Changing the Office Landscape: Social Space Integration in New Construction
Mobile friendly technology coupled with a laser-like focus on collaboration and teamwork from the Millennial Generation, the design ideas fueling new office space construction are in a state of flux. While some still consider work place socialization as a source of counter productivity, the benefits of interacting with coworkers on a personal level far outweigh the costs.
Socializing at work helps people build relationships, communicate better, develop trust and increase happiness. Happy employees are more productive, creative and successful. Increasing engagement between coworkers helps them collaborate, become more empathetic to each other’s ideas and work together towards a common goal.
Increasing work place socialization has brought a fresh perspective to office space design. Whether through renovation or new construction, office spaces are being designed to enhance communication and interpersonal connection.
Wide Open Spaces
Cubicle farms and corner offices are a thing of the past. Hierarchy and tenure are no longer key elements in the design of an office space. Younger employees from the handheld tech era seek an approachable management team and a set up that encourages knowledge sharing and teamwork. Physical space is no longer equated to work place value, seniority or worth. By removing cubicle walls and isolated office space, a company culture based on relational capacity and co-learning is born. Glass walls and a perimeter open space also brings in more natural light and makes scenic views available to everyone, regardless of stature, increasing work place contentment and productivity.
It’s important to remember that while open space creates an opportunity for collaboration, too much can also serve as a distraction. Incorporate quiet work areas into the floor plan that provide a space where individuals can focus without excess noise and activity.
From Flashy to Functional
Conference rooms that focus on fancy furnishings and prestige might be pretty, but are they functional? Will employees want to stay there any longer than they must? Instead of developing conference rooms with pizazz, companies are creating spaces that are designed to promote collaboration and longevity.
These spaces are filled with movable furniture making it easy to reconfigure the set up anytime. It is also ergonomically comfortable, a place where people feel secure and ready to roll up their sleeves. Technology shines in conference rooms with access to Wi-Fi and the ability to project from personal laptops onto mounted flat screens increasing engagement with other team members.
Say goodbye to isolated cubicles and work place silos. A job isn’t just where employees “punch the clock” anymore, it’s a place to grow, learn and improve together as a team. That process is made easier when buildings are designed to make those interactions easier from the start.
In our next post, we’ll discuss how businesses are creating office spaces that speak to not only their employees’ professional goals, but personal ones as well.