Offices are changing, the way we work is changing and it’s happening very fast. Gone are the days of sitting in the same desk every day, large corner workstations – one per person, a couple of storage cabinets each, the MD in his private office, the PA as the gate-keeper… Things have moved on. The office now is about communication, collaboration and adaptability. Offices now are fun; inspirational and exciting places to be – well at least they can be. Changes in technology mean we no longer need paper copies of everything; I can’t even remember the last time I hand wrote something. We don’t need massive desks, in fact the desk could even be a bar counter, treadmill, or bike (I kid you not – these are reality now)…
They might seem extremely silly, but they’re not really designed to be sat at by one person all day, in the same way that standard workstations are no longer really designed to be sat at all day. Modern office design includes soft seating for informal meetings, touchdown areas for staff that are just looking for a space to check their emails prior to “the big meeting”, private skype booths, brainstorm rooms with walls you write on, in fact different working environments for different activities, which when you think about it makes perfect sense.
When making the most of your office space it is worth considering more than just desks. By including several alternative working environments you can give your staff a choice of how to work for different tasks and this can help encourage effective communication, better task allocation and staff management, helping to spread sales leads, encouraging creativity and thereby improving productivity and saving the world (probably)…..
This is the first in a series of blog posts showing examples of alternative working environments for the most effective office design. Today we are looking at “The business class lounge”.
The “business class lounge” takes its name and in fact its design directly from the airport business lounge. By giving a dedicated area that has large comfortable armchairs with plenty of space around you can create a space that can accommodate visiting staff (working as a waiting area), travelling staff that need an area to connect to the internet, do some emails or work on a presentation, or be used by your regular office staff as an area to get away from their desks for quiet work, or even as a lunch area.
The key with this type of workspace is that it shouldn’t be used as a meeting area. By spacing the chairs out, and keeping them large and heavy they should remain in their location and therefore be used as an individual oasis in a busy office. To ensure this works obviously you do need to include enough meeting areas, but they can be a real multifunction space – doing away with the need for a waiting area for example, allowing you more space for other functions.
Chairs could be in your corporate colours, traditional leather for an old school gentlemen’s club look, or for a more relaxed environment bright contrasting colours, or even neons. The side table units in between each chair allow plenty of space for each user, as well as useful charge points for phones and laptops and ethernet points. Overall the business class lounge is a useful addition to the modern office. Give a shout for more information about how we can integrate ideas such as this into your space plans and office layout design.
Hello and welcome to the new Space Planning UK website. Here at our blog we’ll be keeping you up to date with all things related to office design, particularly in London and across the UK. We’ve also recently set up our Pinterest page, which can be found here - http://www.pinterest.com/spaceplanninguk/. We’ll be posting various images from inspirational offices across the world, so why not take a look and bookmark now. We’ve just added images from Google London and Red Bull’s offices, well worth a gander.