Do you work in an open office plan? Chances are, the answer is yes. As organizations increasingly consider open layouts to spur collaboration – and maximize valuable real estate – architects and designers must create spaces that accommodate a diverse, multi-generational workforce and allow for shifting work modes through the day. The key here? Balance. Incorporating dedicated spaces for focus and rejuvenation, whether as “solo nooks” in the open plan or designated enclaves in larger offices, is a key consideration for the modern workplace.
Below, we’ve compiled a few ideas for bringing balance to any office design.
Sometimes you need a quick conference space for a casual team meeting – or to step away in between meetings to recharge and tackle heads down work. In the open office, these types of work situations can be difficult. Forbes comments on the potential issues of the open office, stating that, “job satisfaction plummets when companies default to a one-size-fits-all approach and don’t justify the choices behind who uses a desk and who doesn’t, for example.” But there are solutions—booths and screens are a great method for creating versatile enclosures and dividing space within an open office environment. Flexibility is key, as On Office Magazine points out, “we need to design spaces that attract people back into the work environment to promote a strong sense of community.”
Use furniture as architecture to create beautiful, varied, and inviting spaces that promote focus and allow for collaboration. Consider the new Lagunitas Focus Nook to create those spaces that welcome solo focus – a single nook next to a social area or a row of nooks nearby a collaborative space give employees the chance for personal focus while staying in the open plan. For intimate spaces where teams can get together within public areas, the classic Lagunitas Lounge System is another option – keep the thinking in and distractions out with high screens.
Considering acoustics is also important in open spaces where sound can travel and easily distract workers. Two ways to mitigate this: add soft carpeting – check out our Arzu collection for ideas – and add space partitions. For inspiration, check out these living wall space partitions from our partner Sagegreenlife – why not combine biophilic design and better acoustics and privacy? After all, Popular Science asserts, “plants boost morale and improve indoor air quality as well,” for myriad benefits.
We’ve shared on our blog before some reasons why we love the enclave. Whether it’s for taking a call or the need for that dedicated space for silence or focused work, the enclave is a modern office essential. Work Design Magazine underscores the need for varied office spaces, as “each workday brings different responsibilities that require varied work strategies and different spaces to support them,” while Facility Executive presents a surprising statistic: “more than half of employees (52%) say they want a private office over an open floor plan,” and the enclave is the perfect compromise for saving space and promising privacy. Think of the enclave as an “in-office oasis” – a retreat where people can go to recharge, reflect or refocus in a calm, private environment. In the space here, Hosu provides just that.
To see more ideas for the office enclave, check out our focus and rejuvenation inspiration gallery.
As crucial as a balanced office design is, the office culture has to align with the office design for ultimate success at work. As Workplace Insight explains, “An open plan office will do little to increase collaboration, innovation and productivity if company culture doesn’t support those objectives.” Balanced design means something different for every office; successful design should reflect and complement company culture, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
To learn more about how design can complement office culture and lead to happier, more productive work environments, check out our blogs on how to filter out distractions in an open office, and how to promote workplace wellbeing through incorporating biophilic design.
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