A workplace that supports how people work today while anticipating their needs tomorrow is one that Steelcase refers to as an Interconnected Workplace.

It leverages the opportunities offered by an interconnected world, and is designed to augment the social, spatial and informational interactions between people.

It offers choice and control over spaces that support the physical, social and cognitive wellbeing of people, and provides a range of spaces designed for the many modes of work they engage in.

It is a workplace that amplifies the performance of people, teams and organizations. Looking through the lens off these five workplace issues, here are some design principles to consider:

 

1. Optimize Real Estate

  • Provide a range of settings that supports a variety of workstyles and the four modes of work: collaborate, focus, learn and socialize.
  • Organize into interrelated zones with specific intent and vibe.
  • Design settings for multiple functions.
  • Consider alternative workplace strategies.

2. Enhance Collaboration

  • Create spaces designed to support different types of collaboration: informative, evaluative and generative.
  • Support both physical and virtual collaboration.
  • Create spaces to promote unplanned interactions: collaboration is iterative and rolling.
  • Allow for transparency which builds trust – the heart of collaboration.

3. Attract, Develop, Engage People

  • Provide choice and control over where and how people work.
  • Create “third places” on campus for people to gather, or get away.
  • Foster learning and mentoring in close proximity to workers.

4. Build Brand and Activate Culture

  • Create spaces that communicate your brand to both internal and external audiences.
  • Space shapes behavior – create authentic spaces that foster the desired culture to build your brand.
  • Design spaces that reflect your values and demonstrate the value of the people who deliver your brand promise.

5. Wellbeing@Work

  • Design spaces to encourage a variety of postures – sitting, standing, perching, lounging, walking.
  • Create zones that amp up or down the amount of sensory stimulation – from bustling activity to quiet concentration.
  • Create settings that encourage socialization and collaboration, and help people feel a part of the organization.


This framework provides a methodology for creating and assessing a workplace designed for an interconnected world. It recognizes that people need to do both individual ‘I’ work and group ‘We’ work. It also breaks the paradigm that all individual spaces should be assigned or ‘owned’ or that all group spaces should be shared. The range of spaces in an interconnected workplace need to support focused work, collaboration, socializing and learning.