“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”
– Robert L. Peters
One thing’s for sure: Travis Harter at Working Spaces has left an indelible mark on the industry of corporate office design. For the past two decades, he’s dedicated his professional life to helping companies of all sizes enhance their culture through thoughtful, inspiring workplace design.
In this spotlight, we turn to his expertise as he leads the Working Spaces’ team in Nashville, Tennessee, giving insights into the ever-evolving landscape of office design trends.
Born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana, Travis’s journey led him to Indiana University, where he honed his skills and passion for commercial interior design.
Embarking on his career in January 1996 with Lee’s Carpets (now Mohawk Industries), Travis soon made his way to Detroit, Michigan, and later to Chicago, gaining invaluable experience as a territory manager.
His journey of growth continued through various roles, including serving as a regional manager at human scale. Eventually, he landed in Nashville, where he now drives project management and client success at Working Spaces, a prominent commercial furniture dealer in Nashville.
Insights from Experience: Current Office Design Trends in Nashville
Reflecting on the past five years, Travis notes a significant shift from cubicle-centric layouts to a more flexible, free-association approach.
“Companies and design firms are creating spaces that allow the user to have control over where they want to work, as opposed to here’s your assigned seat,” he says.
As employees demand autonomy over their workspace, the emphasis has moved towards creating environments that accommodate diverse working styles.
These changes are especially prevalent in the context of Nashville office design, where workplace culture plays a pivotal role in driving design strategies.
Unveiling Nashville’s Local Market Trends in Office Design
Nashville, a city experiencing rapid growth, is not exempt from the evolving realm of office design. Travis notes that while the “hybrid” work model emerged during the pandemic, there’s a noticeable shift back to the physical office.
At the same time, the size of projects is undergoing a change, with square footage shrinking.
This change might be attributed to a blend of remote work and cautious optimism about the future. But considering the ever-steady growth of this city, it’s unlikely to experience the extremes seen in larger cities and fostering a more balanced trajectory.
The Power of Office Culture: Influencing Workplace Design Strategies
For Travis and Working Spaces, office design transcends aesthetics; it’s about creating and enhancing culture.
“We consider ourselves culture architects. And you can create and enhance culture in a work environment with space and furniture,” Travis states passionately.
“The best office cultures are driven by employees, not just leadership, fostering a sense of ownership and comfort. Culture is best when the employees lead and embrace, creating an environment where everybody is productive, welcome, and comfortable,” he says.
“The synergy between workplace culture and Nashville office design is a cornerstone of Working Spaces’ approach.”
Creating an Inspiring Workplace: How Office Culture Shapes Design Choices
Drawing from a recent project at Middle Tennessee Christian School, Travis exemplifies how office culture shapes design decisions.
The challenge was to align the environment with the Christian-based school’s faith-based foundation, while also creating an exciting, modern atmosphere. Collaborating closely with the school’s staff, principal, and architects, Working Spaces orchestrated an environment that honored tradition yet infused a sense of vibrancy.
“We provided the teaching staff different flexibilities with how they want to teach and how they want the best environment for learning,” Travis recounts.
This project vividly illustrates how workplace culture and Nashville office design merge to create inspired, purpose-driven spaces.
Choose a Culture-Building Leader. Choose Working Spaces
Working Spaces underscores the profound influence of office design on culture and success. Even more so as we undergo massive changes in the way we do our work.
Travis’ insights into current trends, local market shifts, and the pivotal role of office culture serve as guiding lights for a future where workplace environments are dynamic, engaging, and aligned with the values of the individuals who inhabit them.
To learn more about building your corporate culture in Nashville, contact our team at Working Spaces today.