case study here.

Create a Center for Attraction

When it comes to hiring talented people and enticing them to stay, one of the biggest benefits you can offer—and a major differentiator that you may be overlooking—is a connective and fulfilling workplace. See what changed when our research partners redesigned their offices to boost attraction and retention. 

How do you fulfill people’s need for connection—to each other and to a broader sense of purpose? Give them an office with spaces and design elements that bring people together and remind them that their work has meaning.

Because every organization is unique, each need to focus on different aspects of design when transforming their offices into tools for attracting talent. Tavistock Development Company created a centrally located Plaza that would draw people together and build a sense of community.

See what happened when Tavistock used our Living Office placemaking approach to create an attractive and fulfilling workplaces.

Read the full Tavistock case study here.

How to Be an Efficiency Expert

Whether you have a single floor or an expansive, multi-campus real estate portfolio, efficiency isn’t about more or less space—it’s about using the space you have to create a seamless workflow for people.

When you’re trying to balance what’s right for your people with a lean approach to real estate, creating an efficient workplace can feel like an impossible task. We believe both are possible, especially when you reclaim square footage dedicated to underused private offices and reassign it to a variety of settings where people can quickly connect and solve problems.

Through our Living Office placemaking approach, we help distinctly different organizations create more efficient workplaces. For example, a global professional services firm needed to accommodate more people in a smaller space. They reduced the number of individual workstations and increased the number of seats in group and community spaces. In contrast, Harry’s had the luxury of moving to a larger space. To avoid a chaotic environment, they mapped people’s work activities to settings that are easy to find and where people have everything they need to work together.

Read the full Harry’s case study here.

Focus on Building Your Brand

A workplace that’s laser-focused on expressing who you are and what you do is a powerful tool for building strong relationships with customers and employees. See how efficiency scores improved for our research partners after their workplace redesigns. 

The way your office looks and feels can send a message as powerful as a Times Square billboard. A workplace that broadcasts who you are through meaningful design elements in settings fine-tuned to your organization’s character gives people an immediate sense of your priorities and purpose.

A workplace that’s welcoming and inspiring tells potential employees and customers that you take your relationships with them seriously. Valley of the Sun United Way transformed their office into a place with vibrant setting where their team interacts with community members and donors. At MASS Design, the firm’s workplace is so thoughtfully considered that it’s helping them advocate for the value of good design with their clients. See what happened when MASS Design used our Living Office placemaking approach to build brand awareness.

Read the full MASS Design case study here.


Interested in learning more? Click here to read the full “How to Catalyze the Office for Growth” study.

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