Key Design Principles

Designing for Wellbeing
Ecosystem of Spaces



A Resilient Workplace is an ecosystem of workspaces designed to adapt and evolve over time, optimizing real estate while fostering higher levels of employee engagement. The result is a more engaged and effective workforce that allows the organization to respond to changing business conditions.

Through ongoing research and exploration via behavioral prototypes, Steelcase has uncovered two key design principles that can help organizations create resilient and cost-effective workplaces that address the issue of employee engagement.

These two design principles are:

1. Design for Wellbeing: Designing workplaces to support the holistic wellbeing of people can amplify employee engagement and satisfaction

2. Ecosystem of Spaces: A workplace ecosystem

Designing the Resilient Workplace

Resident Zone
Meeting Zone
Nomadic Zone
Social Zone
Resources Zone


When creating a Resilient Workplace, consider the intentional combination of five spatial typologies (zones), designed to accommodate and anticipate changing organizational and employee needs.

The size, ratio and adjacency of each zone should be tailored to match both your business objectives and cultural expectations. The result is an agile workplace that supports change, rather than resists it.


Proven Spaces


At Steelcase, their workplaces serve as living labs for design ideas. They research, develop, refine and evolve insights based on their experience prior to bringing them to market. These insights help reduce your risk, as you create your own combination of spaces using our design ideas.

Two of the living labs at Steelcase are the WorkCafé and Innovation Center.

Explore their design ideas and tools, and discover what makes each of these proven spaces work and how you can customize your own combination of spaces.

innovation center


Innovation drives advancement. That’s always been true – throughout history, in every enterprise and in every part of the world.

An Innovation Center is a solution for organizations that supports collaborators with the range of settings to support the switch between individual and group behaviors. It is a space that communicates a culture of innovation to the employees it houses.

Innovation Center design ideas



Business tasks today are more varied and more challenging. Workers are increasingly mobile and distributed. They often leave the office for a coffee shop or other third place, which separates them from coworkers, organizational resources and culture.

A WorkCafé is a dynamic space that connects people with colleagues, their work, and their organization. It transforms traditional corporate cafeteria real estate into destinations for connection, collaboration, focus and innovation.

WorkCafé design ideas

Additional Resources

Insights + Solutions Guide

The Steelcase Global Report is the first to explore the relationship between employee engagement and the work environment. This guide offers specific actions and solutions to create a workplace that helps boost employee engagement.


Inspiring Spaces

Resembling a vibrant community, this dynamic new ecosystem of spaces supports all of the ways people want to work. When thoughtfully curated, these destinations blend design, materiality and performance in a way that creates a vibe and transcends the trends of the day.