Using Room Dividers to Create an Office Design Which Adapts
The dynamic workplace is an emerging concept which looks into how office design is developing into the future. As the world of work constantly changes, the spaces where that work takes place also needs to adapt. The development of technology and the fresh mindsets of newer generations means office design must acclimatise to cope. Harnessing the potential of these changes is what helps leading businesses to retain the edge over their competition. In terms of productivity as well as staff retention, the design of an office can have a subtle yet equally substantial effect on the success of a business.
The nature of office work has evolved with both technology and employee expectations. As we move towards businesses which are based online, the need for static workstations will continue to fall. Instead, businesses are now leveraging collaboration as a key to innovation. The days of individuals tapping away at a keyboard on their own all day are over. Instead, employees are increasingly being encouraged to work and collaborate as part of larger groups. The idea is that this will result in more well-rounded articles of work. The ideal conclusion is work composed of a collection of ideas, rather than that of an individual.
How Office Design is Evolving…
Laptops, cloud computing and video calls now being accessible assets for any business. Therefore, the need for a static computer is no longer the norm. Work can now be completed pretty much anywhere, even at home, especially with flexible working rising in popularity. As the office becomes increasingly digital, filing cabinets are thrown out and files are stored online. Therefore, a huge amount of space is being freed. This is what is enabling offices both big and small to adapt to the changing nature of the workforce.
Greater space means greater freedom to define the space, creating areas which are designed to enable the individuals who work in them. A collaborative workforce is excellent in theory, but comes attached with a key issue; distractions. If the static desk design remains in place, then as the number of group discussions grows, so will the volume levels. This key drawback is why it is necessary to begin to look at creating dynamic workspaces which cater to those who need privacy to be productive while also providing the space that collaborative discussions require to be completely effective.
Which Aspects of the Office Design Need to be Addressed?
A study by Knoll, designers of office systems, identifies the three modes of work which now occur; focus, share and team. To address each, they suggest creating office spaces which are divided to cater to each. For focus, we are talking about individual work where privacy and a reduction in the number of distractions are the priority. In this sense, retaining static desks is ideal as the area can be efficiently divided using office screens. Furthermore, an additional layer of privacy can be applied by integrating room dividers to separate the space from busier areas of the office.
Meanwhile, the share and team modes are comparable, however, separate spaces should be considered to optimise productivity. Certainly, for ‘share’, it is possible to create office spaces which retain the collaborative feel, however, the area does not need to be completely divided to be effective. In a ‘share’ space, distractions are likely to be more prominent, so careful consideration should be taken when deciding who will occupy the space. Finally, a ‘team’ area should enable collaboration to flow freely and without the nuisance of grumbles and groans from others trying to concentrate.
An innovative new solution to address this is the acoustic office pod. The design is increasingly being adopted by office designers to create meeting spaces which contain the discussions taking place. Furthermore, they are significantly cheaper than building a permanent room and the design takes modern office aesthetics into consideration.
Incorporating the Dynamic Workplace into your Office Design
The unique nature of every office space means that careful consideration is required to successfully divide the space to cater for these modes. From the tasks that employees traditionally complete to their personality type, there are various factors to consider. With the space available in mind, be sure to consult with your team and find out which environment they consider to be the most effective. Using their experience and knowledge, you can then begin to map out an efficient layout which caters to a diverse team.
By gathering an idea of which category employees would prefer to work in, you can then begin to map out the focus, share and team areas. This kind of re-arrangement should not require any permanent building work, so invest in furniture which will allow you to adapt once again in the future. For example, clear partition screens and office screens excel at dividing different areas. Through this, it is simple to create clearly defined areas which are tailored to the people working within them.
Office Design Forms the Foundations of any Successful Business
An important factor to remember is that your office design is part of a solution and not the solution itself. While it can have a significant impact on the efficiency of a business, extraneous factors require analysis to get to the root of any issues. Office design should be seen as part of the foundations of any business. However, retaining staff is about much more than creating a comfortable working environment. Despite enjoying the place they work, a lack of benefits or poor pay relative to the industry can take the lustre off an efficient workplace.
At Go Displays, we design and tailor office furniture to the individual needs of our clients. Every product is made bespoke, ensuring the office design is as efficient as possible. With room dividers, office screens, acoustic office pods and much more available, we can help to create efficient office spaces. For further details on the service we provide, please give us a call on 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to [email protected].