At 2nd Place, there is a great deal of interest in fitting the task to the job and the home to the human and we are always looking for more information that will facilitate our learning journey. 

Design comes in many forms. Sometimes, it’s through spatial arrangements, but it can also be thought of as “How we design our day”. For that reason, I was excited to chat with a leader in Dynamic work from one of the most well known national news outlets in the country last week. We’ll keep it anonymous since their work is sensitive! We discussed how her organization and news outlets are handling the rapidly changing work environment. With every post, the aim is the same. How can 2ndPlace take and synthesize the information to help you consider the design of your at-home office or other living arrangement in a separate addition or small dwelling. 

I gathered the following five takeaways from our discussion:

1.) Dynamic work is DYNAMIC!!

In the old work world, it was typical to have a 90 day review early on and then an annual review. Some forward thinking companies would have more regular check-ins, but the focus on “How do you envision your work environment in the next 90 days” is a post pandemic tweak. Any number of changes can happen in our lives, we often oscillate from wanting to be more social, to being in a more introverted and focused mood. For instance – this can lead to a more open dialog about what team an individual may prefer to work with, what location or office you want to experience or why not having a window near your space matters! It’s this dialog that can help us think about the importance of an adaptable work-space. This mentality also lends itself to many architectural solutions. For instance, Does your lighting need to change based on the season? Do you have an increased need for privacy based on an updated assignment or change in living situation?

2.) Finding the right technology cocktail is important

For anyone who remembers the early days of remote work, we can certainly relate to the long hours on the phone with IT, the information that was lost in translation, and the fear of not properly communicating or understanding an objective.

     The interviewee mentioned 3 different proprietary softwares her organization uses to improve efficiency, communication and collaboration.

  • Owl Cameras – For a more seamless virtual meeting environment
  • AirTable – For project management
  • MIRO – For simulating the at-office whiteboard

I linked them out and added a quick description, but the purpose of the post isn’t to go into detail about each software, but to note the importance of finding ways to become more technologically cohesive, and most important finding a way to replicate the necessary collaboration that took place in the office.

3.) Shadowing is still a thing

Shadowing is still a thing, and it is very important. In my industry senior leaders worry, with some justification, that the profession just cannot be learned without being at the office and on-site. I would argue that “On-Site” is the more important factor. The interviewee mentioned that at her organization,, a younger employee such as a junior broadcaster will shadow someone more senior, sometimes for a full day and then go back to being fully remote. We are interested in remote spaces, sure, but there is no world that I can see that involves people working 100% remotely, just like the apprentices of old, we need to learn by watching and doing. Motivated individuals with an interest in deep learning can be young and with the aid of a dedicated senior mentor, they can watch and work with them on occasion, take notes, and utilize at home-techniques to practice accordingly. 

4.) The designers response to the type of work you do is critical...

Early on, we pose the question, Who is the designer? This designer could be an architect for the physical world, A dynamic work specialist for work strategy, or an IT department administrator for technological set-up, or it could be all of the above! Each of these vocations can play a creative role. In the Case of a news outlet,, sound quality is paramount, and having proper sound equipment so people can go live and on-air at a moment’s notice has a deep impact on the space. In a hypothetical 2nd Place, perhaps acoustics becomes the major driver in your space. As a designer, this may involve increasing sound transmission ratings in walls for privacy or adding absorptive materials such as rugs or curtains to prevent reverberation. 

You can imagine endless types of possibilities based on the work being performed. For instance, if precision work takes place, lighting will likely take precedence over sound.

5.) There is a geographical benefit to working remotely.

This is especially true in the news world. The interviewee mentioned that when you’re working on news, you can find out a lot more about the local happenings in different parts of the country as a byproduct of your talent pool being widespread. We always hear about increasing the talent pool for talent’s sake, but what about for learning’s sake? We aren’t a political blog, but I think developing empathy and understanding for people whose lives and backgrounds are different from yours is always a good thing!

In Conclusion: Dynamic work as a concept is an excellent idea for reevaluating the needs of employees. The concept transcends the argument between those who support remote-work and those who want to come into the office. We believe some people will do better in a private and customized work-space, while others want their employees to come into the office. Regardless of where you line up on the spectrum, The future of work will certainly involve taking a look at the specific needs of the employee based on some of the following variables:

  • Stage of career
  • The the type of work they do
  • Additional life factors and motivators

The above three factors can help any employer create a blueprint for future work environments.

Did you enjoy this article? Are there other discussions you would like to have about remote work, small architecture, smart home/IOT technology and Ergonomics? E-mail us at info@2nd.Place.

Thank you!