#1: The Future of Workplace is Us

by | June 29, 2020 6 Ideas

Have you seen that feature on the Web about the new plastic dividers between desks and the new social-distancing-conscious layouts for conference rooms? So have we. All fifty-thousand versions of it.

We would like to approach the question of our future workplace not from the perspective of furniture layouts, but from the point of view of the user. This post is the kickoff for a series of short blogs where we’ll offer bite-sized nuggets of thought about the experience of the Workplace — new and old.

Because first and foremost, we’re in this together. We miss you. We miss us. The close collaboration. The chance encounter in the bike room. The random musings of an over-caffeinated team member. The afternoon coffee or after-business beer.

Illustration by Brendan Post

So how do we get back to our pre-pandemic levels of employee engagement? No, more than that, how do we take what we’ve missed most about working together and make it even better? How can we master our minds to solve difficult challenges even more effectively than before? How can we learn to best harness those new tools and new approaches to collaboration? How do we approach tricky, potentially fraught, subjects regarding the personal wellness of ourselves and our coworkers?

The SERA Workplace Studio has built its reputation on providing work and amenity spaces for some of the largest and most forward-thinking companies in the world. Our design process — and the workplaces that emerge from that process — are driven by intensive human interaction. We’ve learned a lot over the years about not just how to promote engagement between employees, but also why that engagement is key to productivity and an inclusive company culture. 

The primary focus of this Workplace series (now appearing twice weekly!) is one of positive, personal adaptation. Our goal is to encourage you to think positively so you can maintain your mental acuity and flexibility in the face of adversity. 

That said, this is a blog. It’s not a life coach or a self-help book. We’ll cover the topics that occur to us, from new Rules of Engagement to the politics of bicycling. They’re infused with corny, hastily concocted cartoons and the occasional link to deeper reading. As Bruce Lee said, “Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own… in the comments section, please.” Yes, we’re pretty sure that’s the quote. 

We hope you’ll come along with us and join the conversation.


Authored by Brendan Post and Mia Allen


  1. scott shumaker says |

    Oh thank you for the more positive approach to this subject! Also appreciate the addition of humor. We are in this together and life is still churning away so it is good to have some fun with our situation as it is.

  2. Kira Gould says |

    I love this approach! Take what we missed most, amplify that, and ditch a few things that were suboptimal before. No need to let those back in the mix. This feels like human-centered forward motion. Bravo!

  3. Suzanne Blair says |

    Hooray for imagining a way to promote engagement in the current situation (something that I’m certainly missing) rather than trying to reach for a way to return to a sterilized and plastic-ed version of our past. Looking forward to the continued conversation.

  4. A fantastic approach! Work is so much more than, well… work. Metropolis just put out their June issue, “Work Will Never be the Same” and it touches on aspects such as remote work, loneliness, neurodiversity, and public health as all things to think about and there’s so much more. Looking forward to the conversations. Miss you all too! 🙂

  5. Elizabeth Bishop says |

    Nice one Brendan and Mia! It’s reassuring and comforting to think about the positive that can come out of this, and empowering to think of the role of architecture and design. Looking forward to more posts!

  6. Timothy Smith says |

    Thank you for providing this light-hearted, yet much-needed take on our current situation. The cartoon is terrific! I miss you all and please stay well.

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