People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

Steelcase Identifies Division, Density And Geometry As Key Elements in Office Reconfiguration

Steelcase has designed their Munich Learning and Innovation Center with screens around and between open plan workstations to create a division between workers facing each other. Density has been reduced by increasing distances between desks and pulling apart seating in collaborative spaces, in order to meet social distancing guidelines. Geometry has been altered by positioning workstations at 90 degree angles to each other.

Learn more about the new design elements Steelcase proposes for a safe return to offices at:
https://www.steelcase.com/eu-en/research/articles/topics/post-covid-workplace/welcome-back/

(Image credit: Steelcase)

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

Hallway of an office - cover of a report entitled: "COVID 19 AND THE FUTURE OF FURNITURE" from CBRE

CBRE Publishes Insightful Forecast For The Future Of Office Furniture In The Workplace

CBRE, the largest commercial real estate services company in the world, has published an excellent study of measures required to combat exposure to Covid-19 in the workplace. The study includes detailed graphics explaining how furniture and layouts can be reconfigured in the short, medium and long term.

Read the full report at:
https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/e894f327/files/uploaded/Future%20of%20Furniture%20post%20COVID%2019_CBRE%20Furniture%20Advisory.pdf

Open Office Space with 2 Windowed Conference Rooms

Office Design Likely to Come Full Circle From Private to Open Space and Back To Private Space

The workplace has evolved from an emphasis on private office suites, to open-plan workstations, to free-flowing collaborative open spaces. In the post-pandemic universe, we are likely to see a return to private spaces with micro private offices, larger workstations with barriers to transmission, fewer large conference rooms, elimination of small huddle spaces and a new functional style integrating tech-based solutions with social distancing and enhanced digital interaction.

Read more at:
https://www.workdesign.com/2020/04/what-people-can-expect-from-the-return-to-the-workplace/  

(Photo credit: Work Design)

People working at their office desks

Generational Shifts in the Evolution of Workplace Design

According to KI, a manufacturer of office furniture, the modern workplace must address the needs of the 4 generations currently active in the workplace. While baby boomers are accustomed to private offices and personal workstations, the dawn of the digital age has been adopted by Gen X, Millenial and Gen Z employees to varying degrees, resulting in the need for more flexible workspaces.

Read more about how KI addresses the adaptability that must be incorporated into the modern workspace at:

https://blog.ki.com/designing-a-flexible-workplace-for-all-generations

(Photo from: blog.ki.com)

Woman Types in a Small Booth in Office Workspace (Photo Credit: Mindspace on Forbes))

High Mobility and Adjustability Are Shaping Modern Office Design

The office design most suited to the mobility of the digital age must incorporate several elements, according to associate designer Stephanie Allen at Cooper Carry:

  • Quiet spaces for focusing on detail-oriented work
  • Spaces that encourage creativity and collaboration with surfaces to post conceptual materials
  • Casual  lounge areas
  • Private rooms for confidential  discussions
  • Wi-Fi everywhere

Read more about the hottest trend in office space on Forbes.

(Photo Credit: Mindspace on Forbes)

Community workspace with trees

In The Future The Workplaces That Will Attract The Best Talent Will Be Circular

Environmental sustainability in the context of the workplace involves such measures as using sustainably sourced paper, as well as recycling paper and even selecting sustainable furniture for long term use. To minimize the impact on the environment, and attract socially conscious workers,  the office of the future will not include inexpensive, low-quality furniture that won’t last and cannot be easily refurbished. Investing in high quality product makes the furniture last longer and reduces waste. If the product outlives the business, it still retains some resale value and is more likely to be repaired and reused than scrapped. Rather than disposing of outdated IT equipment, hard dives can be wiped clean and reprogrammed for reuse. Using sustainable resources to create adaptable, modular workspaces which can be reconfigured for future growth and changing needs is a strategy that will be cost-effective while meeting the standards of a new generation of environmentally conscious workers.     Read more about the circular future of the workplace here.

Agile Workspaces Promote Collaboration, Creativity, Innovation And Problem Solving

According to research conducted by Steelcase, a trend is emerging in which companies focus on building agile workspaces for collaborative teams to solve complex problems and accelerate their response to market demand for innovation. The space needs to be dynamic and adaptable to changing tasks and promote face to face interaction between team members, rather than relying on slower, impersonal digital discussion. The space must provide areas for teams to display and share ideas, as well as private areas for tasks requiring concentration without disruption.  Research shows that the linear workspaces of the past have not been conducive to creating a balance between collaborative teamwork and personal space. Read more about this trend at:

https://www.steelcase.com/eu-en/research/articles/new-work-new-rules/