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What’s Working in the New Workplace

Lessons learned from the flexible new workplace design and policies of Perkins Eastman’s Pittsburgh Office

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed the adoption of remote work for many companies, including Perkins Eastman. At that time, leaders of Perkins Eastman’s Pittsburgh office had just begun designing and planning a move to a new location for their workplace. When the world shut down, pausing construction plans, they took the opportunity to rethink their workplace strategy. The new office’s design and operational policies were modified to create an even more flexible and resilient work environment—continuing the firm’s goal to create the workplace of the future while addressing a post-pandemic world.

The new Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh office opened in May 2021. The space, and the accompanying office policies, provide the structure for employees to thrive. Perkins Eastman’s Pittsburgh office offers valuable insight into the question on so many minds: How can we create a workplace that fosters productivity and cultivates a positive culture?

A post-occupancy evaluation of the Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh office—comprising surveys, interviews, behavior observations, and indoor environmental quality data collection—demonstrates that the spatial design and policies that foster news ways for working supports employees’ physical health, professional growth, and social connection.

The recipe for its success includes three main ingredients: 1) A “Work from Anywhere” policy; 2) A “free address” unassigned seating model; and 3) A variety of work points within the office.