Open plan versus private office the debate continues. It’s likely safe to say that we will end up with some composite of open and collaborative space while maintaining some private offices.
A recent Biznow article describes components of the latest emerging office design trend, dubbed, “activity-based office design”:
The latest model acknowledges that companies may have saved money establishing an open concept floor plan, but in most cases, they did not drive the innovation and collaboration desired. To combat this problem, current designs include areas such as team spaces with standing tables, comfortable couches and movable walls to encourage team meetings and collaboration. The activity-based office design also provides private spaces such as soundproof phone booths or isolation rooms in order to account for moments when intense concentration is needed, or when a confidential conversation needs to take place.
As tenants find new offices they decide what to bring from their old digs and how to create the vibe that defines who they are. Have a peek at what SessionM did to define their new digs in the Seaport.
SessionM does mobile loyalty software for large enterprises. When they moved into offices in Fort Point, the company thought about office design and decoration for the first time. It had built–and invited its employees to build–everything from light fixtures to heavy wooden tables. All have a farmhouse chic kind of appeal that will be familiar if you’ve been out to almost any restaurant built in the past five years.
Boston interior designer Haley McLane designed the Fort Point space for SessionM. Working for startups is interesting, she said, because of the importance of story and culture. “Being able to take a story and put it into physical space is really an interesting challenge,” she said. “Each company is different and therefore each design challenge is different.”
The evolution of the office space continues at a dramatic pace. Technology has been at the forefront in the change with Wi-Fi, demountable private office systems and informational screen systems. Some still demand the private office while others are embracing the collaborative environment.
Credit: The Boston Globe
A Boston Globe editorial examined a cross-section of office space inhabited by some of Boston’s largest businesses. In the article, the Globe describes that “offices are being designed to offer slightly cramped but open spaces to create “collision zones” for employees, where conversations get started and ideas get hatched. Status-based work areas have gotten the pink slip as companies envision cross-departmental, even cross-industry alliances. And why have a meeting around a gigantic table when you and a few co-workers can set up shop in a booth — not so different from one at Denny’s.”
You can read the Globe editorial by following the link.