Harnessing Space to Elevate the Workplace Experience

Harnessing Space to Elevate the Workplace Experience

Wondering how space planning can reinvigorate your workforce? Smart companies are redefining their office designs not just to accommodate employees but to inspire them. It’s no longer about merely setting up desks and turning on the lights; it’s about creating a destination that draws people out of their homes and into a space that fosters connection, culture, and creativity.

The Essence of Space Planning in Modern Workplaces

Space planning is more than a mere arrangement of furniture. It's a crucial strategy employed by interior designers and architects to optimize the use of floor space, crucial for boosting productivity, efficiency, and overall employee satisfaction at work. This process involves a deep dive into how people interact within their work environments and how these interactions can be enhanced to improve their daily operations.

Karin Taylor, a principal and director of interior design at Quorum Architects in Fort Worth, Texas, puts it succinctly: "It’s the part of interior design that’s not about the pretty wall color and cool desks. We’re looking at the intricacies of how these people work and how to enhance the work environment for them."

Lenny Beaudoin, executive managing director and global lead of workplace strategy at CBRE, adds, "When done right, space planning can profoundly impact workplace effectiveness and stability, boosting wellbeing and happiness. Improving productivity by just 1% to 2% can offset the costs associated with real estate significantly."

Adapting to Hybrid Work: A New Priority

As companies navigate the transition to hybrid work models, the emphasis on wellness, sustainability, and purposeful use of office space has grown. Employers are now reevaluating their real estate needs, often reducing square footage while making the remaining space more impactful for their teams.

To illustrate, Quorum Architects expanded their Fort Worth offices by adding a mezzanine level. This new space includes versatile workspaces such as a lounge, conference area, wellness rooms, and even a phone booth, tailored to various needs and activities of their employees.

A Custom Approach to Effective Workspaces

"There is no one-size-fits-all in space planning," says Taylor. In the hybrid work era, the configuration of office spaces is ever-evolving. Employers are meticulously analyzing their spaces—whether newly constructed or remodeled—to strike the right balance that reflects their company culture and drives productivity.

The Role of Privacy and Focus in Modern Office Design

In a world where collaboration and open-plan offices have been the norm, there is a notable shift back towards private spaces that cater to focused work. Companies like PrivacyPod are at the forefront of this movement, providing solutions such as one-person pods, two-person pods, and larger configurations, facilitating both individual work and collaborative efforts without compromising privacy.

Activity-based work design is also gaining traction, offering employees a variety of settings suited to different tasks. For instance, a library-style space might be ideal for drafting proposals, while open, informal areas are perfect for brainstorming sessions. PrivacyPod's range of privacy booths and phone booths are excellent examples of how modern offices can integrate versatile, private workspaces into their overall design.

Balancing Space: From Individual Desks to Collaborative Areas

The shift in space allocation is also evident in how companies are dedicating less area to individual desks, known as 'me space', and more to 'we space'—areas designed for collaboration and social interaction, such as training rooms, breakout areas, and amenities like cafes and lounges.

Design strategies now consider how to best facilitate movement and interaction within office spaces. "Creating a space where people naturally meet and engage can significantly enhance the vibrancy of the office environment," Beaudoin notes. This strategic placement of different areas helps in cultivating a lively, interactive workplace.

Ensuring Long-term Satisfaction Through Smart Design

Post-occupancy evaluations are becoming common, with designers returning to assess the workspace months after changes are implemented. This practice helps in understanding the long-term effectiveness of the design changes, ensuring that they truly meet the employees' needs and enhance their daily experiences.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

The world's leading brands use our pods.

Keep up to date with the latest on office pods.