Collaboration is at the forefront of modern office design. People who use co-working spaces see their work as meaningful and feel they have greater control of their job. The surroundings of an office space can therefore have a major impact on working practices, so striking the right balance has never been so important.
However, creating a design that seamlessly integrates collaboration with the more fundamental requirements of an office, can be challenging and design innovation at every possible opportunity is crucial. We take a look at two pieces of furniture that will create a beautiful and innovative collaborative office.
OfficeVibe conducted a large study of office and collaborative working in mid 2018. It predicted 40% of the UK workforce will work on a freelance basis by 2020. This shift towards working on our own terms has been the driving force behind the increasing need for collaborative spaces. As more freelancers enter the collaborative workforce, more demand will be placed on office furniture to meet the requirements of different working styles.
A big part of successful collaboration is creating ‘separate togetherness’ – a space which offers the opportunity for privacy, as well as collaboration. Meeting pods create just this. A meeting pod is able to entertain a private, group conversation or meeting within the collaborative environment. The addition of a meeting pod offers a larger working space for an individual requiring privacy and formality. A meeting pod also allows for a level of professionalism between freelancers and clients.
The casual design of a meeting pod fits with the laid back emphasis usually placed on collaborative space, but the privacy a meeting pod offers still fulfils a practical need for a secluded meeting space.
Bleacher seating is a visually attractive solution, saving essential space within a collaborative office. It provides a casual area to engage in a wide variety of activity, ranging from formal to impromptu. Bleacher seating has become popular in all manners of forward thinking spaces, from Silicon Valley to private nurseries.
The casual yet purposeful layout of bleacher seating breaks the boundaries of communication between workers. It creates a friendly environment for the young to collaborate with the experienced, the technology focused with the creative, and so on.
Bleacher seating also fulfils a growing trend for event spaces within a collaborative environment. A 2018 study by AreaWorks discovered that of the 19,000 co-working spaces around the world, 70% plan to increase the number of scheduled events. Of those surveyed, two out of every three spaces also plan to expand to meet the demands of these future plans.
Creating a successful collaborative office is all about meeting the needs of a group of flexible individuals within one place. This should be the driving force behind every design decision.