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The future of work starts now

| GSA Chief Architect Chuck Hardy
Post filed in: Art in Architecture

Teams across the public and private sectors, including GSA, were moving toward more distributed models of work several years before the pandemic. What we found was that many teams could work collaboratively and cohesively in a more hybrid work environment while maintaining - or even improving upon - excellent customer service. With that in mind, GSA is working more closely than ever with both our federal customers and the private sector to introduce the latest tools and resources that support new ways of working. 

Back to the future

You may have heard we recently opened the Workplace Innovation Lab at our DC headquarters. We’re testing new technology, furniture solutions, and work practices – and most importantly, collaborating and trying new things alongside many of our federal partners. Kicking the tires is just one piece of GSA’s pursuit of ensuring agencies thrive as their workplaces evolve. 

Spread across six work areas, or neighborhoods, the lab features unique furniture solutions and layouts conducive to individual and team hybrid-based work, as well as a range of technologies focusing on connectivity and collaboration. 

The lab also features sustainable solutions using ethernet cables to transmit lower-energy, lower-cost power, and solar powered light fixtures, supporting GSA’s goal of a net zero carbon footprint. The solar panels themselves are made of recycled plastics and help save on heating and cooling.  

Importantly, we’ll be collecting data to inform and improve the services and solutions our teams offer to our customers.

Federal agencies can tour the 25,000-square-foot space and test it out for one hour to several weeks. Visitors are able to make reservations or drop in, based on their needs. 

innovation lab

We’re in the business of tomorrow

The lab is just one of the ways GSA is working to meet federal agencies’ evolving workspace needs. We’re also offering workplace engagement studies to help agencies make critical decisions about their space and office needs to accomplish their missions. For federal agencies reviewing their space requirements, our free Workplace Investment and Feasibility Modeling – or "WIFM" - tool can help. WIFM is designed to assist agency workplace teams in exploring the feasibility of workplace change before the workplace project requirements have been defined.

We also offer new kinds of coworking spaces in some areas. For example, the innovation lab itself is a pilot of federal coworking space, an offering we are looking to build out, including further pilots in different markets. We’re also providing commercial options, which allow federal employees to take advantage of private sector coworking hubs. And we have more to come, such as our fast track space design packages, which include pre-packaged layouts, concept models and square footages to fit agency needs, are configurable, and speed up the timelines from development to occupancy.

GSA is proud to be leading the discussion on the future of work with our federal partners and leaders in industry who have innovative ideas. Thanks to everyone who is helping us shape the future of work so that the federal government can deliver better than ever before for the people we serve.