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DESIGN+BUILD Interview with Brandon DeWitt

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In this article, we unpack an interview with Brandon DeWitt, head of workplace strategy at an industry-leading company. Brandon

Could you tell me a bit about yourself and your role?

Brandon: My background is interior design and as a workplace strategy change management consultant. 

 

What is your organization’s current workplace philosophy?

Brandon Dewitt: At an executive level, we identified three main components to our workplace success. The first is our physical campus because it serves as our culture and community center. The second is flexibility, and finally is our people because they are our greatest asset. 

We took our key drivers and then met with all of the business leaders in the company through the last year to define where, how, and when our people work. 

That analysis gave us valuable info such as that our people are campus focused whether they are hybrid (meaning it’s a mix of campus and home), episodic remote (which means you can work anywhere in the US up to eight weeks a year), full-time remote (so you don’t have to work on campus) or whether they’re field employees. 

So what we’re focused on now is understanding: What are peoples’ anticipated work, the activities they’re going to do when they come back to campus and how does our campus support that? We’re focusing on enabling them to craft agreements around social knowledge sharing and information exchange. 

Essentially, we try to maximize and streamline the efficiency of how they work and collaborate. 

The question that we are still asking ourselves is ‘how does the physical campus get reintroduced into that scenario?”

Currently, about half of our campus is dedicated to activity-based working. The other half is still a “traditional environment” (essentially, offices and cubicles). 

 

Can you elaborate on how you plan to maximize space utilization?

Brandon: We take a neighborhood-based approach. Meaning it is team assigned but individually unassigned. Employees pick where they work based on what they need to do that day. 

 But we will wait through the first half of 2022 to make any drastic changes to how people are assigned to space or if we stop assigning offices and cubicles.

 

What does the ideal workspace look like for your organization?

Brandon: I think we’re constantly evolving, and I think the ideal workspace will include more shared spaces. ‘Shared’ as a way to connect people better and increase equity on campus.

An ideal campus would be more equitable from a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). An excellent place for businesses to start is by taking into consideration questions such as, “how are we building a workplace that is more supportive of neuro-diverse individuals?” and to create a place where they’ll feel welcome and be their best self; to be their kind of whole self when they’re at the campus.