Work Lounge 101

October 20, 2023

Video Transcript

Work Lounge 101

What is a Work Lounge?

Sam Slater: What fuck me? Hello, my name is Sam. I'm the REWS product manager for Work Lounge and I'm here to introduce Work Lounge as a concept and explain the primary value proposition for this product. But first of all, let's align around what Work Lounge actually is. Well, Work Lounge is an experimental communal work product for activity based work that cultivates a sense of community in an inviting setting. We think that Work Lounge can play a very important role as our portfolio develops into a place where it can meet the needs of the future workplace. Now, the first big question that comes to me around work lounge is "why do users come there at all?" Well, the value that Work Lounge provides, and this is for all user types, is that it introduces an additional space to shift one's mindset and be productive for focused solo or side by side work and Lindsay will unpack that a little bit more later in this video. But Work Lounge can also play a strong role in enforcing Google culture by helping users feel a part of something bigger. You know, they're mixing with other teams and PAs in this space, enjoying a sense of belonging. And Lauren will explain that next. But the second big question that comes up for me is "why is it important for REWS?" Well, the value proposition for REWS is that, in the near term, we can convert underutilized spaces to improve the performance of our buildings, and at the same time, give users a vibrant space that directly meets their workplace needs. It is important to note that it's very unlikely that Work Lounge can fully replace a desk. There are certain things like equipment or routine, ready access to your teammates that are simply essential to keep at the desk. However, it is possible that Work Lounge might supplement certain elements of the desk and work alongside other real estate products to round out that whole office experience. So the two things that I would like for you to take away from this is 1) that it is a creative space that provides users a context shift so that they can focus on a discrete task. And 2) that it has real workplace strategy implications for REWS, giving us both portfolio efficiency and a positive user experience.

Lauren Green: Hi, I'm Lauren and I'm going to speak a little bit about the design for the Work Lounge. So overall, we want the vibe of the work lounge to have a hospitality type of feeling. So intentionally, we're using warm, inviting, natural materials and textures and colors and we're avoiding things like cold, cool, gray, white, stark tones. So here's a page from our guidelines that shows the experiential drivers when you're creating your design thought process for your work lounge. This is a really amazing place to start when you're getting into how to create the right vibe for your next work lounge. Next, we have a few photos from Water Tower. So I love these as an example of some of the key elements that give the right vibe for the for the space. So you'll notice in the photos that we have used things like floor lamps and table lamps. We've used really warm color temperature lighting like a 2700 Kelvin light and then the details like the area rugs, the plants, the artwork, the accessories, the pillows, these are all things that really gave this space, this the character and the finishing touches that we're looking for that are a bit different than our typical office environment. It's also really important that we think through all the details at the user touch level. So things like just the right perfect chair height and table height where to set, not only your laptop, but your coffee and your water and your backpack and your jacket. These are all things that we're learning or making or breaking the success of the Work Lounge because it's really leaning into the comfort and the functionality of the space for the user. So you can check out our guidelines and it'll give you all kinds of details and tips and tricks for all the right dimensions of things and all the lessons learned that we have so far that we can share with you on how to hit all the right details for that user touch level. And then last but not least, the really important part of creating the right vibe in the work lounge is giving it a sense of community, and I like to say, giving the space a bit of a voice. And so in the water tower, we put up a big quote on the wall that says, let's do more of what brings us together. And so I really love that because it was just a little nod to the user, like bringing people together and giving it a sense of community. And we also did things like we put up a chalkboard with thought bubbles and we would ask the question to the user and they would fill in their thoughts. And so it was just a way to again cultivate a sense of community and bringing people together. So finding ways they don't have to be extravagant, but just little simple ways to really cultivate community and give some ownership to the user in the space. So that's just a quick couple of highlights on how to create the right design and vibe. There's all kinds of more details in our guidelines. So I encourage you to check that out and reach out with any questions or if you could use any help along the way. Thanks.

Lindsay Graham: Hi, I'm Lindsay and I'm gonna share with you what we know about the users of the Work Lounge. We know that Googlers like to come to these spaces by themselves or in small groups, like with 1 to 2 other Googlers. When here, they typically like to do administrative, generative or creative work. This could include things such as checking emails, creating new documents, creating slide decks, or even doing creative coding. Googlers also like to come here to do what we call passive GVCs. These are GVCs in which they aren't having to heavily speak or engage with others on the video call. Googlers also like to come here to feel connected with others without the expectation of having to heavily engage with them, like you might at your desk. They also come here to get a change of scenery. They express that coming into this environment from another space, helps them to refocus, feel more energized and motivated to complete the tasks at hand. We also know that Googlers are very motivated, being surrounded by others in this space. It helps them feel more connected to something bigger than themselves and to the organization itself they enjoy feeling connection to other Googlers, even if they don't know them. And it helps generate a sense of community, like one might experience in a college setting, such as in a university study hall, library or Student Union. When Googlers are here, they express that the space makes them feel relaxed, restored, rejuvenated, energized, motivated and happy.

Kristin Chiles: Hello, I'm Kristen and we'll talk about the best execution approach of this product. Work Lounges especially when put into an existing space are fast and scrappy projects. Ideally, they require little to no work that requires a permit. Paint, a few finish changes, the right furniture, and accessories can create a great Work Lounge. These spaces also require different consultants than a typical project. Hospitality design consultants are preferred and will eliminate churn in the design process and these teams are more accustomed to the accessory package needed to create the right vibe.

Johanna Jorge: Hi, I'm Joanna REWS Workplace Services Manager I'll be talking about the day to day operations of a Work Lounge. Overall, you can expect to incorporate normal BAU facilities walkthroughs and processes in the space. Prior to launching at your site you want to align with your local WDD, Security and Food teams on the level of programming which may be contingent on the size and location of your Work Lounge. Alignment on programming is also critical to help determine some other things. For example, any additional support is needed for janitorial, supplies, plant maintenance or AV support. It will also help determine the need, role and scope of the Community Manager who is meant to provide personable, high touch support to Googlers. Our operational playbook has more details on the day to day elements of the program as well as helpful watch outs and resources. We encourage you to check it out and reach out if you have any questions.

Michael DiNuzzo: Hello, Michael, REWS Food Program Manager and I'll be covering the food aspect of our Work Lounges. We've launched several work lounges this past year and we've utilized our existing programming as a starting point. We've also experimented with different food options to learn what works best in our lounge spaces. Our goal is to create a consistent approach globally that meets our program expectations and the needs of our user while being conscious and mindful of the resources and ability to scale at speed. From those learnings, we're excited to announce our new food playbook that is coming soon and it's going to be your go to resource for everything food related in lounges. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

Thank you for getting this far. We're excited about Work Lounge as a product and I hope you're excited about your Work Lounge project. We're all here to help you. So if you have questions, please reach out to workloungecoreteam@google.com Thank you.


Reach out to the core team with questions about your Work Lounge, whatever stage it's in.

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