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10 Workplace Technologies that Put People First

Posted August 20, 2018

ESI Design’s Director of Physical Design, Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, wrote for Work Design Magazine about the cutting-edge workplace technology that places people at the center of the design:

Latest Workplace Technology Put people first

Last year, Capital One’s Work Environment Survey revealed that 82 percent of office professionals throughout the U.S. believe companies require an innovative workplace environment to produce innovative work — but 63 percent of respondents felt this was not reflected at all in the design of their own workplace.

Architecture critic Sarah Williams Goldhagen explored similar findings in her book Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives. According to Goldhagen, new studies in cognitive neuroscience and psychology suggest that being exposed to generic, monotone environments day after day can lead to boredom, unhappiness, and in extreme cases, physical distress.

Ignoring this ever-growing body of research, most traditional office buildings continue to utilize hard, static materials rather than dynamic materials that can foster engagement. In today’s digital world, when someone walks into a store they are treated to both tactile materials and dynamic, interactive experiences. Why should experiences in the workplace be any different?

For a workspace to be genuinely engaging, its design must prioritize the needs of the people who will use and work in it every day. The differences between users need to be understood, for example frequent users like employees and one-time visitors such as clients need to have varied distinct experiences. Sweeping advances in display and mobile technologies are making it possible — and more affordable than ever before — to create workplaces, office buildings, and corporate campuses that offer dynamic, ever-changing experiences connecting employees and engaging visitors like never before.

Because they are easy to update, digital media and displays can be curated and customized to match the flow and tempo of any physical space and its inhabitants. Employees can feel refreshed and recharged by an evolving workspace that reflects their daily rhythms. Dynamic public spaces, from facades to lobbies and entryways, invite both employees and visitors to stay continually engaged.

Further within the work environment we see the need for a variety of shared spaces for employees to work, socialize, meet and play. Within these communal and ‘huddle’ spaces, there are also opportunities for dynamic applications of digital media. We particularly like to position them in ‘collision’ zones, spaces that create the opportunity for people to have informal and unplanned encounters as they pass through to other spaces.

Read more about the workplace technology putting workers first in Work Design Magazine >>

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

Cheryl leads the discipline at ESI Design that is responsible for the overall design direction for physical spaces. Her specialty is the intersection of art and architecture, building spatial interventions in which harnessing public interaction is integral. In her spare time she works on public art projects that activate underused public spaces. She is also developing a coconut composite board as a new sustainable architectural cladding product.

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