Variety in the workplace: A shopping list of design ideas and the benefits.

Offices are made up of several different spaces and working styles, to create variety and a truly usable, efficient place of work. When thinking about office design, we think beyond a desk and a chair and more so towards the reasons why a business needs this space, how the space will be used, challenging their needs and processes and helping create new innovative ways of thinking and therefore working, to propel a business in to a successful future.

The Creative Loft:

This is a space made for collaboration and creating art with your work. A space that has a neutral but strong materiality like concrete to the base design, long table style desks, a pop of texture or pattern here and there. The real attraction & centre stage of this space is the brainstorming content on white glass walls, the collaboration zones full of colourful post-its and the buzz of energy that a new idea or concept could be thrown in to the air at any minute.The Library:

A quiet place for focussed working, without cellularisation or isolation. Library spaces are found within busy, fast-paced working environments to give individuals the focus space they need, away from the open plan, for specific task based working. These rooms typically hold 8-16 people at smaller desks with acoustic features throughout to keep the noise levels down, but also creating a feeling of community instead of isolation.

Photo: Morgan Lovell completed project.

Designer: Kailee Lane

The Innovation Hub:

This space is high energy, idea creation and collaboration. Innovation hubs are less about fixed desks, and more about cross-team integration and inspiration. To create a truly fluid environment that encourages the power of thinking these spaces are a mix of soft breakout, round tables, standing bump areas and plenty of wall space for concept, analysis and creation.

Photo: Morgan Lovell completed project.

Designer: Kailee Lane

The Recharge Room:

Every office should be designed with wellbeing in mind, and this goes beyond connection to nature with biophilia, free healthy snacks and natural light…..but don’t get me wrong, those three things are vital!

Designing a space with an understanding that sensory overload, anxiety, panic and a need to be in a quiet space are natural, common human reactions to their surroundings from time to time. The recharge room is a space within a working environment that has a calming interior, soft seating and controlled lighting that individuals can access if they feel the need to be alone and to reset their batteries. This is great for any business as it gives control to the individual and makes them feel less vulnerable and less likely to want to escape the office completely. If a room is there they can discretely go to, to take control back of their thought process, they are more likely to return to the working environment, not only feeling better but also feeling more powerful to continually head in the right direction in terms of personal wellbeing, which in turn reduces absenteeism.

3d Render: Morgan Lovell conceptual design.

Designer: Kailee Lane

The Tournament Room:

This space is lively, competition based fun! Competition in the workplace is unavoidable and powerful to harness as it leads to thought provoking innovation.

Creating a space that is light-hearted & games orientated not only brings teams together in a social environment, it also gets the competitive juices flowing and this is when the brain is most switched on and therefore ideas brought to life. Competition activates the brains reward centres producing dopamine (the body’s happy drug) which then in turn encourages motivation and energy.

These light-hearted, unrelated to work competitions are a great way to inject some competition into the workplace without making it about work.

Photo: Morgan Lovell completed project.

Designer: Kailee Lane

The Fitness Room:

Many offices have fitness programmes that utilise multi-functional spaces such as flexible meeting rooms or town hall social spaces to hold yoga, boxercise or wellness classes for employees. This is a great start in terms of office design and going a long way to improving the health of employees and their job satisfaction, especially if the space is at a premium & needed for other uses.

A bigger step and one that reaps so many benefits is a specific fitness room. It is scientifically proven that working out increases the heart rate, improves blood flow, improves sleep patterns, releases stress and increases brain performance specifically in memory, multi-tasking and problem solving. This then leads to a work force that is more productive, more motivated, more energetic, healthier and therefore less absent, and most importantly….happier!

Photo: Morgan Lovell completed project.

Designer: Anna Dejlova

Social Neighbourhood:

Creating a sense of community and fun in a workspace is key to creating a successful and productive business. A social space can easily be multi-functional if (again) space is at a premium, and therefore throughout the day it can be a collaboration space, an informal meeting space, a town hall space or an event space….to name a few.

In most workspaces, the typical individual is working 40 hours per week and spending more time with their colleagues than they do their family or in their homes; therefore making social connections at work is not only vital but also proven to improve physical & mental health. Social connections also create a sense of teamwork, camaraderie, collaboration and dedication to perform to a high standard, which in turn increases productivity, wellbeing and innovation.

3d Render: Morgan Lovell conceptual design.

Designer: Kailee Lane