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CNN Highlights Two HOK Workplace Projects Designed to Enhance Productivity and Recruiting

In rethinking their workplaces, companies are finding that incorporating spaces like rooftops, terraces and outdoor conference rooms can help their people relax and feel more creative.

Excerpted from CNN Money:

Financial companies, law firms and other types of businesses are redefining their workspaces and getting rid of the long-hailed corner offices.

“They are trying to attract and retain the same employees that are working at Facebook, LinkedIn and Google,” said Tom Polucci, director of interiors based in HOK’s New York office. “They are finding they if they don’t design their space in a different way they won’t be able to attract talent.”

At the new Polsinelli law office in Denver (above), architectural firm HOK incorporated different types of wood to mimic the forest along with various shades of green, yellow and blue found in nature. The office also has a 1,250-square-foot rooftop terrace.

The terrace has been good for recruitment, according to Jennifer Evans, office managing partner. She takes potential hires to the space to help emphasize that the office likes to collaborate. “It’s a nice change of pace from the regular workspace when you need some uninterrupted time to concentrate and get work done,” she said.

The headquarters for Dairy Farmers of America (top image above) opened last year in Kansas City and offers employees outdoor conference rooms. The headquarters also embraces the idea of more open space for collaboration: Its previous headquarters had 175 private offices. The new space has 10.

“You didn’t even see people in the old office. Now you are able to see teams interact,” said Kim O’Brien, a spokesperson for Dairy Farmers of America. “It’s been transformational for the culture as well as for collaboration and innovative thinking. You see people meeting in the new places, and there is a sense of productivity.”

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