Design Trend: Intercommunicating Staircases

As real estate project managers, we get to see a wide variety of businesses build out their new office locations. Through our experience, we start to pick-up on workplace trends. The intercommunicating staircase is a design trend that is on the upswing for all varieties of businesses: suburban, urban, corporate, non-profit, technology, finance and more.


Business owners are looking for ways to boost collaboration, communication and culture within their office spaces. Many of our clients have found that incorporating an intercommunication stairwell into the office interior design quickly becomes a favorite feature for employees. Staircases are quickly becoming a big thing in creative office design.


One of the many reasons that the staircase is becoming popular is that it adds to the open-concept office design that is sought after by so many businesses in recent years. It creates a way for teamwork and employee mingling to go vertical. This office design element can enhance company culture as well. The staircase encourages circulation, socialization and movement within the office. What we often see, is that the more artfully designed and visually appealing a staircase is, the more prone to using it are the employees. Workers will skip the elevator in order to mix and mingle with coworkers on the way to meetings.


This design element also provides a sense of connection in the workplace. Visitors and employees understand the space to be hospitable, warm and open.   The aesthetically pleasing staircase encourages employees to circulate throughout the building, rather than remaining on their individual floor. This feeling of connection makes an impact on employees and is therefore a desired element from business owners.


Staircases can double as event space as well. TripAdvisor, located in Needham, MA, uses their highly-designed staircase in their new headquarters as a central location for sit-downs and staff meetings that are broadcast company-wide. The space functions as almost an amphitheater within the office and serves as an inspiring backdrop for impromptu conferences, and company-wide meetings.

In Needham, TripAdvisor’s staircase serves as an event space, too.

TripAdvisor’s staircase in Needham, MA


Design professionals feel that stairs can provide a temporary release for many workers who are sitting at a desk all day, without any face to face interaction. The staircase gets people up, away for their desks and momentarily off of their mobile devises while trying not to fall up or down the staircase!

Katie Craven
Katie Craven is Marketing, Communication and Brand Manager at Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers, a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers as well as additional blog posts can be found here.
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