The Rise of Hospitality-infused Workplaces

Technology has given us the ability to work anytime and anywhere, forever blurring the lines between work and home. But a desire for work-life balance, combined with those hazy lines, means many are seeking to ¬nd elements of home in the office. The result is a new hybrid of corporate, residential and hospitality space: “corpitality”. Most of us gravitate toward human-centric spaces that have personality. We feel better, more conversational and at ease in workplaces we can relate to - spaces scaled to be lighter and flexible,casual and engaging, colourful and comfortable.

People also want to have authentic experiences and make genuine connections at work. Putting everyone into an open space ¬lled with work stations does not automatically generate the collaboration required to drive innovation and productivity. Innovation is much more likely to occur when people trust each other, and that bond happens aer they connect in meaningful ways. Many companies are looking to more casual workplace settings, or “corpitality” spaces to create environments that encourage interaction and an entrepreneurial spirit.

For HOK’s new Toronto office, the design team infused the space with warm and inviting breakout areas that help employees feel at home. The design also creates a comfortable, hospitable environment for visiting clients.

We're also living in the time where people are more connected globally than ever before. Not only are corporations looking to manage the real estate globally, but there has been a spike in the migration of people across borders. Travel-savvy staff are more aware of, and open to, the way things are done in other cultures and regions of the world. Hence, there is an increased desire to reflect that cultural diversity in our spaces today.

As workplace planners replace or enhance cubicle farms with a wide variety of spaces that give employees choices and opportunities to engage with each other, we're seeing the introduction of more lounge furniture throughout the workspace—not just in reception area. Materiality, texture, colour and aesthetics all play roles is these customized “corpitality” settings. To achieve the new “corpitality” feel, clients are seeking more customized, unique, specialty pieces. Materiality, texture, color and a desire for aesthetics all play a role in creating successful environments today. These pieces add flair and can serve as focal points in a space and provide relief and emphasis in sharp contrast to the image many corporate spaces evoke - bland, repetitive row of workstations.

The open office space at Teach for America’s new headquarters in New York is equipped with a variety of comfortable, collaborative areas that serve the daily needs of staff. Centrally located lounge spaces encourage interaction with visitors. To introduce a more relaxed feel, HOK sourced brightly coloured residential furniture designated for these cozy, communal areas.

Forward-thinking corporate real estate and facilities groups are seeking sophisticated, cultured approaches to creating these experiential environments. Beautifully craed, stylized and culturally diverse pieces provide the aesthetic and boost to collaboration that they are seeking.

Interweaving these signature elements into the workplace to evoke a “corpitality” feel in the environments where we spend most of our waking hours is a welcome relief.

Source :

john banton