The lines between workspace and home space are no longer well-defined. They're getting blurrier as organizations move to group-based work.
The new term is an experience-based workplace, mainly shared spaces many people in an office use rather than owned spaces like individual offices. It's part of the new sharing culture we're a part of, from renting people's homes to riding in their private cars.
Many companies are abandoning the idea of having one office or desk per person to having several spaces anyone can use. This type of workplace can help companies reduce their real estate footprint and save money while promoting creativity.
What is Driving the Trend?
Mainly, the new millennial worker is driving the trend to more shared spaces. The new worker is more mobile than ever before and is less attached to material things and more likely to splurge on an experience. Instead of owning, they want to experience and share.
Also, if workers spend a majority of their time working in a group, having individual offices does not make sense from both a usage and financial standpoint.
Defining the workspace by the action workers will perform there rather than having a space serve just one person's job function allows more sharing and collaboration.
Creating the New Workspace
Experience-based workplaces combine parts of home life with work life. Often called immersive planning, elements of the residential and hospitality worlds are creeping into the workplace. There usually are elements to make a space physically attractive as well as functional, much like hotel lobbies have done for decades. Furniture and areas can serve many purposes. What may be a cafeteria for some parts of the day could become something else later, like group meeting space.
Some people who often work outside the office might just need a place where they can drop in and set up. A café table could do. Comfortable and multi-function furnishings are important because they allow the people to define the space and not the furniture. Function is important.
Adjusting to the New Spaces
Not everyone loves the idea of totally shared workspaces. Some people used to closing the door to their office for some privacy might not like working at a café table surrounded by other people.
If the shift is happening at your office, leaders need to promote the concept by focusing on the idea of a we approach instead of a me approach. It's part of being a team and sharing goals.
Not all companies can use this type of group space. If a worker is not mobile, requires many resources, or works on confidential materials, sharing a space might not be a good idea.
Beaux-Arts Group has experts on staff skilled in creating new experience-based workplaces. Contact us today.