There’s No Place Like The Office: Infusing Hospitality Design into the Workplace

July 14, 2022|18 Minutes
4300 Wilson Repositioning lobby
A semi-organic, sculptural feature overhead in the lobby of 4300 Wilson invites visitors into the space through the entryway and extends inside, touching down within the reception area as a bench for guests.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the evolution of how and where we work. As employers compete to attract and retain top talent in this new hybrid work environment, the physical design of the workplace is increasingly important.

In this Gensler Design Exchange podcast, guest host Mariela Buendia-Corrochano discusses how to infuse workplaces with hospitality-inspired designs, with guests Bob Pinkard, of The Pinkard Group, and Liz Espín Stern, of Mayer Brown LLP. Bob and Liz offer insightful client perspectives based on recent renovation projects and explain how incorporating hospitality-inspired design principles transformed common areas into vibrant destinations for employees that encourage chance encounters and collaboration. From lobby designs to cafe spaces to outdoor spaces to multi-purpose rooms, adding hospitality elements can enhance the employee experience, meet new expectations, and positively impact workplace culture.

Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Hospitality design makes the office a destination rather than just a place to work.
  2. Common areas that encourage socializing and collaboration increase employee engagement.
  3. Design features like cafes, terraces, and multi-purpose rooms enhance the employee experience.
  4. Following recent renovations, clients saw increased space use from both employees and tenants.
  5. Taking risks to differentiate the workplace can attract and retain top talent.
Robert M. Pinkard
Bob is the founder of The Pinkard Group who sets the strategic direction of the company and oversees all aspects of the firm. He is the former Chairman and CEO of Cassidy & Pinkard, which grew to be the largest locally-owned real estate services company in the Washington region.
Elizabeth (Liz) Espín Stern
Liz is the Managing Partner of the Washington D.C. office of Mayer Brown, a global law firm headquartered in Chicago. She also leads Mayer Brown’s Global Mobility & Immigration group as the head of the firm’s Global Mobility & Migration practice.
Brandon Larcom
Brandon is a global leader of Gensler’s Product Development practice. As Co-Director of Product Development, he specializes in business development, identifying future design industry trends, and licensing for global product rollouts. Brandon currently hosts and co-produces the Gensler Design Exchange podcast, facilitating a dialogue between design experts, creative trendsetters, and thought leaders to discuss how Gensler is enhancing the human experience through the world of design. Contact him at .