Your employees are more than workers—they’re consumers of the office experience you provide. And for them in today’s professional climate, touchdown spaces have never been more important than now. Let’s break it down.
Here are two factors impacting your office:
- Hybrid work arrangements
- Personalities who seem to have conflicting needs
Many companies in Southern California allow for a hybrid model of remote work where employees plan to work in the office a few days per week.
A range of different personalities expects the office to meet their needs like focused privacy and open meeting areas. Differing expectations can co-exist without competing against each other.
How do you make your office space a positive destination?
Plan flexible areas called touchdown spaces and use furnishings that support diverse needs and desires.
Photo: Global Drift Table
What are Touchdown Spaces?
Touchdown spaces are informal spaces where you can settle alone with a laptop, pad of paper, or smartphone. Or, where you can collaborate in a small group setting.
Plan a touchdown space that comes with fast internet access where your team can quickly answer emails, have a virtual meeting, or check in face-to-face before moving elsewhere to complete tasks.
The goal is to help your employees handle their tasks in a supportive and comfortable environment.
Benefits of Touchdown Spaces
Companies that depend on knowledgeable workers can benefit greatly from touchdown spaces.
Collaboration is needed to troubleshoot issues related to production and client management, while individual focus is essential for uninterrupted stretches to deliver actionable items. Touchdown spaces maximize the use of office space and give employees the opportunity to be as productive as possible.
In a hybrid work environment, defined space is as necessary as ever. In pre-Covid days prior to 2020, companies often assigned one desk or workstation per employee. You were assigned a seat and that was the end of the matter.
Special accommodations were made for employees who wanted flexibility and shared tasks. Employee A came in 15 to 20 hours a week to a specific workstation and shared it with Employee B who worked on the same task.
Now, people are coming and going on different days of the week, but they still expect defined spaces.
Touchdown spaces are community areas where you know you can either take a private phone call or meet with co-workers in an uninterrupted huddle.
Photo: Encore Chirp Lounge Seating
Practices and Furnishings that Support Space Needs
An article in the LA Business Journal states that the end goal for the office is a place to “provide an experience–much like hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers do–that not only helps in recruitment of new hires but also entices employees to gather and collaborate there.”
Here’s a key first step in providing positive touchdown spaces.
Managing the flow of employees who come in and out at different times. Develop an app that allows workers to reserve workstations, specific conference rooms, video conferencing rooms, or even lounge areas.
Take the next step and provide furnishings that work well for a flexible office touchdown space like:
- Acoustic furniture
- Modular lounge sofas
- Uniquely designed privacy chairs
- Accessories like sound walls
Photo: Snowsound PLI Acoustic Panels
Plan to Furnish Spaces Wisely
In a flexible office setting, you need to direct sound and activity to keep group spaces separated from private spaces.
How does furniture help?
Acoustic furniture absorbs sound waves from distracting conversations, ringing phones, and other noises.
Look at the 2010 Furniture inspirational web page, Modern Conference Room. There’s an example of a small meeting area that doesn’t have a door. A clear architectural wall encloses one side, and the opposite side has a wall for writing and diagramming. An attractive covering encloses the top.
Photo: Trendy Volo Wall
Check the 2010 Office Furniture Inspiration page to get ideas for workstations and meeting areas and how they look in various office settings and designs.
Photo: Allermuir Haven Lounge Seating
Many lounge seating options are designed with privacy in mind, like the Allermuir Haven Lounge Seating where one person could stretch out and concentrate or two people could meet beneath the high backs.
Photo: ERG International Laguna Lounge Seating fr Touchdown Spaces
A similar look is available in the ERG International Laguna Lounge Seating arrangement. It has many customizable options using privacy panels and is highly functional in common areas like cafes and lobbies.
Touchdown Space Example
In the South Bay, commercial real estate brand CBRE opened a 30,000-square-foot office this summer and equipped it with 14 different types of workspaces because people work in different ways on different projects.
The El Segundo location is using a concept called neurodiversity.
They range from what the LA Business Journal describes as “acoustically enclosed, single-person focus pods for individual work to huddle rooms for small teams” to “residential-style living rooms for casual meetings, a library for quiet work, and an outdoor patio equipped with WiFi, seating and shade umbrellas.”
Spaces are equipped with interactive whiteboards and some project rooms have large horseshoe couches and large video screens. These make for good touchdown spaces.
Photo: National Bio Conference Media Table
Plenty of options exist to design an office of any size that’s flexible and satisfies the users.
Get Pro Help on Touchdown Spaces
Contact 2010 Office Furniture and get input for your space planning and furnishing needs to create touchdown spaces or any office environment that’s right for your company.
The team at 2010 Office has a combined half-century of planning spaces and sourcing furniture for Southern California’s most distinguished companies, universities, and small businesses.
Share your questions and projects to get trustworthy advice.
Read Also: Using Resimercial Office Design as an Employee Retention Strategy
Main Photo: Global River+ Lounge Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, Encore, ERG International, Global, National, Snowsound & Trendway