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 …
Jan De Weer advises the group to not be afraid to self promote.
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 …
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
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.
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 …
I’m reading The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz and have just finished a chapter that describes how people react to choices differently, depending on whether they perceive them to be a loss or a gain. It struck me as useful on multiple levels when it comes to providing choices to our clients and to the people who move into the spaces we design.
Schwartz references a study by Kahneman and Tversky who have done research on framing and how it affects our ability to evaluate options and make decisions… called prospect theory. The idea with prospect theory is that people feel a “loss” more strongly than a “gain” when compared with the status quo. According to this framing research, …
If you’re in New York City on March 19, please join us at Inscape NYC for a Workplace Salon discussing the Yahoo! No-Work-From-Home Memo. HOK will help moderate the event and participate in a debate on both sides of the argument. We’ll be joined by folks from Gensler, Credit Suisse, BrightSpot Strategy and Perkins + Will.
Workplace Salon: The Yahoo! Debate
March 19, 2013 from 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Inscape NYC Showroom
414 W. 14th Street, 6th floor
RSVP by March 15, 2013 email@example.com
The audience will be polled on which side they most agree with before and then again after the debate. Let the …
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, …
All of this talk about Yahoo, mobility, flexibility in the workplace, and the list goes one, has sparked some interesting dialogue. There are those that see working from home as beneficial not only to an employee’s well-being and job satisfaction, but also to productivity, reduction of churn, greater efficiency, and slimmer real estate costs. However, there are also those that see a lack of innovation, difficulty managing and measuring productivity, and missed opportunities for serendipitous encounters and communication. Accenture’s Survey Results for IWD2013
But we have tasted the freedom that technology offers (as well as the tethering – who checks email before even getting out of bed …
Any design project, even the simplest one, involves some sort of change for the occupants of a space. Sometimes it means moving them to a different location in the building. Maybe it means moving them across town. Perhaps, for good reasons, it means that their new work environment will look and operate differently than it does now. It is crucial to keep in mind that many people have a tough time when it comes to adopting a new environment. Change is hard and takes some mental effort to take on fully. Making any change – even when it might be better in the long run – is often resisted. Resistance to change is in our DNA.
When you visit your doctor to talk about what is hurting or not right, you may find yourself describing sharp pains, headaches or numbness. If your doctor is doing her job, she will then ask you follow-up questions about these symptoms to get to the root of the problem.
You are probably painfully aware of some symptoms. Others are less obvious and take some probing and testing to figure out. Having studied for many years and seen many patients, your doctor should be able to give you a reasonably accurate diagnosis of what is ailing you.
That’s our job, but for space. At HOK, we listen to our clients and evaluate their complaints. …
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.
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, …
I’m in Seoul, South Korea, with Korean gas company Samchully, helping to design their new headquarters building. This is my second trip to Korea, and each has been a pleasurable, humbling experience. In addition to having serious flashbacks from the movie Lost in Translation, it has been fascinating to be embedded in a business that is truly Asian.
With the ceremonial guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace in northern Seoul
The incredible cast of HOK people working on this project includes Ken Drucker (NY), Josh Schroeder (Hong Kong), James Mallory (NY), Phillip Luse (NY), Seung Lee (NY), Neil McClelland (NY) and Claire Whitehill (NY). I would be …
HOK recently participated in an important research initiative with CoreNet Global, a corporate real estate research and networking organization. We were one of a few service providers that had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of corporate real estate executives about global trends and their predictions for the years leading up to 2020.
This nine-month “CRE 2020″ study enabled us to discuss and truly understand the critical issues our corporate clients are wrestling with – and what they are doing to prepare for the future.
While HOK’s team provided guidance for all eight work streams, three experts from HOK’s consulting practice led teams of industry peers to author individual reports:
For those of you who filled out the World’s Largest Workplace Survey on Facebook, thank you! It’s still open and collecting data, but since it’s been open a while, we are excited to share some initial results and pair it with some of our other research.
In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, about 6 months ago we launched what we called the “World’s Largest Workplace Survey,” to capture the widest possible swath of honest opinions about how people feel about their work environments.
Rather than approaching people through traditional phone or web-based surveys, HOK used Facebook to make direct connections in an informal, confidential way. We chose this tool because there are 800 million people on Facebook – more …
I’m a hard-core Gen Xer. The year I was born falls right in the middle of the “sandwich generation” between the Baby Boomers and their babies. I know that it drives me crazy when people make gross generalizations about Gen Xers – probably because I’m a Gen Xer and want to break the mold. So, when I saw this CNN article about Gen Yers transforming office life, I couldn’t help but reach out to a few of them around HOK to ask for their reactions. What I found was a fascinating range of opinions…
I have planned a number of medical schools and one of the really amazing new education techniques I’ve seen is teaching students through the use of “simulators” or robots that look alarmingly human. These robots are used as a supplement to students practicing on volunteers (or standardized patients). The robots are used to simulate situations in the operating room or other routine procedures. Students might witness the sim-man having a heart attack and they literally treat the robot as they would a human, including giving it medication. Using robots like this will prepare students for the stress they will later see on the job with real …
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 …
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 …
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!
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.
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 …
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??
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”
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.
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 …
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 …