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Today's Lean Office: Smart and Stylish, Not Just Smaller

Corporate branding is not a new concept, but in the race to attract and retain talent, workplace strategies around portfolio management, cost efficiency, and human resources are driving a new generation of branded workplaces. Leading companies recognize the power of the branded workplace to foster an environment that resonates both internally and externally; but to remain competitive, they must do more with less and do it better.

However, with the right strategy, a smaller footprint and cost reductions do not have to compromise quality. How a company determines its design options involves a careful strategy for planning, programs, and implementation, driven by core business objectives.

In Callison's experience, the highest returns are generated by applying both short- and long-term solutions to using space efficiently and effectively to:
• save money in both the short- and long-term
• attract and retain the brightest talent in the marketplace
• provide a variety of collaborative and individual environments to support the work styles preferred by Generation X and Millennial workers.

As a result, the most forward-thinking workplaces are increasingly moving toward an open, collaborative environment that is highly conducive to communication and cross-pollinating ideas. These companies understand that inspired employees by will be more effective and efficient and that work-style changes and generational shifts are creating the opportunity to shrink real estate footprints while increasing efficiency and experience for employees.

Many solutions involve a flexible combination of individual and collaborative workspaces that effectively accommodate various projects and work styles while boosting productivity. The result is overall reduction in real estate needs, allowing for cost savings or an increase in staff without additional space.

Two projects that represent this new generation of offices are the New York headquarters for a Joost, a global video Web service provider, and East Rock Capital, a New York financial services company. These companies represent fast-track, low-cost, new generation planning and integrated branded environments. Both utilize a hybrid delivery approach that more effectively leverages construction technologies to lower costs while holistically addressing the needs of a modern corporate facility.

Callison's design for Joost exemplifies this trend with a playful, collaborative concept that closely integrates the corporate personality within its workspaces. Vibrant colors in the reception and employee gathering areas embrace the culture of the startup media company and provide the function and flexibility to support its anticipated growth. Open planning and benching workstations encourage collaboration and maximize space for expansion, while conference rooms provide more formal meeting space for clients and partners. Similarly, the interiors of East Rock Capital offer another example of how Callison utilizes modern space with open trading positions and a clean, light color palette and finishes to complement and communicate the dynamic spirit of the firm.

Looking toward the future, as the workforce continues to evolve, offices that can remain flexible to welcome variable work styles, financially sustainable business practices will be the most viable. Both the workplace plan and office furniture and workstations need to be designed with an eye toward flexibility.

A trend toward multipurpose, utilitarian spaces will continue to evolve as a new generation enters the workforce. We are already witnessing a blurring line between the traditional C-Suite and the employee. In today’s environment, it’s less about hierarchy, and more about value in the workplace

— Nielsen Business Media