Every Place Is A Work Place
Driven by the pursuit of innovation and efficiency, enabled by technology and expected by a new generation, the office has become more collaborative. Work takes place anywhere and everywhere.
Ubiquitous technology enables distributed work outside the primary workspace, whether in a meeting room, café, offsite or even outdoors. With people spending on average half of their working hours away from their individual workspace, organizations are increasing the amount and variety of unassigned activity spaces made available to everyone for both planned and spontaneous interaction. Activity spaces create visual interest and provide an opportunity for an organization to express their brand and culture. Weaving them throughout the floorplan allows people to shape their work experience throughout the day to suit their needs and desires.
There are numerous solutions for appropriately scaled activity spaces, offering refuge for one or two, an enclave for three or four and team meeting spaces for four to eight. Larger assembly spaces support training and conference activity, and community spaces enable spontaneous and social interaction.
Refuge is a small space (about 50 sq ft) that enables focused or confidential work by one or two people. A refuge may be an enclosed room with a video display, wall-mounted whiteboard surface and adaptable furniture. A refuge may also be an open area with furniture boundaries or enough space separation for a sense of privacy.
Enclave spaces are small open or enclosed spaces (about 100 sq ft) available for collaborative seclusion by a group of three or four people. Enclaves are usually equipped with a desk height or lower table, whiteboards and a video display.
Enclaves are most successful when they combine ready access to technology with furnishings that provide a sense of boundary for shared work.
Team meeting spaces or “breakout” spaces allow the whole team to come to the table. Typically medium-size workrooms for four to eight people, team meeting spaces may be in the open-plan or fully enclosed, with a larger table or clustered tables, mobile and wall-mounted whiteboards and flexible seating options. Lounge and standing height tables as an alternative to desk-height tables can lend variety to the team experience, as well.
The most productive team meeting spaces include multiple display surfaces, convenient access to power, a shared screen and substantial enclosure to permit undisturbed collaboration.
Assembly spaces are dedicated areas for planned interactions and collaborative work. Usually large and enclosed group spaces (400+ sq ft), assembly areas are equipped with multiple display surfaces (tackable, whiteboard and video), credenzas for storage and tables for refreshments.
Conference rooms, sized for groups of ten or more, are typically formal meeting spaces for presentations. Furnishings include a very large, fixed table with power, data, and communications.
Training rooms—flexible spaces for multiple activities from education to informal presentations—typically include freely reconfigurable tables and agile chairs.
Lecture spaces, whether enclosed or open, are multi-use spaces equipped with flexible furnishings, accommodating large group presentations as well as social events.
Community areas encourage casual, personal connections and participation with the broader organizational culture. Commons and cafés are large, multipurpose spaces for social events or unplanned interactions. And on a smaller scale, ad hoc spaces such as informal seating areas with small tables, lounge furniture groupings and standing height counters with stools welcome a similar sense of spontaneous, flexible use. Access to wireless networks and food and drink draws people into community spaces, along with open sightlines and access to natural light.