Glastonbury, CT – The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) announced that a team of corporate designers – Workplace Innovation Think Tank (WITT) – participated in the 2021 Work Design Magazine’s (WDM) Next Work Environment Competition. Their theoretical entry, “Mind the Gap: The Next Workplace Environment,” was selected by jurors in three categories: Flex Work, Common Shared Amenities, and The New to World Solutions.
The competition is intended to “create valuable and high performing work environments that are inspiring, diverse and healthy…and offer a view of the next iteration of workplaces by providing unique experiences, inspiring diverse thinking, encouraging open-mindedness, and embracing cultural differences.”
Conceived as an extension of the workday, SLAM designers created a moveable workplace platform, “Work From Train” (WFT). The WFT offers different working environments that support various work styles and typical office activities. Workers can choose from the Productivity, Events, Nourishment or Amenities cars, whether to reserve a private booth for a virtual meeting, grab a meal in a communal dining area, purchase groceries for that night’s dinner, take some time for contemplation, or find a comfortable and quiet place to focus on work.
The team subsequently provided WDM with new insights into the project since submitting, “We are seeing key indicators that the WFT platform developed could be the missing link to a flexible and hybrid work model for when people return to work.”
According to SLAM, the ability to shift commuting from a static part of the day to an active part of the day could be the gamechanger in supporting new work models. If commuting could be productive and environmentally friendly, the impacts on the workforce, planet and economy could be tremendous.
SLAM’s project description cites that flexibility has been globally accepted as the future of work, but as companies start to navigate the hybrid work model, it is the commute that has become the barrier. In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the average one-way commute increased to a new high of 27.6 minutes, with 9.8% of commuters reporting one-way commutes of at least one hour.