Workspace Designs For Modern Offices

February 5, 2019 7:18 am by admin
In recent years the cost of office floor space rental has risen and many companies have been required to take a good look at how their space is maximised
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Workspace Designs For Modern Offices

Purposeful work deserves meaningful places that blend design, materiality and performance — how a space performs is just as critical as how it looks and feels.

Scott Lesizza, principal at Workwell Partners says one of his clients’ most requested solutions is help with eliminating wires and clutter from desktops and conference rooms. “Between wires, laptops and other electronic devices, to docking stations, paperwork and personal items, there are many things that can make a room full of open desks appear very disorganized,” says Lesizza. Even a $30,000 conference table can look terrible if wires are not well concealed within the table, he observes. “Luckily we are seeing more manufacturers develop solutions that are clean and simple,” he says.

9 | Here multiple ‘Double’ work stations are visualized to show a unity between the separate work spaces.

Lesizza observes that in his 20 years in the design business, he’s never seen change happen so quickly. “Not only are cubicles disappearing,” says Lesizza, “but now their replacement–the bench–is being overtaken by non-assigned seating.” The executive suite is still not playing to this trend, however; multipurpose spaces can be utilized for everything from multimedia presentations to casual breakout areas. “We’ll also see more oval-shaped office desks, which allow for a more convenient place for 4-6 people to meet, as well as a shift toward height adjustable tables for standing meetings,” he says.

More versatile workplace environments are fueling the creation of new complex colors.

New partnerships are helping to bring the comforting Danish concept of ‘hygge’ to the office.

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8 | The ‘Double’ collection is aptly named as its features are intended for use by two people. It features a four-legged frame with two wood work surfaces separated by a gap in between. A partition can be placed for privacy or kept open as shown.

Steve Delfino, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Product Management at Teknion says the community table reflects a cultural moment. “People are looking for more interaction at work and in other public settings, including restaurants and hotels where large shared tables are making an appearance,” he observes. But the community table has been a meaningful object for centuries, a symbol of kinship or alliance that is now becoming an important part of the work environment, Delfino adds. “Today, the table emerges as a relevant feature of an evolving workplace that now exhibits many of the characteristics of a domicile—more relaxed, more congenial and collaborative,” he says.

The paper, Ethonomics: Designing For The Principles Of The Modern Workplace–authored by Teknion, in collaboration with design expertslike Joan Blumenfeld, principal of Perkins+Will, one of this year’s Most Innovative Companies–revealed that the workplace is ripe for reinvention.

“I’m a strong believer that if you organize your work environment with color, it will help your thoughts be more organized and colorful,” says Miller. He cites several studies that color boosts happiness, productivity and creativity. “We’re seeing more offices integrate pops of color in unexpected ways and therefore strive to be at the forefront of offering a wide color spectrum of accessories and furniture,” Miller explains.

10 | The height adjusting mechanism is shown here on the ‘Double’ work station.

Delfino says he’s seeing an increased emphasis on using varied materials throughout the workplace to create environments that influence wellness and productivity. “Products with a rich material vocabulary provide designers with the opportunity to be original and bold—to use color and texture to create a more varied, inspiring and personalized work environment,” he says.

In this issue of the Steelcase 360 Magazine, we explore the rebirth of the office and how people are rebelling against the sea of sameness that defines many workplaces today.

13 | All pieces are height adjustable to accommodate both standing and sitting activities. The “Locale” line contributes to seamless work experiences for today’s modern work environments.

© 1996 – 2018 Steelcase Inc. is the global leader in office furniture, interior architecture and space solutions for offices, hospitals and classrooms. Our furniture is inspired by innovative research in workspace design.

Workspaces should flex to provide a variety of spaces and destinations for workers to inhabit that promote movement throughout the day. While many companies are doing a good job of incorporating some of these elements into their workplace design, there’s a need for more awareness and implementation of this way of thinking holistically about the workplace.

Lesizza says nature is having a serious moment in design. Reclaimed wood panel installations, exposed concrete flooring, and incorporating natural flora patterns in fabrics and artwork are all becoming more prominent, along with plant life itself in the form of living walls, he says. “Some of our favorite pieces and projects from the last year take a page from this trend, and also go hand in hand with one of the bigger trends: bringing the home into the office,” says Lesizza. “It’s the natural, cozy feeling that a lot of these finishes and details have that will continue to make this trend a popular one throughout 2016.”

Approaching the New Year seems like as good a time as any to say out with the old walls that block natural light, separation of departments, major investments in public spaces at the expense of the back office and other design elements that bum workers out, and in with creative solutions that bring people together in ways they can be at their best.

To view more of these fascinating work neighborhoods watch the videos below:

We talked to the design experts at Teknion, Poppin, a manufacturer of workplace furniture and accessories, and Workwell Partners, a design firm specializing in creating efficient spaces to see what they predict are the most useful trends for 2016. Here’s what they told us.

You might think that the reams of analysis done on office space would have by now turned every workplace into a humming hive of engagement and productivity. Earlier this year, we even got an advance look at a research paper that outlined alternative design strategies to make workers happier.

Today’s modern work environments are big on collaboration yet individual work style too. While one worker may be on the go alot and need to work standing, another might require a more fixed environment with a seated configuration. Many work solutions or “work neighborhoods’, as they are known, provide versatile high functioning pieces that accommodate individual and team environments in one easy common-denominator design. Here we’ve chosen some hip modern work solutions from biggies like Herman Miller, Industrial Facility and KEMBO.

Why are people migrating away from their desks? What kinds of spaces are they looking for? In our recent study, we found that monotony is a huge motivator.

1 | Visualizer: Triple DThe ‘Alpha line of ergonomic office furniture from KEMBO offers the user full control over work position with both standing and sitting adjustable heights.

7 | As shown here, the ‘Alpha’ desk frees up the perimeter of the work space and offers each opposing user the option to sit or stand.

15 | The work system’s centralized structures and cantilevered surfaces allow people to move and change positions naturally, even fast and frequently as need be.

Flexibility is something all three design experts are seeing as a growing trend as traditional office spaces, planned in advance with permanent layouts, are giving way to the needs of an ever-changing work landscape. Delfino notes that products designed to have every element move into place and fit together without rules based planning are at the forefront of the office of the future. “Modular components can be mixed, stacked and moved around, offering innumerable combinations for a dynamic and collaborative workplace,” he says.

Jeff Miller, a veteran of Apple and Herman Miller who’s now vice president of design at Poppin sees a move toward creating spaces that are the antithesis of rigid workstations. “Lighter, powerful, wireless technology has untethered the workspace more than ever,” Miller notes, so offices can be more comfortable, which stimulates relaxed collaboration. “Offices now mandate the inclusion of dedicated lounge areas to make working more enjoyable,” Miller says.

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The world of work is changing fast to instigate a new set of trends focused on themes of creativity, community and conscientiousness.

2 | The ‘Alpha’ desk boasts a high-minded ergonomic design perfect for today’s on-the-go work styles. With a fully adjustable height mechanism, between sitting and standing positions it offers the perfect solution for the modern office.

12 | Visualizer: Industrial FacilitySource: Herman Miller Industrial Facility created the “Locale” dynamic work ‘neighborhood’ for Herman Miller. It encourages a free flow work environment enabling workers to shift between individual and collaborative, social work activities.

17 | This double work station is part of the ‘Locale’ collection from Herman Miller. The side by side desks offer quick collaboration between team members while insuring each has the option to work standing or sitting.

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