Posts Tagged ‘workplace’

HOK-LA Celebrates Earth Day

2015-04-17 Earth Day Hike 050

Today is Earth Day, and like many fellow HOK offices, the LA office has set forth to celebrate our stewardship of our home with a combination of education, volunteerism, and some always welcomed social interaction while enjoying the beautiful California climate.

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Last Friday in a bit of an early celebration, staff took part in an extended lunch to hike to the top of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, …

IFMA World Workplace 2014

IFMA’s World Workplace 2014 annual conference and exposition took place September 17-19 in New Orleans. The conference was well-attended, with more than 1,000 industry professionals traveling to New Orleans to attend the conference and enjoy the city’s amazing food and music.


Several HOK professionals participated. Lisa Brinkman and Cheryl Jefferies, part of HOK On-Site Services, attended the event.Isilay Civan, Sofia Fonseca and Eva Garza participated as speakers.

IFMA 2014

Designing the Ultimate Workplace: Reflections from WORKTECH 14 West Coast

Gordon WrightThanks to Gordon Wright, director of HOK’s global Consulting practice, for this guest post.

As I paced back and forth in the San Francisco airport waiting for my Friday afternoon flight, which had been delayed by four hours, I decided to do something productive with my extra time and record a few thoughts from the one-day WORKTECH 14 West Coast conference I had just participated in.

With themes ranging from the blurring of physical and virtual space to the city as the ultimate platform of innovation, the conference revolved around the future of space in the workplace. This is not necessarily a new topic, but certainly on the …

The World of Workplace Is Changing


The world of workplace is changing. After several years of market uncertainty, real estate growth appears to be back across different industries. With renewed growth, companies now face a different and more complex set of challenges and are choosing from a wider array of workplace strategy experts who should become their trusted partner in each stage of the process.

Workplace strategy also has evolved as a recognized service within the industry and a wealth of information is now available about this subject. The challenge appears to be deciphering the true value and biases behind research conducted by service providers and anticipating the changing challenges faced by Corporate Real Estate (CRE) teams.

On September 18, …

Changing the Conversation from Cost to Value – A Summary of the EMEA CoreNet Summit, Berlin: 15-17th September 2014

CorenetSitting on the terrace of the Intercontinental bar in Berlin enjoying a pint (or should I say 0.5l) of Paulaner I look back at the EMEA CoreNet Summit and consider what I will take home with me on the Easyjet flight to “London” Southend airport.

The conference was based around the theme “Changing the Conversation from Cost to Value.” Although relevant, this is not a new subject and an area I think most CRE professionals will agree has been at the top of their agenda for some time.

The workplace is changing, that is quite clear and this was demonstrated by both Barclays and eBay, who provided us with insight into their workplace …

Q+A with Tom Polucci, Director of Interiors Based in HOK’s New York Office

Polucci Tom for blog

Tom Polucci, AIA, IIDA, LEED GA, director of interiors based in New York City, discusses how his colleagues and clients inspire him every day. He also comments on workplace trends and explains how design can support healthier work environments.

As a firm-wide interiors leader, Tom is a member of HOK’s board of directors and marketing board. He has more than 20 years of experience managing the design of projects for organizations worldwide. Educated, trained and licensed as an architect, Tom focuses on creating exceptional environments for clients.

What workplace design trends are you seeing? What do you predict for the future?

TP: Collaboration is still key. Everyone is focused …

Taking Charge of Your Career

Jan De Weer advises to not be afraid to self promote. Jan De Weer advises the group to not be afraid to self promote.

Stacy Krell talks to the office about career advancement.

In the first of a year-long Careers by Design series, Senior Human Resources Manager Stacy Krell talked to the St. Louis office about “Taking Charge of Your Career!”

The session is part of an office initiative for 2014 in which professionals from around the office discuss topics ranging from general industry trends, looking in depth at ongoing and completed projects and career development.

Stacy’s overarching message to the staff was the need to take …

Leverage Your Workplace to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Just about every conversation I have related to employee attraction and retention tends to turn into an HR sounding discussion about office protocols, incentives, and perks. And there are many great articles on this topic. This recent article by Josh Bersin is a great example of some economic factors and organizational approaches to retaining the best people. But as a workplace strategist, I need to help my clients make more tangible links between their physical workplace and how it can be leveraged to attract and retain top talent. Below I offer up a few thoughts. 
First Impressions

Most people would guess that …

Talking to Office Snapshots

A few weeks ago Stephen from Office Snapshots stopped by our office to show us his website. Similar in idea to Apartment Therapy, Stephen’s website focuses on interesting new office spaces around the world. The HOK folks who were part of the presentation thought the website a great place to scope out new trends and directions in office design, since no such online repository really exists currently (and if you know of any such sites, do let us know). We also offered some suggestions on how this website could be improved from our perspective – material tagging, searchability by designers and floor plans were some of them.

Check out HOK’s work on the website here (more to be added!)..


Communicating Across Remote Workplaces

As many smaller to mid-size companies evolve into global organizations, the way we collaborate with one another also needs to evolve. We continue to see a plethora of technology based solutions being rolled out to enable more global collaboration. I personally rely heavily on the hardware, software, apps, and the ubiquitous 24/7 access to get the job done, whatever that job may be at any given time. But lately I’ve been working with more remote teammates and I realize that while we definitely have good technology to collaborate, we sometimes forget the human element to how we effectively communicate with one another. No matter how good your technology, the effectiveness of simple …

Helping Active Voice Design Their New Office

It all started with a phone call and a deadline. It was May 2012. Active Voice was moving into their new office space in the SOMA district of San Francisco within a month, and would HOK SF help them create an optimal space “so Active Voice can thrive, grow and make the world a better place”?

It was a challenge right up our alley, so of course we said yes! But then – what does Active Voice do? From their website : Leveraging the unique power of documentaries, feature films and digital media, Active Voice creates opportunities for people to connect and take action around shared values – strengthening community ties, …

Leaving Space for People too.

This is a short post I’ve written as a guest contributor for a friend at Otto. Check out other amazing posts on design and products at 3Rings!

There’s an intrinsic dilemma that all architects and designers carry with them: the struggle with the idea of control. We lose precious sleep over the often unknowable outcomes of our projects.

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An ever-present but less contemplated thought is the impact of those outcomes. While this also can be “unknowable,” designers can draw on evidence and research to predict the impacts of projects with more accuracy. From a business culture standpoint, we crave predictability. Yet, it rarely leaves room for growth, …

Bobbleheads Beware!

Do you have a great collection of “stuff” at your desk or in your office? Well, it might be time to pack it upo and take it home……

More ‘We’ than ‘Me': HOK’s Lisa Fulford-Roy Discusses Workplace Design in the Toronto Star

Thanks to Lauren Gibbs and Dale Pozzi of HOK’s Strategic Accounts + Consulting group for passing this our way:

Fraser Milner Casgrain, Vancouver

A recent article published in the Great Features: Ideas in Innovations section of the Toronto Star featured how new ways of working, along with changes in working environments, have promoted collaborative, effective team environments for many organizations. Several companies that have recently redesigned their work spaces are featured in the article, including those designed by HOK.

Lisa Fulford-Roy, HOK’s vice president of client strategy, stated that many companies are looking to implement agile workplace standards to reduce costs and space while also improving flexibility for …

Weighing in on Open Workplans: HOK’s Paul Wheeler on BBC Radio

Thanks to Dale Pozzi from our New York office for passing along this guest post about London workplace strategist Paul Wheeler‘s recent appearance on BBC Radio:

The open workplan format is facing no small amount of scrutiny lately as a creativity killer. Among the most recent sources of controversy is the publication of new book, “QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” whose author, Susan Cain, posits that the open workplan may be stifling creativity.

Fortunately, advocates have Paul Wheeler to defend the cause (or at least to define it properly).

On Monday morning, BBC Radio’s Vanessa Feltz dedicated a portion of her program to an interview with Susan …

Reflections on World Workplace (part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Phoenix for IFMA World Workplace 2011. For those of you not intimately familiar with the facility management profession, IFMA is the International Facility Management Association and World Workplace is the organization’s annual conference – typically about 5,000 folks from around the world attend.  IFMA is one of my favorite organizations – lots of really wonderfully nice (and smart, and interesting) people!

This year, Angie Earlywine and I were selected to present a concurrent session: Space Matters – New Ways of Maximizing Space Utilization, and I was selected to present Make the Most of Social Media for Your

Flickr Friday – HOK New York Office

Housed at 1065 Avenue of the Americas in the heart of Manhattan, HOK’s new New York office provides tremendous opportunities for collaboration inside the studio and connects with the city by engaging the iconic Bryant Park. Get a feel for this bright, open space by checking out this Flickr set.

Workplace Trends, Training, and Tips: Learning from the Experts

I had the great privilege to attend CoreNet’s Global Summit this past weekend in Chicago, Illinois (my first trip to the windy city – definitely going to have to come back so I can see the rest of the town).

Anyway, I was here to take one of CoreNet’s MCR courses: Creating Corporate Value through Workplace Strategy.  This course was taught by HOK’s own Antonia Cardone and Jim Rice, as well as two workplace strategists from BHDP: Patrick Donnelly and Brady Mick – all of whom have been previously identified as CoreNet top-rated faculty.   I might be biased, but I think Jim and Antonia are …

In Need of A Good Cry (at Work)?

The stars seem to be aligning for me to write about this topic – two weeks ago, I heard a fantastic presentation at IFMA Facility Fusion in Boston, MA, then I read a great article in Time Magazine, then I cried (not at work, but about work on the phone to my boss).  Three strikes means it’s time for a post, right??

Let’s start with IFMA.  I was there to present the findings of IFMA’s Space and Project Management Benchmark Report #34 with my fabulous colleage Angie Earlywine and our great collaborator, IFMA’s lead researcher, Shari Epstein. We had the very first break out session and we …

In the Workplace, Is Access Better Than Ownership?

For several years our industry has pushed for the shift from ownership of space – as in your own office / workstation or your department’s conference room – to the sharing place.  In large part, this has been driven by the need to reduce the cost of real estate for organizations by trying to increase the utilization of  space used.  However, in my experience, there’s been significant reluctance due to our culture of ownership(especially here in the U.S.) . 

Last May at TEDx Sydney Rachel Botsman presented “The Case for Collaborative Consumption” and how several factors, including the proliferation of sharing websites, are having an impact on shifting our behaviors  from individual ownership to sharing.  She identifies 4 key drivers that are “fusing together and creating the big shift towards collaborative consumption”

  • A renewed belief in the

Ergonomic Workplace?

So, as a design firm, you’d think we’d have the very most ergonomic workstations, right?  In theory we do, but a good amount of “operator error” has made most of us hunch over like a bunch of monkeys!

As part of our ongoing Life Matters series (which addresses all kinds of good stuff from fitness to finance), our wonderful HR rep Pia Hill invited an ergonomics consultant in to help us identify and correct our problems.  The wonderful women of Ergo Concepts, LLC,  came in and shared a whole bunch of good stuff with us – and then came to our individual desks to evaluate our seating. 

Some of the things I learned:

  • Your

Inside the Designer’s Studio #38:
Daniel Mills – Houston

HOK Houston Sustainability Manager Daniel Mills talks about his office’s design of a new LEED Platinum office building for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The 83,000-sq.-ft. Building 20 is designed to be 57 percent more energy efficient than a typical office building. “In the end, when we finally achieved Platninum, I was most happy for NASA,” says Daniel, who calls NASA “a phenomenal client.”

Previous edition of ITDS: Patrick MacLeamy – HOK CEO

Women Across HOK | Jennifer Mannier

It’s time for another feature of another one of my favorite people at HOK: Jennifer Mannier.  Jennifer is on my NY-WDC Advance Strategies team, so we get to work together a good bit!  Jennifer is incredibly smart, motivated, and an extremely strategic thinker.  She’s always looking for ways to improve herself, our projects, and our business.  A true inspiration to all of us.  Plus she has a super-cute French accent.

Q:  What is your job and what do you enjoy most about it?

I work with Advance Strategies in New York.  There are two main parts to our practice: the on-site services group and the advisory group. The first group works with clients like …

Mexican Drug Cartels Force New Ways of Working


Imagine many years ago you started your own business and with hard work created a successful enterprise.  Suddenly you are forced to leave your city because your livelihood and, more importantly, your life, are threatened.  For many in Mexico, this has become a reality due to the warring drug cartels seeking to dominate and control the highly lucrative drug, gun, and human trafficking business. 

For this story I won’t go into all the details but what’s relevant is that many people are extorted and kidnapped by the cartels to raise money for weapons and resources to fuel their operations.  This happens to the small “mom and pop” businesses as well as larger organizations with …

Fruit My Cube.

Fruited HOK Cube

The St. Louis Office has begun participating in a new service called Fruit My Cube.  The Farmer’s Market in Belleville, IL has come up with a new business idea that connects hungry office-bound folks with healthy snacks.   Our employees can sign-up to have their cubes (or in our case workstations) “fruited.”    For $9.99/week we receive a box filled with 16 pieces of fruit and vegetables delivered to our office.  The fruit & veggie types change weekly and selections are seasonal.

This week our box contained apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, plums, pluots, baby carrots, a tomato, and an avocado. That’s a ton of fruit, so the STL …

Best of Work+Place (Episode VIII)


Still hell hot in DC…still a good time to curl up somewhere cool and surf great posts on Work+Place.  This week’s “best of” includes:  

  • Vision for the Workplace.  A colleague asked me a funny question about vision sessions – essentially, who wants a crappy office?  Sadly…some people do
  • TelecommutingCatherine Haley exhaults the US government for encouraging employees to work from home (and wishes they’d do it more often for the sake of her commute among other reasons).
  • Fonts?  Susan Baerwald explains how Gothic can save the environment.
  • Etiquitte.  Sometimes you just need to tell people how to be considerate in the office – some snarky ideas via the New York subway system!

Check …

Best of Work+Place (Episode V)


You’re probably still recovering from the Fourthof July (one of my favorite holidays).  A good way to get back into the swing of work is to check in on our favorite HOK site (besides Life@HOK): Work+Place.  Enjoy!

Skymall Purchase

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You are looking at Dallas’s newest challenge. Well, half of it at least. The 7’x7’              “World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle” was a little too big for our break room, so here’s part of it.

A few members of our in-house ACT Committee noticed the newspaper’s crossword puzzle getting completed a little too often.

This should hold’em.

And now you know someone that has actually purchased something from skymall.  I know, I know… I thought it was just a magazine museum for extremely useful products too.

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What do you think, can you give

Cooking Up A Bike-Friendly Workplace

New Parking Space

Prep Time:  the time of an email and a phone call

Ready In:   days? weeks?


1 bike un-friendly building

1 building management contact

1+ bicycle commuter (bike included)

1 secured area

and a pinch of patience (necessary for taste!)


Step 1)  Realize building is not bike friendly by trying to carry your bike through the lobby. (Step 1 is not always necessary but may occur)

Step 2)  In one large Email, inform building management about current problems with bicycle storage for occupants.

Step 3)  Sprinkle thoughts and suggestions throughout email of bike storage ideas and request necessary conditions(bike rack, weather protection, security from people that may want to barrow your bike and …

Best of Work+Place (Episode III)


Today is the day that brings you just what you’ve been waiting for: Episode III of the “best of” series highlighting hot workplace topics on Work+Place.  Enjoy!