One thing’s for certain: offices are changing fast because the nature of work is changing fast. Curtained conference rooms and three-piece suits have morphed into gray hoodies and lounge spaces, and now, even senior executives are increasingly working out in the open.
But Is Office Design Really a One-Size-Fits-All Project?
Unfortunately, highly flexible workspaces with open designs are often putting workers at odds with their workplace. Many people see open offices as being too open and they’re becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of privacy these designs offer. While we may benefit from the relationships we form at work thanks to open designs, research shows that open floorplans can hinder productivity. Designated quiet zones and areas to make phone calls have become highly desirable design features.
So the Obvious Question Is: Can We Have It All?
We believe the answer is yes – if the space planning is done with intentionality. Creating task-specific zones helps workers accomplish more by supporting all styles of work. But offering choice and control over where people work means there needs to be an office culture that supports movement and flexibility throughout the day. Leaders can set the stage by modeling behavior that says, “Go where you need to go to get stuff done.”
Here’s How to Build Your Office Zones:
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Collaboration zones provide a natural crossroads for workers to meet and share ideas. Being able to meet and chat with co-workers in a relaxed atmosphere, away from desks and conference rooms, can help new spark ideas and inspiration that produce better work.
By nature, these zones are going to operate at a higher volume than any other type of office zone. A collaboration zone can be as simple as adding a Campfire Big table in a break room or creating a larger café or lounge area. Collaboration zones can also make perfect settings for in-office celebrations like birthdays, welcoming new employees, or celebrating company-wide milestones.
Looking to add movement to your day? Buoy’s curved base, rocking motion and height adjustability engage your core and promote good posture.
Fun zones in the workplace have been made famous by companies who have found ways to elevate gaming systems, ping pong, and snack food to an art form. These types of zones make work fun by facilitating socialization, energizing workers, and encouraging people to become more engaged with their workplace.
Finding ways to keep workers energized doesn’t even necessarily have to involve putting in a game room. One way to keep people energized while they work is by using non-traditional seating and desks, such as a buoy seat or walkstation desk.
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Quiet zones give workers the chance to take a break from their desks. Sometimes, a simple change of scenery and posture is just what a person needs to better focus on their work or come up with new ideas. Quiet zones aren’t closed off from the rest of the office and feature comfortable chairs or sofas, similar to what you might expect to find in a residential living room. Our Hosu convertible lounge seating is ideal for quiet zones, giving people the ability to relax and stretch out.
A well-designed quiet zone allows for both solo work and collaboration. People can easily work alone if desired, but they also allow for workers to collaborate and brainstorm without being disruptive to the rest of the office.
Enclosed in mesh, our sturdy steel Screen creates an office oasis by providing semi-private boundaries.
Private zones are places to hide away when you’ve got serious work to do and don’t have time for interruptions. A private zone politely conveys a “do not disturb” message to others and offers an in-office retreat to those who need some privacy and quiet time to be able to focus.
Private zones can range from being a semi-private space defined with screens, such as our Campfire screens, to being fully-enclosed spaces complete with a door. In terms of design, a private zone with a door might look very similar to a regular office, only smaller and intended for one or two people.
Task-specific zones ensure that team members with varying work styles can find a good fit for both their personality and their task list. With careful planning and intentional design, you can hit the sweet spot of enviable office culture and productivity levels that enable you to contribute to the world in positive, inspiring ways.