Embracing the Power of Choice: The Hybrid Workplace by Bialek & Gensler

Meet 2023 Next Work Environment Competition honorable mentions in the Return to Office category, Bialek and Gensler.

We connected with team to see how their submission has evolved since entering the competition:

Bialek: Since we have begun ‘living in’ our new Bialek Headquarters, our space has evolved in tandem with its original design pillars of flexibility, inclusivity, and innovation. We’ve enhanced the work environment by strategically incorporating acoustic treatments and artworks, improving the space from both a functional and aesthetic point of view.

Scheduled monthly Community Days have also reinforced a human-centric “return to office” experience, bringing the entire Bialek staff together for team-building activities and fun! Transitioning to 3 days a week in-office has allowed us to continuously refine our workspace as a dynamic “lab” meant for testing ideas and ‘future-of-work’ designs.

Though the office will continue to adjust with emerging technologies and new trends, our goal of providing a dynamic and inclusive environment that empowers Bialek to ‘Pioneer Tomorrow’s Workspaces’ will remain steadfast.

FINAL Team Photo Bialek Gensler e1694108610598

Full project team:

Check out the slideshow and summary of the submission below:

In our pursuit of Return-to-Office success, our design is not merely just a workplace—it is instead a dynamic lab of unique space types, meant to evolve over time with new furniture, technology, and ideas. As pioneers of workplace design, we prioritized flexibility, inclusivity, and innovation in the design of our new headquarters: a holistic approach of bringing teammates back together while catering to neurodiverse working styles.

FLEXIBILITY is at the core of our design, empowering our staff to choose how they work. Our approach maximizes choice with new space typology such as “Office for a Day” and “Quiet Car” — agile spaces that respond to employees’ return-to-office need for privacy, focus, and autonomy. Employees are no longer assigned to rigid workstations; instead they can choose a work point that aligns with their unique preferences, optimizing productivity and engagement. Our new workplace consists of work points, defined as any place with a worksurface and power access, that range in amenities such as ergonomic seating and wide screen monitors, to mobile power and adjustable laptop tables. The daily routine of our teammates is highlighted by our inclusion of assigned totes with docking system at workstations. This hybrid storage method was selected instead of traditional lockers as a way to promote mobility across our floorplate and allow employees to easily transition between spaces. The ‘Indoor Garden’, an oasis of raw materials and biophilia, also serves as an extension of this ‘flexibility’ ethos, giving our teammates and visitors a feeling of working outdoors.

Our new hybrid work schedule meant the office required seamless integration of remote and in-person teammates, making overall INCLUSIVITY amongst staff a paramount consideration. Our easy to use video-conferencing rooms help to transcend these boundaries through engaging virtual collaboration. In the ‘Beacon’, employees and guests are invited to come together in this centralized hospitality-rich hub that features an open collaboration table with integrated AV, powered huddle booths, and fully-equipped focus rooms—inviting all to participate in a cohesive and inclusive work culture.

In tandem with flexibility and inclusivity, INNOVATION also guided our design, pushing us to create a future-proof space that fosters growth and curiosity. DIRTT, a pre-manufactured wall system with full height glass, both defines boundaries and allows light to permeate our floorplate. Utilizing the premanufactured system allows the walls to have built-in finishes such as whiteboards, textured panels, fabric, mirrors, and a wide variety of colors and patterns. Between spaces, the design team angled the glass walls to not only add natural light but also allow more privacy where you need it. Our ‘Innovation Lounge’ further beckons employees and guests to explore the boundless possibilities of VR and AI in a non-traditional meeting space, reinforcing our innovative culture and inviting teammates to be active participants in shaping the future of work.

By thoughtfully integrating cutting-edge technology, flexible spaces, and inclusive strategies, we’ve redefined tomorrow’s hybrid workplace as one that fully embraces the ‘power of choice’ as a catalyst in successful ‘Return To Work.’

Special thanks to our 2023 Innovative Brand Partners:

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Special thanks to our 2023 Market Partners:


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