This week were thrilled to bring you a conversation with one of WOD’s longest-serving members; Director of WorkPlace at HOK, Kay Sargent, FASID, FIIDA, CID, LEED® AP, MCR.w, WELL AP.
Kay has been a frequent collaborator at WOD events in the past, and we’re excited to share her contribution to our on-going Feature Friday series…
WOD: We’re excited to have you, thanks for joining us! Why don’t you start by telling us about your background from the beginning, and how you become involved with the workspace design industry?
KS: “I’ve been designing space since I was a kid. When I was younger, I was always designing houses for my parent’s friends when they came over for parties. In high school I was the only girl in the architectural drafting class and went right into design school. I started working for a dealership while in college and was one of the first to use CADD when it first was introduced. Upon graduation I opened one of the first CADD departments in a design firm in Washington, DC. Over the years I have worked with a variety of clients, including government and Fortune 500 companies optimizing their global real estate portfolios and creating innovative work environments based on their unique organizational DNA. Throughout my career I have designed every kind of space imaginable – from jails to press rooms; courtrooms to high-tech cyber security spaces; from labs to retails space. Now, with 37 years of experience, I am a recognized expert on workplace design and strategy issues and spend a lot of time looking to the future.”
WOD: And could you tell us more about your present role at HOK?
KS: “My current role is Co-Director of HOK’s WorkPlace team and I serve as a member of HOK’s Board of Directors. As Co-Director of WorkPlace team, I oversee a practice that supports organizations undertaking multiple projects in multiple locations. I am responsible for helping clients redefine how, when and where people work, and supports a holistic design approach that integrates an organization’s people, processes, places and tools. As we are working with clients that have large portfolios and don’t like surprises, I do a lot of futurecasting and thought leadership so we can help our clients to be future-ready and positioned for success.
WOD: And what does a typical working day for you look like?
KS: “When not traveling? Presenting to clients on trends and issues related to work, workplace and the workforce; ideating with my colleagues on the research initiatives we are working on; responding to client’s request and creating innovative workplace solutions.”
WOD: What advice would you give to somebody wanting to succeed in a similar role to your own?
KS: “Be curious. Explore a wide variety of avenues. Read and stay connected with others. Get involved and be active in the industry. Get experience and build your expertise.”