Many people's way of working has changed, but most offices remain the same.
However, innovating doesn't necessarily mean breaking down every wall and creating a play space; the design of an office must take into account the needs and details of each type of work separately. For every function, there are better and worse ways to organize spaces, and some configurations work better for certain activities but not for others. The most important consideration is that the workplace allows interactions while providing spaces for concentration and focus.
In the course of a day at the office, we sit in different places. We seek concentration, talk, attend meetings, and discuss new ideas. In addition to the configuration of the space, comfort is vital for work efficiency. Lighting, temperature, noise, table height, and chair comfort are all part of this equation. A person who does not feel comfortable will be thinking about the cause of their discomfort instead of thinking about their work.
The offices of the future must attract, encourage, and retain the talent that drives innovation and execution, and at the same time, bring each company's strategy to life. It is important that office work spaces are designed to facilitate a spiritual connection to the work shared with colleagues, create a platform to increase productivity and efficiency, and encourage a natural human experience of interaction and creation.
Herman Miller has perfected a range of products based on understanding complex daily activities and changing work solution needs. The most current survey, called the Living Office, identified 10 common activities that people perform at work in any office and any business area. We developed this two-part guide to help you design office projects, divided into: 'Individual Work', 'Group Work', 'Presentation and Discussion of Ideas', and 'Work and Debate'.
A Haven can be a closed room, a home office, or a space protected by dividing walls. This space works as a shelter where you can work concentrated, without distractions, but also relax. Depending on the intended use, the configuration may offer a work surface and an ergonomic seat, or take a more relaxed look.
In addition to providing appropriate consideration for the individual use of technology and other tools, a shared shelter could be located in the middle of the 'work landscape'.
In general, a Hive is understood as a group of workstations, providing an environment for several people to work harmoniously, individually, and collaboratively. A Hive takes advantage of shared space to help boost work, and its configuration offers a combination of individual work points and ergonomic seats. Variations in the spatial divisions, as well as the number of storage spaces and their limits, define the character of the space and the specific work that will be developed.
Other ergonomic considerations may include the placement of fixed and adjustable technologies.
A Jump Space is a place of work for a very short period of time within a day, composed of highly accessible spaces that facilitate work between activities. For this reason, they tend to be located in places with a high flow of people or near bustling intersections within the 'landscape'. A Jump Space can help connect people from different departments or teams that, otherwise, would not meet. It can be configured with comfortable seats and tables of different heights.
A Clubhouse is a 'work community', which generally belongs to a team assigned a specific long-term project. It consists of a variety of individual and group work points, which allows people to move between tasks and activities easily and intuitively, using a variety of fixed, mobile, personal, and remote technologies. Maintaining closeness and personal identity within the Clubhouse helps boost the work that takes place inside, offering ample surfaces to show and share the work in progress. This configuration has defined limits, but with porosity for visual access.
A Cove is a small space, located near individual work points or common areas, that allows people to meet and connect for a short period of time. They are ideal for small and fast meetings where participants do not want to disturb those around them. Therefore, a Cove must have enough partitions to avoid disturbing the rest of the office. The possibility of including remote participants through connections for fixed or personal technologies should be considered. These spaces are generally used by people who work close to each other.
A Workshop is the ideal setting for people to work together to generate new ideas and boost their work. It provides easy access to analog and digital surfaces and tools to view and create new works. In these spaces, people should be able to see and hear easily, even when they are not physically present. Different varieties of distribution and grouping of mobile furniture allow people to choose and organize how the space is best suited to their work, while adequate circulation space stimulates movement.