6 COOLEST WORKSPACES
40 HR MAGAZINE
In a hot labor market with no cool-down in sight, business leaders nationwide are finding that a cutting-edge
workspace provides a one-of-a-kind
recruiting tool that can also improve
teamwork, creativity and productivity.
HR leaders at online retail business
Custom Ink LLC in Fairfax, Va., have
seen this firsthand. When recruits visit,
they are hit with the fresh, contemporary design of the building, says Darcy
Smith, head of team development. The
office walls hold art made by the creative staff and photos of sports teams
and families at reunions wearing the
T-shirts Custom Ink makes. “They’re
able to get a sense for what our story is
in our space,” Smith says.
To be sure, skeptics may question the
point of a Ferris wheel, climbing wall
or designer kitchen. An amenity that
sounds ridiculous to one organization,
though, might be just right for another.
The key is designing a place that reflects the culture of the company.
Start by identifying the things that
are important to your organization’s
core values and tie them into your
physical space, says Humera Kassem,
chief HR officer at Jamba Juice Co.
near Dallas. For Jamba, that means
bright colors everywhere mimicking
the hues of the fruit smoothies it sells,
and natural light in common areas
where everyone can enjoy it.
“In a world where [job seekers] can
work anywhere, what makes them
want to come? You have to give your
people a reason to opt in,” says Jim
Truhan, director of workplace strategy at IA Interior Architects in Seattle,
which planned the Jamba Juice offices.
YOUR BRAIN ON OFFICE SPACE
While these spaces once were made up of private offices and cubicle farms, there has been a
movement in recent years toward open
setups with little separation between
personal workstations—a design intended to promote collaboration.
“I would never want to move the pendulum back to all closed,” Smith says.
Walls you can write on in
conference rooms and other
Open staircases that help
workers make spontaneous
connections and get exercise.
Private places where people
can focus or call the doctor.
Flexible furniture that
changes as teams expand
or contract. At ISL in
Washington, D.C., a VW
bus has been turned into a
meeting room on wheels.
Natural touches like live plants
and natural wood that help
reduce stress and “arousal