From the cube farm to the open plan, the conversation around office design has long focused on extremes. But there’s an advantage to finding middle ground, according to Gensler’s U.S. Workplace Survey 2016, which polled more than 4,000 workers across 11 industries from companies that the firm has deemed to be leaders in their respective fields. The results relate the “quality and functional make-up of the workplace and the level of innovation employees ascribe to their organization,” according to the firm.
In other words, workplaces that are designed to accommodate the different ways people like (or need) to work tend to be deemed more effective (and thus, by extension, more innovative in their outcomes) by those inside and outside of the company. To understand what that means for office design today, we talked with Gensler principal Janet Pogue McLaurin, AIA, who leads the firm’s workplace division from its Washington, D.C., office.