Office work used to only be done one way. You would sit at a desk all morning, then try not to fall asleep in the afternoon meeting. However, from continent-crossing video chats to team meetings in the park, modern workplaces are using flexible workspaces and practices to lower costs but raise creativity, production, and morale in the workforce.
Employees are now able to choose which working style does the business for them, and product manufacturers are creating simple but ingenious collections of modular, flexible furniture to suit any style and type of workspace including:
As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much speculation and debate about whether we will return to our old habits of working in the office 5 days a week, or if working from home creates equal or greater productivity. However, many believe that the future of the workforce will largely be focused on a balance between in-person and in-office working, and a form of remote working, that summates into a new, hybrid model. But if you’re not at home, and you’re not working, then you must be somewhere else- exploring the true in-between of a public and a private space. Enter the concept of the “third” place, which is used to describe everything from coffee shops to banks, and even co-working spaces. If you’ve ever studied for an exam at a bookstore, or even dropped into an airport restaurant to catch up on some work, then you too, have visited a “third” place.
If your profession involves going into the office every day, then you’re probably familiar with this age-old question- is the office too hot, or is it too cold? While some colleagues may claim that the workplace feels like a sauna, you might see others who survive the daily grind hidden away under a blanket with a personal space heater keeping them company. The never-ending debate about the perfect temperature might only scratch the surface of many questions that designers and engineers have aimed to solve about the workplace, and they’re probably the aspects that you don’t consider on a daily basis. What about lighting- has a meeting room ever felt too bright, or too dimly lit that you felt uncomfortable?
Whether you’re in a back bedroom in suburban Milwaukee or a carved-out office nook in a posh New York loft, you will see signs of successful remote work. Between video conference calls, moms and dads are checking in on their remote-working students, marketing managers are squeezing in a video yoga class, and designers are throwing in a quick load of laundry. And while tending to these household responsibilities, we’re also designing new products and spaces, completing financial audits, and making video sales pitches. On the surface, remote work is, well, working.
CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati has created a pilot project for Sella Group’s Open Innovation Center in Turin, Italy, addressing post-pandemic challenges. The new workplace design features automated desk sanitizing, collaborative digital platforms, and smart windows to ensure health, safety, and sociability.
Ronald Lu & Partners has created in collaboration with BEHAVE, a blueprint for future-ready offices that meet the new needs of the post-pandemic workforce. Reimagining tomorrow’s office and embracing a new working style, the partnership generated “Mindplace”, an office concept that will “improve work efficiency, focus on sustainability and cater to the holistic needs of employees”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how we work together. From telecommuting to virtual programming, architects and designers are rethinking traditional office structures to reimagine collaboration around the world. For architect Evelyn Lee, her work as the first Senior Experience Designer at Slack Technologies centers on building better workplace experiences. In a year defined by remote work, she's exploring what culture and community mean today.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is a disruptive moment for our world, and it’s poised to spur transformative shifts in design, from how we experience our homes and offices to the plans of our cities. The webcast series Design Disruption explores these shifts—and address issues like climate change, inequality, and the housing crisis— through chats with visionaries like architects, designers, planners and thinkers; putting forward creative solutions and reimagining the future of the built environment.
Episode 2 will be streamed online on ArchDaily, YouTube and Facebook today, Monday, July 6, at 12 pm EST, and will focus on the future of the office. Our guests will be Eliot Postma, partner at London-based Heatherwick Studio, and Verda Alexander, co-founder of San Francisco-based Studio O+A.
Many of us spend more time at our offices than ever before and sometimes see our colleagues more than our own families. Workplaces can be considered to be our second homes, which is why the way we deliberately design them in the present day has garnered so much attention. The overarching design of workplaces aims to create a perfect balance between heads-down focus work and layers of collaboration to improve the productivity and general well being of employees. As workplace trends come and go, there’s a new progression on everyone’s minds- and it predicts what a post-COVID-19 office might look like both in the immediate and long term future. Although there’s no crystal ball answer, many architecture firms, research groups, and real estate companies have been tapped to ideate and implement forward-thinking design solutions and health safety policies that will be critical in redefining how we utilize our workplaces for the years to come.
In the highly connected world we live in, technology influences and impacts almost every decision we make. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) have enhanced our connected world and helped us understand more about the spaces we inhabit. Aside from the smart homes and smart appliances we have become accustomed to, the modern day office is being redesigned and reprogrammed to include a variety of smart technology systems. The goal of these systems is to put our offices to work and empower businesses to better understand their design decisions, real estate investments, and most importantly- their own employees.
London's largest co-working space is officially set to open in the summer of 2020. Designed as part of Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square by LABS Collective, the 150,000 square foot project combines office, retail and leisure space. With access to both the West End and The City, the co-working space will feature a range of rooms and layouts, from small private offices to entire floors.
Airbnb is changing the way we experience buildings and cities. Founded in 2008, the digital platform utilizes technology to enable real-world experiences, and in turn, aims to create a world where you can feel at home anywhere. With its own in-house design teams like Samara and Airbnb Environments, the company has begun shaping the future of how we live and work.
This month ArchDaily is exploring the topic of work, demonstrating how businesses can benefit from a good quality space: employee comfort, creativity stimulation, rest areas, brand image improvements, new talents attraction. Inspired by these topics, we selected fifteen contemporary Brazilian projects that illustrate different scales and ways of working to inspire this type of program.
The Los Angeles-based firm, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, a transdisciplinary practice engaging in design from urban planning to product design, opened their new offices in the city's Crenshaw neighborhood. A recent article by Metropolis Magazine outlines the firm's design process in creating their new office layout to emphasize their aspirations as an established practice.
COOKFOX Architects and Oxford Properties have reimagined New York's St. John’s Terminal as a workplace of the future. The 1.3 million square foot proposal aims to connect the Hudson Square neighborhood to the waterfront at the end of The High Line. Combining outdoor space and greenery with 100,000 square-foot floor plates, the project reinterprets the industrial past of the former freight terminal. The project was created to shape how businesses innovate and create between Lower Manhattan and the waterfront.
Recently shortlisted for the 2018 Design Challenge "Design the Next-Generation Facade" by Metals in Construction Magazine, this "Pixel Facade" system is an adaptive, scalable and repeatable building system that can be applied to various building typologies. The system draws inspiration from our innate desire for nature, also known as "biophilia." The "Pixel Facade" system merges a contemporary office environment with biophilic environments to create the next generation of office design.
A workplace that improves employee productivity and efficiency has been a white whale of corporate managers for decades. But even before the office as we know it today was born, designers and innovators were already studying sites of labor, such as the factory, to devise strategies to boost worker performance. By the 1960s, Robert Propst, the inventor behind Herman Miller’s Action Office line of workplace furniture, and others were conducting workspace research that would ultimately lead to the creation of the modern cubicle.
These developments relied largely on observation and intuition to organize office workers in purportedly effective ways. Now, advances in technology allow designers to take a more sophisticated approach, using sensors, internet-connected furniture and fixtures, and data analytics to study offices in real time. “You can take into account every single employee, and people are very different,” says London architect Uli Blum. “It’s about solving the fundamental problems of getting people the environment they need. And the easiest way is to ask them,” he adds. But finding out the needs of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of workers can quickly become an exercise in futility.