Thoughtfully curated destinations are rising to the forefront as today’s employees seek personalized work environments. As companies shift toward more tailored spaces, we’ve noticed a corresponding uptick in details inspired by their location. In this month’s news aggregate, we explore the role of community in the modern workplace: both how local culture impacts design and how organizations are fostering community from within.

THE EMPHASIS ON LOCAL DETAILS

Employers are incorporating local elements that embody specific cultural contexts into their office design, often through local artists. Dwell discusses “commissioning local artists to brighten the workplace” and highlights offices that double as art galleries. Inc features the new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) space at New York City’s Hudson Yards. BCG commissioned a street artist to create a piece for their art-themed 43rd floor. Furthermore, Office Snapshots mentions welcoming local artists and small businesses and integrating locally-made products as key considerations.

Business Insider delves into Kickstarter’s Brooklyn office, which includes a sticker-coated door as an artifact of the team’s old headquarters in the Lower East Side. Meanwhile, the Twitter office in New York City includes conference rooms with names inspired by NYC geography. Along with incorporating local ingredients in the office café, Twitter also has an in-house chef with prior experience in restaurants from around the city. Curbed notes the new Milton City Hall in Georgia as a “workplace of the future” that merges Milton’s “rural heritage with cutting-edge design and functionality.”

THE RENEWED FOCUS ON COMPANY CULTURE

Along with integrating cultural elements from the neighborhood, there is also a rising commitment among modern organizations to cultivate culture from within. With an increase in office cafés and restaurants, corporate projects now resemble hospitality environments and hotel lobbies. These types of ancillary settings are fast-becoming cultural hubs as employees meet and socialize. 

Metropolis examines how one workplace café became the “heart of the office.” Meanwhile, Biz Journals discusses using relaxed social settings to cater to millennial staff, suggesting large rooms with couches, lounge chairs and bean bags. Work Design Magazine offers suggestions to intentionally create “collisions” for spontaneous conversation and relationship building.

Research from Workplace Insight indicates that many people prioritize happiness over salary, underscoring the importance of friendships at work. The notion of people-first workplace design is taking hold worldwide, with news circulating that bespoke, human-focused settings enhance morale, productivity and employee wellbeing along with supporting a sense of belonging.

THE COMMUNITY IMPACT

The role of community—both as an external influence and an internal facet of company culture—has a profound impact on the ways workplaces are organized and designed. Each city’s energy, architecture, art and cultural traditions can deeply affect the way we work, and forward-thinking employers are channeling unique, location-based influences to create inspiring environments.

At the same time, meaningful corporate culture is gaining even more prominence in modern workspace development. The most successful companies are finding a way to have both: a strong support system within and strong connections with the external community.