Whether in an office, at home or a coffee shop, work today requires shifting from one task and one type of work to another. Intuitive workspaces simplify the transition from individual to group work, reflecting the freedom and mobility people seek in today’s workplace.
Understanding Workplace Integration
From our research and ongoing interaction with our customers, we have seen that the individual workstation is no longer the centerpiece of the workplace. Instead, our recent studies across eight industries show that work environments that integrate three distinct modes of work—focus, share and team—benefit from the corresponding contribution to business effectiveness. The building blocks of good workplace planning is a well selected set of furnishings “elements” that provide a nimble tool set to support the organization. These pieces can be combined and recombined in response to shifting needs.
Recognizing Various Work Modes
Employees engage in social activity, an integral part of all work modes and workspaces. A dynamic workplace eases the flow of people and ideas between work modes in spaces designed for integrated work. Throughout the day, individuals naturally shift among three different types of work.
The ‘get away’ space that enables focused or confidential work, the Refuge is a key room or area for workplace focus.
Enclave spaces are ‘get together’ areas for a collaborative seclusion.
For broader gatherings, Team Meeting spaces allow a larger number of people to come to the table.
Creating a Dynamic Workplace
Over the last four decades, open plan work environments have often relied on a monolithic planning solution that duplicates clusters of workstations with repetitive predictability. While appropriate for some types of organizations, this one dimensioned approach ignores the complexities of most contemporary workplaces. Across industries, the real estate equation is changing from that static solution to a more adaptable model that recognizes a variety of work modes—what people actually do in the workplace. Flexibility is expressed through the notion of proportional planning: understanding the predominant work mode or modes – focus, share, team and activity – and planning the facility in parallel to those needs.