“Changing Workspaces”: DC Inno panel on office design

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“What makes an office ‘cool’?” One of the many questions that was asked and answered at DC Inno’sState of Innovation” meet-up series on Tuesday, April 12th. The topic: Changing Workspaces panel. Speakers were Gavin Daniels of Wingate Hughes, an architectural services company, Samantha Cicotello of Social Tables, a software for planners and properties, Adam Segal of cove, a neighborhood productive space, and Zak Kidd of Swingspace, a resource for small companies looking for commercial real estate. The event was held at the lovely We Work offices in Crystal City, VA and we were lucky to be in attendance.

The space, set up and layout of an office is as important as the product that’s being put out. You want your employees to be productive, relaxed yet focused, and excited to come to work every day. Feeling comfortable in the workplace is something companies all over the country, especially start-up tech companies, are starting to realize more and more. Are the days of cubicle farms coming to an end? Many large corporations will have you believe not any time soon, but if the growing number of abandoned office parks around the country are any indication, they might be. Companies are opting for more open space and relaxed environments that encourage productivity and camaraderie… utilizing the expertise of designers and architects rather than just moving a bunch desks in and calling it a day.

Ok, so you’re dying to know: What DOES make an office “cool”? Well according to the experts:

Zak: Cool offices are timeless. They’re never set. The company continues to change and innovate the office space.

Gavin: An emotion you feel. The manifestation of the energy of the office.

Samantha: Natural light. Being able to see the sun.

Adam: How accessible it is to home.

In a nutshell, a cool office is one where the company changes with the times and is committed to growing with it’s employees, it’s got positive energy and allows the employees to feel comfortable providing input and being creative, they are able to feel like they’re not in the middle of a dark box, and it’s easily accessible to where employees feel they can come and go with ease. Sounds like a place anyone would want to be!

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