Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

The Two Halves of Office Design

A little more than 4 years ago, the pandemic turned the traditional office model on its head. After everyone got proficient at remote logins and Zoom, we spent the next couple of years discussing if offices were a thing of the past. Turns out, they are still relevant. A recent study of people in professional environments shows that most are less concerned about whether they will be working from home, instead focusing on how the office can make them productive. You can read the full Gensler study here.

One discovery was clear: In this tight talent market, the modern workplace is more people-focused than ever before. They found that the key to a high performing office is a balance of both function and form. This means we care how the structure of an office and its amenities support work, but also, is it beautiful and inspiring?

Of course, there are many ways to achieve this balance, depending on your field and your location. For us, we chose to place our campus in a convenient location that still feels far away. We focused on the outdoor spaces, so our team can take calls while overlooking a lake or enjoy a walk in the woods on their lunch hour. Inside, we built communal spaces that facilitate quick stand up meetings and collaboration between all the generations that make up our team. It’s not perfect, but we’ve found that this environment changes the way people on our team view coming into the office. There are spaces to engage, and also places to step alway and take that deep breath we all need from time to time.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.