Good design is revolutionary.

This is a time of profound change in how design supports work in all its varied forms. Old ways are being set aside as organizations look at work and its settings holistically. There’s a demand for new approaches and real estate products.

Leading organizations know that well-designed workspace improves performance, speeds innovation and builds healthy cultures. They see it as crucial to achieving their goals. New research bears them out. The push for transformational space will make it standard practice to integrate strategy, collaborative design, engaged change management and post-occupancy calibration.

The workplace suffers from a case of “opposites detract.” People need to collaborate and are hungry for places suited to conversations among a few people. They need to focus, but they also need to interact—conference calls, virtual meetings and people stopping by. We see activity-based choices, user-shaped space and furniture to calm distraction.

As a new cohort—bigger than the Boomers—gets to work, the office workspace is being reshaped. The line between work and city will blur as towers and campuses mix in “community.” Coworking space, with its informal and collaborative ethos, will scale up. “Smart” environments will take hold. Attracting this young and creative generation will be a shared goal of cities and employers.

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