There is no one "office of the future." There is only change.
While no one can predict “the office of the future,” in the work environment there is one constant we can count on: change. The pace and nature of work are changing at an energetic clip—driven by warp-speed technology innovations, a competitive economy and a diverse workforce with new expectations about the ecosystem of work.
The workplace is a powerful tool that can help organizations compete for talent, engage their people, realize new ways to innovate and increase speed-to-market. While changing dynamics make solving for the modern workplace more complex, they also afford an exciting level of freedom and opportunity for organizations to reimagine what their workplaces can do. This is where r/evolution workplace™ comes in.
Our view on workplace planning is holistic, and we understand the link between architecture, furnishings and people. Together, we’ll help you define your ideal next work environment as an asset that best aligns with your strategic business goals today with an eye toward the future. To help navigate, we explore five relevant workplace planning approaches—including an emerging model, Immersive. Each planning approach offers a distinct look, feel and functionality.
Perimeter planning, centered on enclosed individual spaces along the perimeter and large open spaces found at the building core, is ideal for independent and structured work. This creates a linear experience with prescribed circulations paths, providing privacy and generous space for focused work.
Core planning provides abundant access to natural light. Long sight lines are achieved through open spaces around the architectural perimeter, while private, enclosed spaces are planned at the building core. Inclusive, approachable and transparent, this structure allows for a balance of focused, shared and team work.
Efficient planning can create energy and effective collaboration in environments where space is at a premium. Few private offices, narrow circulation and compact work settings help maximize space while promoting shared and team work. Privacy is encouraged through small enclaves and accessible refuge areas.
Adaptive planning offers a variety of assigned and unassigned spaces to support diverse work tasks, functions and interactions. Together, these spaces, along with abundant amenities and user-adjustable elements, are interwoven throughout the plan to promote adaptation and social connections.
Immersive planning blurs the lines between work space types—to enhance interaction, invite connected experiences and create a sense of hospitality at every exchange. Comfortable furnishings and fluid boundaries characterize this group-based workplace where the actions of the people themselves define the space. The result: an environment that can transform at a moment’s notice and evolve with use.
Building Blocks for Planning
Today’s workplace must support not only processes, but also, and more importantly, people, culture and innovation—resulting in a diversity of WORK MODES, an explosion in the variety of WORK SPACES, and an array of WORK TOOLS required to promote inspired work and engage people. These are the building blocks needed to solve for the modern workplace.
Each organization is made up of people who engage in a range of different work tasks, functions, and interactions. This work occurs in one of three modes: “focus,” “share,” and “team”—and a larger social component.
FOCUS is “heads down” individual work, which requires concentration and an absence of distraction.
SHARE is short-term interaction, between small numbers of people.
TEAM is group work, among a larger number of people, working toward a specific goal or activity.
SOCIAL activity is the informal behavior that provides personal connection and opportunities to learn and mentor.
Effective work environments rely on key elements to facilitate work modes and also enable the flow of work.
TECHNOLOGY – Multiple means for people to access and share data, communicate, express ideas, document results, access power and navigate the workplace
FURNITURE – Furnishings that create different settings, adjust to the user, enable people to reconfigure the environment and connect with technology and one another
PERSONAL ACCESSORIES – Lighting, organization tools, adjustable monitor arms, ergonomic seating that offer micro adjustments a person can tailor to suit a particular need or preference
To support the different work modes and diverse needs of people, today’s modern workplace should incorporate a variety of spaces.
PRIMARY WORKSPACES (grey) are “home base” typically assigned to specific people and predominantly configured to support individual, focused work. They can be designed to support shared and team work, as well.
ACTIVITY SPACES (colored) are shared “go to” spaces that complement primary workspaces and support collaboration or focused work. They provide a variety of settings—from open to enclosed, casual to formal, small to large—to support a variety of interactions, from impromptu connection to planned interactions.