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What the Experts Had to Say on Building the Modern Office

the Experts
Danielle Aihini
Published on

Boston Office Managers and HR folks came together to talk all things office design at IdeaPaint’s office in downtown Boston earlier this week. From how to approach the needs of the modern employee to insights on how to create a welcoming space that fits varying work styles, a panel of four took to center stage to share personal experiences building out their own modern offices.

Led by Director of Interior Design Dianne Dunnell of Margulies Perruzzi Architects, the panel included our very own CEO Sam Dunn, Co-Founder of IdeaPaint Jeff Avalon, and Office Manager Layna Germino of Managed by Q.

Modern office design

Whether you’re moving offices, expanding your current office, or simply redesigning a space, you need to keep employee needs top of mind for both recruitment and retention reasons. And the event’s panelists discussed that hot topic in detail.The first space on the chopping block, according to Robin CEO Sam Dunn: the game room. At face value, game rooms are great for recruitment. They represent an upbeat, playful company culture and are always perfect places to stop on an office tour for interviewees or new hires.But how well do they fare for retaining employees?

Eventually the novelty wears off, and game rooms become forgotten spaces. When designing the Robin office, Sam wanted to create something his employees would find useful, whether they were two days or two years into the job.That’s where cold brew came in. Sam went right to the source - the employees - and realized that the desire for free office coffee would never fade. Regardless of the type of space you’re designing - kitchen, conference room, flex space - the best sources for information on how to build it are the people who will use it most. And each workplace leader on the panel realized the benefit of that same tactic very early on in their own offices.

Office design game changers: dry erase boards, hard-boiled eggs, and white noise

Building for the modern office is no easy task but all three panelists had great tips on ways to create a productive environment with a vibrant company culture.

  • Make collaboration as easy as grabbing a marker and swiveling your chair around.

Regardless of where you’re sitting, you should always have a whiteboard adjacent to you, according to Jeff Avalon of IdeaPaint.

  • Create an environment that fosters employee tradition.

In Layna Germino of Managed by Q’s office, early morning employees make dozens of hard boiled eggs in the kitchen every day for all to enjoy.

  • Invest in areas that sustain a productive environment (and do so cost effectively too)

White noise is all the rage, according to Sam Dunn of Robin. So either bump that on the speakers or opt for it’s more soothing sibling pink noise to help mask the distracting sounds around the office.Those are just a few examples. Take a look at some of the other highlights from the panel including topics like conference room design and company culture.

(Note: Please ignore the helicopter-like noise in the background.)

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