So you’ve decided to do more to encourage interaction and social connection in the workplace in 2020? Good choice — it’s a worthy goal. Companies that provide comfortable spaces and opportunities for employees to connect face to face promote rich relationships, support a sense of belonging and help people develop their interpersonal skills. To get your design ideas flowing, here are our top three tips for fostering social interaction in the office.
Two watchwords in modern office design are informal and resimercial. People want to work in spaces with that feel like home. When you select and place furniture, take cues from the residential design world. In lounge, reception and café settings, for example, keep everyone on the same eye level. No one wants the discomfort of craning their neck while engaging in conversation. More importantly, bonds of trust can form only when workers have spaces for relaxed, candid dialogue. In the lounge pictured above, conversation flows naturally with an L-shaped Sistema Lounge System setting paired with Hans Wegner’s Paddle Chair CH25 from our Carl Hansen & Son Collection.
One way designers can stimulate employee engagement is by creating a warm, inviting physical environment. Materials, color scheme, biophilia and lighting all help cultivate a sense of warmth — but don’t overlook the role of a handsome rug. The color-block Mesh Rug from the exclusive Nanimarquina Collection for Coalesse pictured above is a great example. Providing a platform for our EMU Heaven Seating and EMU Heaven Table, this hand-woven rug brings the kind of warmth and soul that promotes engagement.
It’s a fact of modern work life: Wherever you find people, you’ll find coffee cups, water bottles, notebooks, phones and other devices. To encourage social connectedness in the workplace, companies need to give people easy, intuitive places to set their handheld items so they can focus on personal interactions. In the lounge setting pictured here, workers have their choice of (from left) the Free Stand, the CG_1 Table and the Burin Mini tables from the Viccarbe Imports Collection. Seating is an L-shaped configuration from the Millbrae Contract Lounge Seating line.
The oak veneer Moveable Table, an optional feature of the Sistema Lounge System, bridges adjacent lounge components to hold users’ devices so they can focus on the people around them.
Like this topic? Find more ideas on how to design with social connection in mind.
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