Imagine the perfect hotel stay: It’s not just the impeccable room design, the exceptional service, or the on-demand amenities that make the visit memorable. It’s the sum of these parts that create an immersive experience. What if your office felt like this every day? Now it can, thanks to a hospitality-infused approach to workplace design that’s elevating what’s possible in our work lives.
“Workplace, hospitality, retail and apartment living experiences are converging, creating exciting opportunities to rethink how the workplace functions in a new context,” says John Koga, Irvine Company Vice President, Planning & Design. “We’re not only thinking about the space as a location for work but also as a community ecosystem.”
Mike Bennett, Senior Vice President Operations, is part of the leadership team drawing on best practices from Irvine Company’s Resort, Retail and Apartment divisions, and applying these learnings to the workplace.
“We’re bringing the standard of concierge-style service that people expect from a luxury resort right to their workplace,” says Mike Bennett. “We treat our customers like guests, not tenants. Every interaction with them is an opportunity to make their day exceptional.”
This ethos – hospitality-driven, people-centric design – is at the heart of every Irvine Company workplace. These are four key trends bringing this workplace experience to life.
Trend 1: Workplace-on-demand.
From Netflix to Postmates to Google Home, we live in an on-demand world molded to our personal needs and preferences. Now, this seismic transformation in how we live is reshaping the workplace in the image of our personal lives, meeting our expectations for speed and convenience. Peloton virtual spin instructors, temperature control, food, office maintenance and even fuel delivery are all at employees’ fingertips.
As demands on executive mindshare grow, the opportunity to resolve small errands without leaving the office is a valuable time saver and productivity booster. This includes choosing from a wide variety of WorkLife programming, helping the workplace feel more like an all-inclusive resort than an office building. From weekly farmer’s markets to rotating food trucks to afternoon yoga classes, dynamic offerings let employees do life on their schedule.
What do Netflix, Postmates and the modern workplace have in common?
Trend 2: Diversity in dining.
Complaints about #SadDeskLunch are more than petty frustrations. When employees have access to high-quality food offerings on site, employers benefit too. According to Irvine Company proprietary research, 90 percent of employees say access to high-quality food increases their satisfaction with their employer.
“We drew inspiration from our Resort and Retail offerings to evolve the standard campus cafeteria into a variety of exciting culinary experiences, including pop-up restaurants, craft coffee stations and grab-and-go fine dining,” says Chris Dey, Director of Retail Amenities.
Leading the charge is Herb & Ranch, a new micro-food hall and market concept from celebrity chef Brian Malarkey of Top Chef fame. Blending a contemporary farmhouse design with Southern California vibe, Herb & Ranch is adjacent to The Commons at UCI Research Park – a one-acre, open-air venue – for the ultimate in alfresco dining.
“Orange County’s talented and educated workforce seeks a sophisticated and adventurous dining experience, which makes UCI Research Park a natural fit for Herb & Ranch,” says Malarkey.
Trend 3: Indoor-outdoor conferencing.
From pitch nights to company happy hours to client meetings, the contemporary conference center is being reimagined to mirror the indoor-outdoor lifestyle of Orange County.
Historically, technology requirements have constrained what’s possible for on-site conferencing. A focus on functionality – like the ability to block out light to view a wide projector screen – meant these spaces could sometimes feel dark or closed off. Now, a fresh design approach is integrating indoor conferencing with technology-enabled outdoor event spaces, bringing resort-style amenities to the workplace.
At Jamboree Center, near John Wayne Airport, two new, open air pavilions expand on-site conferencing with an eye towards tomorrow’s workforce. Pavilion amenities include WiFi, speakers, outdoor televisions for presentations, USB outlets, and in-ground umbrellas with integrated area heaters for year-round use. The digitally-enabled space meets critical functionality needs while creating new opportunities for attendee interaction. The location is adjacent to Hotel Irvine, offering businesses seamless transition from day to night events.
The contemporary conference center is being reimagined to mirror the indoor-outdoor lifestyle of Orange County.
Trend 4: Clustering for community.
Placing a fitness center, cafe and outdoor workspace near one another isn’t an arbitrary decision. This arrangement is guided by a fundamental design principle that prioritizes community building in the workplace– much like a resort clusters guest amenity offerings in one place.
Spectrum Terrace, a new Silicon Valley-inspired campus in the Irvine Spectrum district, features four, purpose-built amenity clusters. These centers are the beating heart of the dynamic campus and combine outdoor workspace with opportunities for dining, fitness and play. Soon, you’ll see industry leaders swapping ideas over drinks at Terrace Kitchen’s indoor/outdoor bar, watching the game on the flat screen TV by the outdoor fire pit, or finding their zen during an on-demand yoga class at the KINETIC™ fitness center.
“Organically drawing people together is the secret sauce for a vibrant workplace community,” says John Koga. “We design for the serendipitous connections that spark innovation, creativity and growth.”
In the age of flex schedules and remote work, the hallmark of an effective workplace environment is one where employees who don’t have to be there still choose to be there. It’s a place where co-workers linger over happy hour drinks, new connections are made at pitch night, and daily needs are met instantly, freeing valuable mindshare for big picture thinking.
By bringing the best of hospitality to the office, Irvine Company’s Workplace Communities are establishing a new benchmark for what’s possible– turning the workplace into a dynamic destination that powers productivity, engagement and business success.
For more on the future of workplace design, visit Elevate.IrvineCompanyOffice.com