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27 February 2018

Daniela Barbon: Hospitality and Residential Influences on Workplace Design

Daniela Barbon, director of interior design based in HOK’s Toronto office, describes how residential and hospitality influences are impacting workplace design.

Excerpted from Retrofit:

“I think what’s happening is today people are becoming more connected, and the concept of work and workplaces continues to shift,” observes Daniela Barbon, ARIDO, LEED AP, director of interior design in HOK’s Toronto office.

Barbon explains as more people work from home after office hours or as telecommuters, the comforts they are accustomed to in their residences are emerging in the workplace. Whereas the office was once characterized by a series of endless workstations, she says the landscape changed and softened—a transformation that can have a positive impact on employees’ well-being, another driver behind this trend.

“When we’re looking at the softening of the workplace or the blurring of the lines, even though it might have a residential feel, it’s really the cues we take from the hospitality market that are important,” she explains. “If you think about it, it’s really about the driver—the sense of arrival; the importance of first impressions; a sense of welcome; creating touchpoints throughout the space that align with the brand internally and externally.”

Additionally, Barbon says a sense of community is important in corporate offices today, “so the whole idea of creating social hubs—the lobby lounge, cafés, great rooms—even though there are those residential elements, qualities, and feel, it is the hospitality mindset and approach that really helps.”