Embracing Resimercial Design in the Commercial Sector

Setting up an office that represents a company's brand and provides employees with a functional, appealing and enhanced workplace is essential.
By Christina Meyer
February 15, 2023

When a general contractor wins a large construction contract, setting up an office that represents a company's brand and provides employees with a functional, appealing and enhanced workplace is essential.

Over the last few years, forward-thinking companies have shifted to office spaces with a more residential state of mind. Although this approach to design has been around for some time, the way it’s now being so widely embraced to invite employees back into the office and create more meaningful workplace experiences is new.

What is Resimercial Design and Why are Most Industries Embracing It?

The blending of workplace and residential furniture, referred to as "resimercial," is the latest trend seen nationally and not just at the corporate office. Resimercial brings the aspects of home into the workplace environment by:

  • Understanding that employees engage in different activities throughout their workday.
  • Accommodating these different activities to workers’ ever-changing needs with furniture and design, just like people do at home.

As the lines between living and working continue to blur, people are attracted to physical environments that feel more like home-away-from-home, where they can get their best, most effective work done.

Well executed, resimercial design has a positive impact on organizations as well. From employee retention to workplace satisfaction, the benefits go on.

But this approach requires a greater undertaking than simply swapping out familiar workplace furniture staples like cubicles with collaboration tables or soft seating. With the right mix, an organization can also bring forward its culture and unique purpose through a thoughtful selection of products, textures and materials.

How Can Resimercial Design and Furniture Make a Difference for a Construction or Engineering Firm?

In the state of Texas, a national multi-billion-dollar construction company started a four-year project for a multi-use high-rise building in a major downtown area. They understood that the jobsite office would serve as the home base for the more than 40 employees assigned to the project. These types of large construction projects often include home owners, legal representatives, engineers, architects, project managers, superintendents and a host of other departments and subcontractors working all at this one location.

Due to the strenuous demand and complexity of construction, providing a workplace environment that offers employees a place to unwind during their lunch hour or after a long workday has become the standard. And, with work playing such an important part in the life of an employee, why shouldn’t the time spent in the workplace be more comfortable?

Lounge Areas

Lounge areas with sofas, recliners, large-screen TVs, gaming consoles, artwork and greenery at today's jobsites enhance the workday experience by providing an outlet to relax. Relaxation allows your subconscious brain to take over and generate more effective solutions to your problems. Research shows that relaxing during the day has performance-enhancing benefits, including increased motivation, creativity and attention span.

Collaboration Spaces

Leaders should also consider collaboration spaces for resimercial design when maximizing employee comfort. No longer is a conference table surrounded by chairs popular or common. Instead, soft seating, occasional tables, lamps, artwork and greenery provide a more relaxed atmosphere.

Break Rooms

Then there's the break room, which has traditionally been one of the most flexible spaces within an office–regardless of industry. This area is more than a room where employees eat their lunches. It’s where coworkers gather, bond, celebrate and strengthen company relationships. High and low-top seating add a dimensional element to a break room, along with wood shelving units, artwork, refrigerators, coffee units, microwaves and area rugs.

Within all these spaces, there is one commonality: Resimercial design is intended to engage the “whole employee” in their environment and create a more meaningful experience at work. It’s a balance of materials, colors and textures that bring forward a familiar feeling of warmth and security while also being aware of the productivity and durability levels required in the workplace.

How Will the Future of Work Movement Impact Resimercial Design?

2022 was a challenging year for both organizations and employees alike. There were often headlines with the latest buzzword or phrase to define the dissatisfaction felt within the work world. Although creating an authentic experience within the workplace with a resimercial design can prevent some of these issues, it’s not a full stop. There remains a level of flexibility and understanding that’s required within this trend to remain ahead of what’s next.

At its best, resimercial design is aware of the function of the workplace while simultaneously providing the comforts of home. Comfort must also satisfy ergonomic needs and the integration of technology. Furnishings and surfaces need to be able to withstand the wear and tear of the daily demands of the workforce.

To achieve the intersection of functionality and comfort in office design, it is best for an organization to leave room to become permanently flexible. When put into practice, this concept leverages flexibility as an unspoken amenity that is provided to employees. Contractors should experiment in times of flux by measuring how their office spaces are being utilized with real-time, informative data from a space utilization tool, such as 4SITEbyCORT. Data from these tools will reveal how an office is utilized and will help leaders modify their layouts and furnishings where improvements are necessary. The process should be repeated as needs change.

In today's challenging workforce environment, recruiting, retention and safety are paramount. Companies that set themselves apart and invest in energetic, thoughtful and multi-use spaces focusing on employee health and well-being, will reap the employer benefits.

by Christina Meyer

Christina Meyer is a CORT Furniture-As-A-Service (FaaS) expert with over 26 years of experience providing client-centric furniture solutions to support the workplace environment.

As the National Director of Construction & Engineer Furniture Programs, Meyer works exclusively with small, medium and large general contractors and specialty trade companies across the United States.

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