VIDEO | Office Design Think Tank Explores Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture


Workplace culture – which is embedded in a company’s policies, procedures, and practices – is paramount to fostering an environment where employees are engaged, feel valued, and are empowered to take ownership over when, where, and how they accomplish work-related tasks. As competition to attract and retain top talent continues to intensify, many companies are looking for opportunities to showcase their unique corporate culture while raising the recruiting bar. And the most forward-looking of these enterprises are exploring how their physical workplace can help to strengthen work-life integration, enhance productivity and innovation, and even improve employee health and wellbeing. 

In the Fall of 2019, SmithGroup design experts and workplace strategists came together with leaders from across industries for a two-day workshop dedicated to Redefining the High Performing Workplace. Sessions were devoted to discussing operational and workforce challenges impacting businesses today; delving into trends impacting corporate real estate and development; exploring how physical environments can help or harm occupants’ health and wellbeing; and collaborating on how physical environments can be designed to advance a new era of work. 

Enthusiasm around these topics was electric and sparked compelling dialogue and exploration of many transformative “what if” scenarios. Each scenario addressed six key factors that workshop participants felt must be considered when setting out to create a high performing workplace:

  • The Employee Experience
  • Design of the Workplace
  • Technology
  • Flexibility
  • Work-Life Integration & Choices
  • Health & Wellbeing

The following summary offers a glimpse into the group’s exploration of these topics. For a more in-depth discussion on these and other factors impacting the future of work, please contact Lise Newman, Director of SmithGroup’s Workplace Practice.


SmithGroup - IT Innovation Center
SmithGroup - IT Innovation Center
SmithGroup IT Innovation Center
SmithGroup IT Innovation Center

Successful work environments allow people to stay focused and offer employees the resources they need to do their work. At Google, we want to make sure that we’re creating spaces where people are excited to go, and where they are proud to bring their family and friends over to visit.

Joshua Bridie, Google