Evolution of efficient and creative work spaces
In the middle of dozens of previously abandoned structures on the southern edge of downtown Phoenix sits a two-story historic red brick building. Once the main artery for the region’s grocery distribution in the early 1920s, the 125,000 square foot warehouse is now a lively space serving more than 48 tech companies.
Galvanize’s newest campus in Greater Phoenix’s Warehouse District has been transformational for the building and the area. The warehouse’s layout includes an open seating area with 112 chairs, 33 office suites of varying sizes and four kitchens with snacks, coffee, tea and late-afternoon beer. A reserved desk area with 56 desks offer locking cabinets, various huddle spaces around the campus are available for impromptu conversations and 20 conference rooms are available for members.
More than just a building, this warehouse has become a place where entrepreneurs come together to share ideas and collaborate on projects, serving the region’s growing tech community.
The unique layout and multi-purpose use reflects the shift that is occurring in work spaces across the country. In fact, the move from individual offices and cubicles to open, shared spaces have become commonplace. Supported by technology that allows employees to work anywhere, and a culture of collaboration, today’s offices are open and creative.
According to Karen Jarvis of CIS/Knoll, employees spend 55% of time at desks, 21% in meeting spaces and 11% in common areas. The more agile, accommodating, engaging and supportive the work environment, the better the work.
Businesses are creating environments that support the right conditions for creative work. For instance, James Ludwig, head of global design and product engineering at Steelcase, explains, “Creativity isn’t a linear process. It’s not even a predictable process. It has a rhythm of different activities and requires both convergent and divergent thinking, with people coming together in small or large groups, and moving apart to do work alone.”
Finding the right balance between convergent and divergent thinking, and having the right range of spaces and technology is essential in supporting all the diverse stages of creative work. Together, these changes represent a unique opportunity to refashion the old ways of doing business in an era of technology and innovation.
The desire for greater collaboration in the workplace extends beyond company walls. Co-working spaces are growing in popularity; in fact, the co-working industry in Greater Phoenix has grown by 67% in the last ten years. These shared work spaces offer collaborative environments that facilitate the transfer of ideas and information within and across companies, and are particularly relevant for the region’s creative, tech and entrepreneurial communities. Learn more about Greater Phoenix’s vibrant co-working spaces and startup community here.