Want to Thrive at the Office? You Need These 4 Spaces
When Don Draper ruled New York City, executive offices lined the building perimeter and grabbed all access to natural light. Secretaries drummed at typewriters for hours, working at a single desk, filing papers in giant cabinets. And social interactions were confined to the mailroom, Don’s sofa or after-hours drinks on Fifth Avenue.
So what’s changed?
Lots. The open office reigns victorious despite new grumblings that noisy conversations hinder productivity. Technology is untethered and mobile, eliminating the need for assigned stations and clunky equipment. Leaders mingle with workers and don’t even ask for doors on their “offices” anymore. Workplaces are beginning to reflect the new ways people work, but there are still plenty of spaces still waiting to evolve.
Steelcase research points out that people want the freedom to choose places best suited for the task at hand — and because those tasks shift throughout the day, so should their location in the office. By creating an “ecosystem” of a variety of locations and work destinations, you empower people with choice.
Keep your office up-to-date and keep workers engaged by adding these spaces:
Integrate lounge spaces into large, open workspaces for a social retreat or an alternative work zone. Soft seating makes it easy for teams to connect and collaborate, and built-in power keeps technology charged and ready to go. Use color, a variety of materials and fabrics and a range of aesthetics for a cohesive, curated look.
Quiet spaces are specifically set aside for focus work. These places often take measures to provide visual privacy to limit distractions and help people stay in the flow. While this kind of work has traditionally been reserved for desks, companies are finding ways to use lounge furniture in quiet spaces, too.
Phone calls, budget conversations and confidential documents like employee evaluations require a high level of privacy. Whether using walled enclaves, frosted glass on doors or vinyl privacy treatments like Casper Cloaking Technology, designing places for privacy is an important consideration in today’s open office environments.
Engaged employees want to feel plugged in to their organization and to the broader mission of the group. Having places to interact, have fun and recharge is critical to fostering a vibrant culture and leveraging space to attract and retain talent.