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Next Work Environment Competition Awards

Congratulations to our workspace design team for winning two categories in the 2022 Next Work Environment Competition. They were awarded first in DEI & Furniture, with an honorable mention in Flex-Work/Coworking. The awarded project addresses the most critical elements for organizations looking for a path forward in their workspace. We are so thrilled to share our award-winning work. If you’re looking for support navigating the future of your workspace, then visit our contact form and begin to reimagine with our experts.

Project Presentation & Description

The working world as we knew it was turned on its head in 2020 when the Covid pandemic abruptly forced many workers to work remotely. Suddenly, gone were the days of long commutes each way to sit in an enclosed, stuffy office space. For the last two years, employees have been experiencing the benefits of working away from their primary office space by choosing where and how they want to work.

However, this newfound flexibility has also come with tradeoffs. The two biggest challenges for employees working hybrid have been long commutes and childcare. The commute was cited as the primary reason why workers prefer to work from home. On average, those who work from home save 54 minutes daily by removing their commute, plus an additional 9 minutes otherwise spent getting ready for an in-office workday.

For parents, childcare has been cited as one of the significant challenges with returning to work. Of those US Adults surveyed in 2020 by The Pew Research Center, nearly half of employed parents with children under 12 expressed difficulties juggling childcare and work responsibilities during the pandemic. How can the lessons learned from the pandemic create a workspace that provides for workers, while also meeting the needs of employers?

Studies suggest that access to a space away from the home and the office – such as a mobile coworking space – could have a massive impact on commuters’ lives. According to the 2021 Gensler Research Institute’s Global Workplace Survey, the rise of the “third space” is an integral part of the new workplace ecosystem. The third space provides the same refuge and services as the home or office while offering a unique, distributed workforce ecosystem that allows individuals to work from anywhere.

Daily connection to nature and the outdoors improves happiness, well-being, and increases positive social interactions. However, there are limited options for outdoor workspaces throughout our cities and places of work.

CONNECT workstations are an innovative solution to the changing times, spurred by agile work strategies. A modular desking system with endless configurations, CONNECT partners with local parks and communities to give users a third place to work that synergizes with nature while allowing balance with childcare and the demands of modern work culture. Composed of lightweight, modular furniture pieces, five simple structures are made to align with one another to meet the user’s preferred work style.

Designed with accessibility, usability, and materiality in mind, a CONNECT installation aims to link neighborhoods and communities burdened by long commutes to green locations close to home, within reach of varied socioeconomic backgrounds. CONNECT third spaces allow users to create a personalized setup that provides various work and collaboration styles and offers an alternate outlet for the working family and beyond. The ultimate biophilic workplace, the CONNECT system improves well-being for all.

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