Research tells us that the workplaces people want to come to look like the one above—offices with plenty of bright, informal public areas and less space set aside for personal workstations.
Detroit ad agency Campbell Ewald is a case in point. When the company moved from the suburbs to the city center, it designed the new space to better “energize, motivate and empower” its creative staff. Cubicles and private offices no longer dominate. Instead, the layout is open and informal, with a wide range of ancillary spaces to help bring people together.
Ancillary spaces are spaces that help support the main function of a building. In an office setting, ancillary spaces are communal, unassigned spaces that can include areas like cafes, lounges, outdoor spaces, private enclaves, and other collaborative spaces.
In recent years, ancillary spaces have seen a dramatic rise in workplace environments around the world. What explains their popularity? There are many drivers, both societal and economic—too many to explore here. So let’s focus on just two:
The where: With the rise in mobile technology, we all know that people can work anywhere, anytime, taking their electronic devices with them. With the accompanying rise in coffee shop culture, workers have come to expect the flexibility to get up, move around, and work in a space that fits the task at hand.
Not only has technology gone mobile, but it’s also gotten smaller, allowing companies to shrink employees’ personal workspaces. After all, laptops and cell phones take up a lot less room than desktop computers and traditional phone systems. This opens up space for more shared work areas—with quiet enclaves sprinkled here and there for alone time.
The how: Closely related to where work happens is how it happens, and today’s global business scene requires more collaborative work to propel creativity and solve complex problems.
To support this creative shift, companies need to provide the right kinds of ancillary spaces—areas for social connection, for planned and unplanned collaboration and for individual focus. A blend of these types of spaces creates the best conditions for innovation to bloom.
Millennials—people born between 1980 and 1996—now represent the largest portion of the U.S. workforce, and they’re having a growing influence on workplace trends and practices. As baby boomers retire, tech savvy millennials are asserting their preferences and steering change.
Also known as Generation Y, these sought-after young professionals tend to hold these values:
Coalesse and our associated Steelcase and Turnstone brands are addressing these trends through many of our products and services. For example:
These options, and many more, meet the needs of today’s office workers for better places to connect, collaborate and concentrate.
In this studio space, three-quarters of the footprint is devoted to shared work areas and one-quarter to personal workstations, matching the team’s work process.
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