Reimagining the Activity-based Workplace Following COVID-19

ARUP Los Angeles


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the creation of activity-based office environments was trending among the most popular workplace strategies to be adopted by organizations. The concept—which traded traditional, officewide assigned seating for a “work where you will be most productive” approach—was favored by employers and employees alike thanks to the flexibility and efficiencies it afforded.

As teams return to the office, flexibility and choice in terms of when, where and how employees work—including options for remote and hybrid work scenarios—will remain increasingly critical to an organization’s success, as will efficient utilization of space.

Organizations that have partnered with SmithGroup’s team of workplace strategy and office design experts have seen great success after adopting an activity-based workplace, including increased productivity and reports of enhanced wellbeing from staff.

Following are a few examples of companies that have embraced the benefits that come with implementing activity-based workspaces.

LIV Communities

LIV Communities at One Agave Properties

SmithGroup partnered with Liv Communities to design an 8,900-sf office space in Tempe, Arizona that highlighted the company’s culture and embodied its brand promise to “create uncommonly positive experiences.” Therefore, it was important that employees had access to an array of space typologies that could be utilized as tasks changed throughout the week. Key spaces that were created included enclosed meeting rooms, privacy enclaves, quiet zones, open areas offering a variety of seating types, and team collaboration spaces that could be used for brainstorming, social gatherings and a range of other functions. From the selection of fixtures, finishes, furnishings—including the inclusion of lounge chairs in conference—to the layout and flow of the space, the design goes above and beyond to ensure “positive experiences” and embody the company’s self-described “laid back” vibe.

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LinkedIn Detroit Activity-based work 1
LinkedIn Detroit Activity-based work 3
LinkedIn Detroit Activity-based work 4
LinkedIn Detroit Activity-based work 2

LinkedIn – Detroit Office

As Detroit continues to expand its position as a dominant player within the fin-tech marketplace, LinkedIn chose to restore and renovate 75,000-sf of space in the city’s iconic Sanders Chocolate Co. and Grinnell Piano Co. buildings. The restoration and renovation effort gave rise to an award-winning office fit for a growing global technology giant. To reflect the company’s culture and promote innovation and collaboration, it was important that the office offer employees a broad range of workspaces from which they could operate as activities, meetings and collaboration needs changed. Teams can choose to gather for work sessions or small group activities in open spaces with an array of seating options. If individual, heads-down work is required, privacy cubicles and enclaves offer a bit of solitude within the dynamic office setting. All spaces reflect LinkedIn’s social and collaborative vibe as well as the company’s drive to enable others to achieve professional excellence.

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If this conversation resonates with you, please contact amy.warden [at] (Amy Warden), Workplace Corporate Practice Manager, to further discuss how SmithGroup's office design experts can help you assess implementing activity-based design solutions within your post-pandemic workplace.