Commercial Architects at OTJ Reveal New Trend Amongst Startups and Technology Businesses

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More companies – especially startups and technology companies – are seeing the advantages and reaping the benefits of Alternative Workplace (AWP) Design, which can help to improve functionality and provide greater flexibility to better accommodate both employee and departmental work styles.


The commercial architects at OTJ Architects are sharing what companies know that many others do not. The secret, lauded by thousands of employees as the new way to work, is an increasingly popular trend called Alternative Workplace Design. OTJ Architects has found startups and technology businesses in particular are jumping on the AWP trend, benefiting with a reduction of company costs and a boost in employee productivity and collaboration.

A Wall Street Journal article discussing micromanaging seating arrangements at work to boost productivity confirms the trend amongst startups and technology businesses. Many companies have moved toward open floor plans and unassigned seating in favor of communities that shift and scatter departments and those who perform the same types of job functions to increase productivity and collaboration, according to the cited experts who study office design and workplace psychology.

The AWP Design allows for clustered work areas called “neighborhoods” that offer work group unity and opportunities for branding and way finding, according to an article published by Facilities Management Design & Construction.

What is now referred to as “free addressing” or a “touchdown space” shares an open desk policy where employees can sit wherever they choose on any given day, working from anywhere in the office at any time. For WeddingWire, a wedding and event company whose goal is to infuse technology while creating efficiency and transparency in the wedding industry, OTJ designed an entire floor layout that incorporates benching for over 200 employees, and many huddle zones are scattered throughout the space for people to meet.

Businesses that move to this AWP operation model see a reduction in the amount of space that is unoccupied, thus reducing the overall square footage per person by eliminating unused real estate. This begs the question, “Why pay for real estate when 30-50% of an employee’s time is spent in places other than the office?”

Contact OTJ Architects to discuss your architectural needs today.

About OTJ Architects
OTJ Architects is a well-respected national architecture and interior architecture design firm that has successfully completed thousands of projects throughout the country. Founded in 1990, OTJ is comprised of five studios headquartered in Washington, DC, with more than 60 architects and designers, many of whom are LEED Accredited Professionals. OTJ is registered in 37 states and is able to consult in all 50 states. The responsive architecture and interior architecture consultants create effective environments through listening, understanding and tailored design. These designs focus on helping clients enhance collaboration, company branding and employee recruitment and retention. OTJ’s design teams provide clients with personalized attention to create workplace solutions that reflect their unique, individual needs. For more information visit

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Liz Marshall
OTJ Architects
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