The Secrets of Great Office Design

Intelligent management understand that workspaces are a business tool. An office environment reflects and reinforces a business’s core values, through the placement of different teams and functions and design elements that reflect culture, brand, and values. These are immediately obvious to the naked eye.
We’ve seen a trend towards open office layouts, precisely becuase openness, transparency, and collaboration are some of the attributes leading brands strive for today. Sometimes these designs work well; however, research shows that the collaborative trend may be over-kill. Increasingly, people are rediscovering the value of quiet and focus and asking for spaces where they can concentrate.
In fact, collaboration and quiet are two ends of a continuum with a range of in-between work modes — each with an optimal setting. The best way to identify these is to identify everyday work patters and micro-moments that correspond to office design decisions.
This is easier said than done, however. To get everyone speaking the same spatial language, we HLW INTERNATIONAL created a Collaboration and Quiet index consisting of several attributes that can more accurately enable people to match a desired way of working with a physical space: location, enclosure, exposure, technology, temporality, perspective, and size.
To better understand how these work, try the exercise below on your own or with your team. Pick an example of a work activity that happens regularly, like a daily or weekly standing meeting. Using the continuum below, try to identify the ideals for your particular situation (they will likely fall somewhere between the two extremes on either end). For the attribute “location,” for example, you could ask your team: Is the meeting best facilitated if it’s held in an open central meeting room or near where other people are likely to gather? Or is it best conducted to the team’s work area and away from where you are likely to encounter others?
When you’re done, consider all your answers collectively — this can help you identify the type of space you want to create beyond the easy answer “more collaborative space”. Contact Buzz Furniture to help you create the space you need.
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A blog that aims to inspire the creative conceptualisation of amazing workspaces.


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