In most workspaces, regardless of industry, two things are true:
There’s no separating these two realities — they’re bound together. Technology is a key vehicle for collaboration, and collaboration is a key driver of innovation — they are the two main tools of modern work.
In order for businesses to properly support their employees in this way, they need to provide office destinations that encourage team members to engage with both each other and technology — while also providing adjacent spaces for focus and rejuvenation.
Let’s look at three space types that work to meet these needs:
The image above shows the E-Table 2 Conference Table with power and data outlets integrated into the tabletop. Team members don’t have to worry about tripping over cords when they jump from their chair (in this case, SW_1 Conference Seating) to illustrate an idea at the whiteboard.
This tech-enabled conference room also provides a big screen wall display for screen sharing, presentations and videoconferencing. Advanced AV technologies make team meetings and remote collaboration easier.
When Steelcase and Microsoft joined forces to explore the future of work, they introduced a series of technology-enabled Creative Spaces that mirror — and encourage — the new ways people are working.
One of these spaces, the Maker Commons, is a warm, communal setting with both lounge and perch seating, plus fixed and mobile technologies that support solo and group work. It’s the perfect space for collaborative teams because it intentionally blends furniture and technology in ways that let creative work unfold more naturally.
Spaces like the Maker Commons make it easy for people to switch between conversation and experimentation alongside their teammates.
This Creative Spaces Maker Commons features the slender Potrero415 Light Table and a Montara650 Stool beside the wall-mounted Microsoft Surface Hub, an interactive multimedia whiteboard.
Of course, employees don’t need to be connected all day, every day. Unplugging from ever-important tech tools is part of the rhythm of work, too. Enclaves with integrated power puts individuals in charge of their alone time, letting them charge devices while recharging from the day.
The Lagunitas Lounge System offers built-in power options and versatile privacy screens so you can create personal enclaves.
Creating spaces like these three examples is part of a strategy to provide what our global design director, John Hamilton, describes as “a plurality of settings that give employees the choice over where, how and with whom they want to work at any given time, based on what they’re trying to accomplish.”
For more ideas on integrating technology and creative collaboration in office design, visit our Inspiration Gallery.
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