Welcome to our new category: Social Spaces. Gone are the days of closed off and segregated working spaces. Today’s offices are all about the open plan, sharing of space and office pods. Learning the highlights and downfalls over the past decade shows us that ‘zoning’ is a great way to combat open plan working pitfalls.
Firstly, there are many arguments for and against open plan designs. After the inital claims of increase in camaraderie and teamwork, there are now people arguing differently. However, evidence shows that productivity can decrease from having more distractions and interruptions.
Dr Nicole Millard is an expert in emerging technology and believes that employees will become ‘shoulder-bag workers’. Workers will carry their offices in backpacks, resulting in smaller teams. Demand for a singular and stable space will be gone, with coffee shop – ‘coffices’ – replacing them.
Due to constant distractions and too many people, it is a struggle to find the correct balance. Consequently, a way to overcome these issues is to zone open plan spaces. By creating designated zones for meetings, solo working, team working and more – it’s a great way to provide privacy whilst not losing the combined working space.
Office Pods Life
Office pods and hubs are a great solution to combining privacy and space. Firstly, they are economical in comparison to building separate offices and they make a design statement. We offer a range of customisable pods that we can tailor to suit any space. Furthermore, these booth-style solutions can have their own electrical points for laptops, phones and other devices. Covered in acoustic fabrics, these pods are ideal for having tele-meetings, web cam meetings and more.
A study of over 10,000 workers across 14 countries shows that 85% of people are dissatisfied with their working environment. A further 31% leave the office to complete work. Another key finding is workers losing 86 minutes per day due to distractions, leaving them with low motivation.
A workplace with good design would feature quiet spaces for focused working, collaboration areas and other alternate settings. Along with zoning, another important feature is acoustics. Zoning and the creation of areas can only be successful if they feel private and segregated from the hustle and bustle. Experts suggest creating segregating work areas into smaller pockets of space can be more effective.
Old strategies of soft finishes and less hard surfaces are still proven to reduce sound. As demand for more acoustics rose so did the design of ceiling and wall panels. Gone are the days where acoustic panels were expensive, unsightly carpet covered panels. Acoustic panels are now available in delicate and intricate designs in all colours imaginable.
Browse our new social spaces category now and let us know what you think. Finally, if you need any ideas or inspiration on how to zone and update your office, call our sales team!
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