There’s No Place Like Home, Except Maybe the Office
Let’s face it, working remote and the need for flexible work schedules isn’t a new topic. The pandemic thrust the discussion to the forefront. Leadership is grappling with how to adjust their business to meet staff expectations, win the talent war, and continue to be successful.
People are a critical component of that success. Today, your staff might be back in the office full time, taking advantage of a hybrid schedule, or fully remote. They have adapted to a new way of work that, in most cases, gives them the comforts of home.
In the 2021 State of Remote Work report by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics, 36% of respondents believed the office environment was best suited for individual work, 84% preferred to work remotely, and 78% felt more included when in the office.
Time savings, lack of workplace distractions, multitasking personal and work responsibilities, and the ability to see family contributed to the push to work remotely. Conversely, staff burnout, access to office equipment, and at-home distractions make the office attractive.
Companies winning the workforce evolution are mastering maximizing productivity by combining time for focused work, creating space for social interaction, being flexible, providing tools to get the job done, and creating a workplace experience unlike any other.
Fostering this environment includes examining your office design. We dissected the remote work environment and, using our knowledge of resimercial design, created a workplace kit-of-parts that provides unique experiences customized to the disparate needs of an evolving workforce. A trip into the office for a day or several, when designed right, helps staff sacrifice less and overcome remote work challenges.
Focused Work. Studies and dens are spaces to help staff focus. Studies are quiet, subdued spaces boasting task lamps and dim environmental lighting. Worktables infused with technology and flanked with soundproofing create an environment free of distractions. The den is a relaxed version of the Study, with worktables replaced by coffee tables and seating replaced by oversized chairs. It’s suitable for casual focused work.
Collaboration Spaces. These flexible spaces are exclusive to the office. Incorporating touches of home help attract staff. A central, common area mimics a living room. Large, comfortable couches and lounge chairs, coffee tables, floor lamps, plants, and access to board games and books cue home comforts. Access to technology equipped for online shopping and services and a dedicated area for package delivery allows staff to check off their personal to-do list. Conference rooms such as the theater, playroom, and family room are technology-heavy with a large, central conference room table that converts to smaller tables and is supported with interactive tools such as smart boards. Libraries are a formal version of the Study with worktables, brighter lighting, and large displays conducive to internal meetings.
Social Spaces. The lobby/foyer, porch, game room, living room, and kitchen all serve as areas to encourage both spontaneous and planned social interactions. Underutilized lobby/foyer areas that incorporate den-like seating encourage staff to break from their desk, grab a cup of coffee, and review reports. The game room is an extension of the living room with arcade-style games, shuffleboard, and putting green, immune from meetings. The porch is an outdoor space with high-top tables covered by large umbrellas. Outdoor couches, rugs, pillows, and low tables with access to food and beverage create an entertaining space for guests and staff. The kitchen is the indoor porch for staff to gather and meet.
Wellness Spaces. Each space is designed for flexibility. The living room or porch can be rearranged for an afternoon yoga or fitness session. A Study can serve as a mother’s room, meditation area, or massage therapy room.
A space for your staff to call home is needed. The desk serves this purpose and can be accessorized with plants, photos, task lighting, and personal touches to make it more like home.
Redesigning your space and infusing elements of home results in a more productive, energized, and engaged workforce. From minor updates to a complete redesign, you and your staff will reap the benefits, positioning your company as an attractive place to call home.
Imagine A Place: Coming Soon to Charlotte
Imagine A Place looks at the latest developments in select communities we serve. This blog focuses on our Charlotte community, where you’ll find new developments popping up from mixed-use projects to adaptive reuse, capturing the history of the community. Check it out.
If you’ve traveled around the Optimist Park/Belmont/NoDa area, you’re sure to have seen Broadstone Craft, the Alexan Mill District, and Broadstone Optimist Park. All three projects foster the desirability of neighborhoods on the “outskirts” of NoDa. Located adjacent to Optimist Food Hall, and Birdsong Brewing, and have direct access to the Lynx Light Rail Station, making this growing area a place where people want to live, work, and play. Trammel Crow’s Alexan Mill District is the second phase of its counterpart, now called Alton Optimist Park. It is part of a larger transit-oriented development that includes an adjacent 130,000-square-foot office building and future communal outdoor spaces with pedestrian connectivity to Optimist Hall.
Broadstone Optimist Park – 2000 N. Brevard St
Quick Hit: 323-unit Alliance Residential development spanning 3 acres, and located across the 25th Street light rail station (a block from our Chadbourn Mill adaptive re-use project)
Broadstone Craft – 1000 N. Davidson St.
Quick Hit: 297 units within a 7-story building that will wrap around Birdsong Brewing
Alexan Mill District – 100 N. Brevard St.
Quick Hit: Located directly next to Optimist Food Hall with 290 units located in one 5-story building and a 1,200 square-foot rooftop terrace overlooking Uptown
What’s next? Broadstone Optimist Park will open in early 2023, with Broadstone Craft delivering shortly after in Summer 2023. Alexan Mill District broke ground in March 2022 and is expected to deliver in late 2023 or early 2024.
South End continues to grow, welcoming new multifamily, office, and retail to the burgeoning area. South End’s roots are grounded in industrial warehouses of the past. People enjoy the reimagined historic buildings when they are out to eat, having drinks, or working in their office spaces. A building’s history is what ties the past to our present, and it’s important to preserve a piece of Charlotte’s story while creating new ones. The Fairwood Avenue Event Space building and The Dowd are holding true to the original aesthetic that South End was first recognized for when they started making waves on the greater Charlotte map.
The Boulevard, A Broadstone Community – 2408 South Blvd.
Quick Hit: A 283-unit development with ground-floor retail is arriving in early 2024 with unique amenities such as outdoor fitness spaces and a resident speakeasy-style lounge – a nod to the neighborhood’s reputation as a food and craft brew destination and the project’s jazz age design inspiration.
Fairwood Avenue Event Space – 217 Fairwood Ave.
Quick Hit: Located across from the Fairwood 226, the project is an adaptive reuse project of two existing warehouses built in 1954 with the intended use of turning them into a future event and food hall destination.
The Dowd Building – 120 W. Bland St.
Quick Hit: The Dowd is another adaptive re-use development of an abandoned building originally built in 1912, with renovated space intended for creative office and/or retail.
What’s next? Expect to see new tenants signing onto the available retail and/or office spaces in an effort to bring new and exciting vendor concepts to the rapidly growing neighborhood.
Dilworth is a local historic district and was Charlotte’s first suburb, as well as the first suburb with streetcar transportation into the center city. The two buildings that makeup today’s artist hub, Dilworth Artisan Station, date back to 1909 and 1950 and were previously used as a mattress factory, furniture factory, textile mill, parachute production facility, and storage facility for soldiers’ cars during WWII. In an effort to salvage the building’s history, we’ve partnered with White Point Partners (think Bowers Fibers and Chadbourn Mill) in an effort to repurpose the decade-old building.
Dilworth Artisan Station – 118 E. Kingston Ave.
What’s next? Renovations are currently underway and are only planned on the ground floor of the 1909 building where an antique and restoration shop used to live. Expect a food and beverage tenant when complete, as well as enhanced landscaping and a better connection to the Charlotte Rail Trail. The building aesthetic will stay the same. Be on the lookout!
LoSo (Lower South End)
Apartment developments are flocking to Lower South End as it continues to boom alongside South End’s recent revitalization. Originally dubbed the warehouse and distribution district, its industrial and laid-back vibes are what attract people to the up-and-coming area.
LoSo Apartments – corner of Verbena and Gilead Streets
Quick Hit: Currently in construction and set to deliver in 2023, the apartment project includes 273 units on 5.7 acres and is a cross between urban- and garden-style apartments (gurban as we like to say here at Cline Design) with both elevator service and surface-level parking.
What’s next? With more and more apartment developments opening in LoSo, expect more foot traffic and pedestrian connectivity between breweries, workspaces, and residential areas as the district flourishes.
University City is Charlotte’s 2nd largest employment hub with 23 Fortune 500 companies, three headquarters, and roughly 73,000 employees, and has been lacking in affordable housing options. Prose mends this gap. Both developments will aid also in the needed connectivity within the area. Once Water’s Edge is completed, visitors will be able to access the one-mile walking path around the lake, and nearly 10 miles of greenway trails. Prose McCollough Station is directly across from the McCollough Station light-rail stop and is vital for those using greener options of transportation.
Novel University Place – 8862 J.W. Clay Blvd.
Quick Hit: Part of the larger Water’s Edge mixed-use development, Novel University Place has 311- units with the first units expected to deliver in early 2023. The development is dispersed across four buildings and three carriage buildings with garages. Amenities overlook a man-made lake on the property.
Prose McCollough Station – 8430 N. Tryon St.
Quick Hit: Prose McCollough Station is the first Prose brand in Charlotte under Alliance Residential that aims to create attainable housing within high employment hub areas.
What’s next? Novel University Place’s outdoor plaza has opportunities to be closed off to traffic for festivals and special events, so expect an entertainment line-up in the future.
Laurel Street’s project helps in aiding the pledged five-year plan to reduce homelessness and housing insecurity within the city. With homelessness surrounding Uptown on an uptick, this development will help alleviate the issue. Varick on 7th was named in recognition of James Varick, the founder and first bishop of the AME Zion Church. Varick advocated for the abolition of slavery and helped establish the Freedom Journal, the first Black-owned newspaper in the United States.
Varick on 7th Street – Intersection of 7th and N. Alexander St.
Fun Fact: Varick on 7th was named in recognition of James Varick, the founder and first bishop of the AME Zion Church. Varick advocated for the abolition of slavery and helped establish the Freedom Journal, the first Black-owned newspaper in the United States.
Quick Hit: Located in Uptown’s Fourth Ward, 105 units are anticipated to open in 2023 with 50 apartments dedicated to those making below the average household income and 55 rented at market rate value.
What’s next? Varick on 7th Street will be completed in 2023 with development already underway.