Some companies are known for being on the forefront of technology trends: Google, Monster Energy, Telogis, and Goodman Bircher to name a few. In addition to a leadership role in their respective industries, these companies create innovative work environments that contribute to increased productivity and employee satisfaction. Business owners can learn from these innovators and take a different approach to their office design when looking to increase employee output, keep overhead costs in check and encourage a productive corporate culture.

Companies across the West Coast can take full advantage of their year-long sunshine. To this end, property owners are already ensuring plenty of windows to allow for natural light, but business owners can go even further. For example, businesses can make their offices virtually larger by adding password-protected Wi-Fi to outdoor common areas. Outside patios are now extensions of the office, turning useable space into a “work campus.”

Recruiting top talent is also contingent upon office space and amenities. Monster Energy and Goodman-Birtcher recruit all over the country, but they don’t use the corner office as bait. Telogis provides free meals to all employees, so they have no reason to leave for meal breaks, increasing productivity and promoting flexibility. Employees sit side-by-side among peers, fostering teamwork. Fresh and innovative office space creates a contagious vibe for younger generations, the millennial generation in particular, who prefer this dynamic environment.

Another interesting trend is how business owners are decreasing the square footage of individual offices without complaints. Rather than looking at an office or cubicle as their “work space,” employees now view the entire office floor as their office space. With the right design, employees can work throughout the office wherever it makes sense. Side-by-side workstations are becoming common and promote a lively work environment. This increase in collaboration allows business owners to cut costs with the void of larger, perimeter offices and the consumption of less space.

In order to recruit top talent, increase employee output and reduce overhead costs, office design plays a crucial role. West Coast business owners should take a cue from some of the most innovative technology companies and think more creatively about their workspace. The decrease in informal office space per employee, together with a rise in side-by-side workstations and state of the art amenities will enhance every employee’s experience for years to come.


Heidi Hendy is the principal and founder of H Hendy Associates, located in Newport Beach, California. Her firm offers a full spectrum of services from strategic planning, creative interior design architecture services and facilities management.