May 8, 2019

Hospitality Influencing the Workplace

The lines between work, home, and hospitality are blurring in corporate design. Soft lounge furniture, café-like seating, amenities like ping-pong and foosball tables, and on-site baristas and massage services are finding their way into offices. This trend is a direct response to employees wanting to feel comfortable and relaxed in their work environment and wanting the flexibility to work in a different space other than a personal desk. We surveyed the design community, employees, and employers to further understand the significance of hospitality design in their workplace.

Is it important that your office embraces hospitality design?

A staggering 80 percent of survey respondents conveyed that hospitality design in the workplace is important to have.

What areas in your office are currently cultivating hospitality design?

The leading hospitality-centric space within a work environment is the entry reception area with the other top contenders being the kitchen and meeting rooms.

What areas in your office would you like to cultivate hospitality design?

The kitchen and meeting rooms remained top contenders for hospitality design, while breakout spaces jumped up by about 10 percent joining the top three preferred areas.

Why would you prefer to work in a space that looks and feels like a hotel, restaurant, or coffee shop?

Nearly half of survey respondents mentioned that when they are comfortable in their work environment it leads to greater productivity. Other top reasons why employees prefer hospitality-influenced spaces is because they are inviting and invoke creativity.

Why is it important or unimportant that your company embraces hospitality design?

Respondents said it was important because hospitality design promotes healthier and happier employees, it builds community, or it attracts guests or clients. It often includes alternative spaces to work in besides personal desks, and it attracts and retain employees.

Making an office feel more hospitable isn’t just for looks. Survey respondents mentioned key benefits like being more productive, feeling more creative, and feeling happier and healthier. Employees want less hospitality design in their entry reception areas and more in their breakout touchdown spaces. They are seeking more informal, comfortable spaces to work and collaborate with others. In addition to high productivity levels, the business advantages of hospitality design include a higher sense of belonging, building community, and fostering an appealing culture, which all help to attract and retain employees. Offering other spaces in an office besides a desk that are inviting and cozy proves to have great mental, emotional, and productivity perks. Read more from Knoll about hospitality at work, which was their theme for NeoCon 2018:

Chelsea Connolly | SKG Workplace Strategist | IIDA Associate, IIDA Austin City Center Sustainability Chair, WELL AP

SKG is a Knoll furniture dealer in Austin, Texas and San Antonio. We specialize in workplace design and furniture. Chelsea Connolly, our Workplace Strategist, sends out monthly surveys to our clients, design firms, followers, and the community to gauge current perspectives on workplace design. Each month has a different theme. After gathering data, we summarize our findings and share it out on social media. Please enjoy our first article in our 2018 ‘Survey & Summary’ series. If you’d like to be a part of these monthly surveys, please email Chelsea at All graphics provided by Danielle Zayas.

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