CHICAGO-Alternative workplace strategies and virtual offices are gaining momentum in the down economy. But it’s not just the down economy driving AWS forward—it’s the changing face of the workforce. The world is global, mobile, virtual, and moves at lightning speed.

“The basic premise of AWS is using less real estate to support more performance,” writes Tom Mulhern, a strategic planner in Gensler’s Chicago office. “The people are happier because they spend more time being productive in places outside the office—client sites, home, coffee shops nearer to their homes—and less time commuting and polluting. When people do come into the office, they use their time to collaborate and build connections to each other and to the organization’s culture and brand.”

In Mulhern’s article, he outlines 10 important lessons his firm has learned from its experiences with alternative workplace strategies I’ve outlined them here. You can read a fuller account by visiting the original article. But here are his thoughts in summary:

  1. Decide which organization is going to lead the AWS charge, human resources, IT or real estate.

  2. Set concrete, clear ROI targets.

  3. Focus on gain rather than loss.

  4. Design for presence, not absence.

  5. Mobility is an acquired taste.

  6. Be flexible about flexibility.

  7. Get on the same page.

  8. Beware stereotypes.

  9. Link time and space.

  10. Count what really counts.


One element of an alternative workplace strategy is a virtual office. Davinci has plenty of virtual offices in Chicago (Gensler’s neighborhood) to choose from.