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The most important place for your employees to be is not at their desks, nor is it the lab or conference room. It’s wherever they can engage in the maximum number of conversations.

This isn’t a new idea. In 1984, MIT researchers found that workplace interactions drive employee performance. The more conversations people have, the more new ideas they get. Their research is so compelling that Steve Jobs designed his Pixar office to maximize these chance interactions. Yet three decades later, companies still struggle to make this concept a workplace reality.

Digitally-enabled campuses with NextGen outdoor spaces for both work and play make it easier for companies to foster these chance interactions.

“When re-imagining outdoor workspace design across our portfolio, we drew inspiration from the central commons often found at universities,” shares Lauren Kelly, Irvine Company Office Properties Chief Marketing Officer. “Connected outdoor workspaces pull people out of their cubes and the conference room, generating the ‘casual collisions’ that spark bigger ideas than can be conceived of alone.”

Companies know that space to recharge and relax is important for employees to manage stress and maintain morale. A dynamic environment featuring enticing outdoor space is also essential for employee recruitment and retention. But the research demonstrates that employees trading fitness tips after bumping into one another on a jogging path or discussing the merits of various BBQ sauces while grilling burgers is far more valuable that most employers realize.

More Reasons to Get Outside

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