Keep those cubicles up and the office lights on. Why? If you’re thinking work-from-home isn’t working for you and your company, you may be right. Studies show that there are essential, different types of spaces that make for a productive and positive workplace, that working from home just doesn’t accommodate.
The corporate office remains important because we think more clearly and benefit from collaboration.
The return to offices after COVID-19 showed that the office setting provides social interaction that individual remote offices can’t.
Researchers also learned that employees were productive in the home setting.
In conclusion: the two environments don’t need to be mutually exclusive.
Instead, plan to utilize spaces effectively so team members feel comfortable in the corporate office or the home office. Think through the types of spaces your office needs to help your team function productively.
Offer Welcoming Spaces
Home offices are often pleasurable because you feel welcome and comfortable in a space that you know well. It’s yours.
Well-planned corporate offices can integrate the elements of home yet maintain an atmosphere where tasks are accomplished.
Welcoming spaces include colors and furnishings like break areas that have a living room feel. Use bright colors or pleasant earth tones throughout the office space. Fabrics and accessories like throw pillows can give a down-home, be-yourself feel.
Photo: Encore Seating Chance Guest Chairs
Being at home is as comfortable as wearing a pair of old shoes while an office has more rigid expectations and requires equipment that gets the job done. Bring the personal and professional together with a variety of ergonomic chairs like the Friant Amenity Chair or the Humanscale Diffrient Smart Chair. Both have lower back support and adjust to the user’s weight and movements.
Photo: Humanscale Diffrient Smart Chairs
Provide accessories that give workers support while using keyboards and well-lit desks.
Check our Inspiration Center’s Resimercial page to see how tables, lounge furniture, and specially designed chairs lend to collaborative conversations.
Bridge Distant Spaces
We’ve been convening from long distances long before the pandemic hit, but with quarantine, media rooms have become even more of a necessity.
Provide a setting where your team can access the latest technologies needed for teleconferences and other forms of distance communication by using architectural walls that have character, yet maintain a clean, professional atmosphere.
Photo: Trendway Volo Wall
Enhance Group Spaces
Trends show a continuing reduction in the individual workspace, but an increase in spaces for group work. How should you approach planning your space for either individuals or groups, like ad hoc groups?
Are informal meetings an important part of your company’s culture? If so, remote work can undermine it according to a 2021 article in the Harvard Business Review, Do You Really Need All that Office Space?
Managers “need to think carefully about what role informal interaction plays in their team and how working from home will affect it.”
OFS Beck Table
Group workspaces can, and should, be welcoming spaces, too. Plenty of quality benching solutions are available. Keep it sleek and simple with the ODS Artiv Open Plan Benching, or create a group setting for personal privacy using acoustic panels with the DARRAN Honey Workspace.
Photo: Darran Honey Workspace
You can have a traditional meeting room or in an open office plan, designate an area for group discussion with the use of specific chairs and modular furniture.
Mobile whiteboards, plants, and bookcases with artfully placed pillows and books help muffle the sound.
Use Clustered Spaces
An open office design can have a cluster of workstations with privacy screens and mobile or stationary filing cabinets.
Use office plants to serve as boundaries between other workstations while helping filter the air and deflect sound waves.
Allow for Empty Spaces
Try reading a web page or printed page with huge blocks of text and no white space.
Sound intriguing? Hardly. You’ll gloss over the page or skip reading it entirely.
Think of office design like text and images on a web page or in a magazine. Layouts should attract the users and empty or open space has tremendous appeal if used correctly.
Desks and accessories that are simply squeezed together or scattered with no thought to flow or organization create an unappealing space. Concentrating is tough and so is finding personal space to reflect.
Photo: Darran Chameleon Workspace
Empty space can be a strategically designed space to give the office a clean look.
In an atmosphere with daily or weekly deadlines, it’s necessary to have spaces where employees can move away from their desks to work, take calls, or simply sit and refresh. Break rooms or lounge areas can fulfill this purpose for a change of pace.
Photo: OFS Tangent Lounge
Partner with 2010 Office Furniture – Create Different Type of Spaces
There are many ways to make the office a desirable destination for employees. Creating different type of spaces is one important one.
The team at 2010 Office has over 50 years of experience advising and supplying the most distinguished corporations, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses in Southern California.
The team will show you how to create a pleasant and productive atmosphere.
Contact them with your space planning and furnishing needs.
Read Also: NeoCon 2022 Trends: The Future of Office Furniture
Main Photo: Trendway Standing Height Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Darran, Encore Seating, Humanscale, OFS Brands and Trendway