- Tritec Media
Engineered Serendipity: Transforming office spaces for creative collaboration
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted how the world works, with many businesses and individuals forced to adapt to remote working. While this may have brought some benefits, such as increased flexibility, it has also led to a loss of the camaraderie and synergy that can come from working alongside colleagues. Since the pandemic, our brains crave connection more than ever after being isolated and socially disengaged. So as TRITEC prepared to return to the office last year, our Asset Management division reimagined our workspace to reinforce our culture and bring back that sense of community and collaboration.
The primary goal of the redesign was to create as many moments of engineered serendipity as possible. Serendipity is a term coined by the British aristocrat Horace Walpole referring to a fortunate accidental discovery. Engineered serendipity, refers to the ability to observe and act on unexpected ideas and revelations through connection. This approach involves deliberately creating situations where individuals from different departments or companies can interact and collaborate in unexpected ways.
We created several new shared spaces within our coworking area to facilitate this. These spaces were designed to encourage chance encounters and conversations between individuals who may not normally interact. For example, the “bullpen” mixed accounting and marketing, the TRITEC Building Company employees had offices alongside the TRITEC Development Group, and the executive offices were easily accessible.
Another way we promoted interactions was through regular employee events. These included spontaneous in-office happy hours, TRITEC University workshops, project walkthroughs, and our annual traditions, like the bowling tournament, to bring people together and foster interaction with those who may not regularly interact. We also invited speakers from different industries to share their expertise and inspire new ideas.
Rethinking the workplace has also led us to rethink the environment in which our office lives. TRITEC is building phase 2 of Station Yards, a 53-acre mixed-use development that will feature 1,450 residential units, 360,000 sq. ft. of office space, 195,000 sq. ft. of retail, and 60,000 sq. ft. of hospitality space. Phase 2 is the heart of the development, containing a large village green with multiple access points surrounded by retail. Karen Shelhorse, Vice President of Asset Management, explains the importance of the last few years and their impact on office space. “There were many lessons from COVID, on how we use office space and how companies interact with their employees. There was a lot of news about the ‘great resignation,’ as employees started returning to work. We wanted to ensure we welcomed and immersed the staff as they returned to the office environment, to feel a sense of camaraderie, energy, and connection to the organization.”
The Asset Management team continues to work with construction as we finalize plans for our new office space in Station Yards in 2024.