By Rich Bockmann | The Real Deal
They may not be riding around on hover boards just yet, but clients today are finding that an increasing number of companies are designing common spaces in their offices as less-formal places to hold meetings.
While businesses have long designed common spaces for their employees, consultants and designers say that they’re now focused on creating areas for clients that include couches and stools, office cafes and game areas, the Wall Street Journal reported.
After a meeting, clients may spend an extra hour to have coffee or work from a free Wi-Fi connection. Some companies even encourage clients to bring clients of their own.
“Investing in this space helps the client become more comfortable, more informed about the organization outside of the formal space,” said John Sadlon, a principal at the architecture and design firm Perkins+Will.
Chicago-based investment research firm Morningstar, which occupies 30,000 square feet at Silverstein Properties’ 4 World Trade Center, designed its office with high-backed couches, chairs around coffee tables and a semi-enclosed auditorium with views of One World Trade Center and the city.
The idea is an extension of the move toward a more collaborative workplace, as companies look to decrease barriers between employees and clients.
“A great office is starting to look like a hotel lobby, and a great hotel lobby is starting to look like a place where work can get done,” said Lenny Beaudoin, a senior managing director at CBRE.