Taking the Lead
Many companies, small businesses and fitout builders are starting to take the lead when renovating, in creating office layouts that are community-oriented and multi-generational.
We see it as a clever move.
The workforce these days is very much like a mixed community, spanning a wide range of workers from the millennials to mature, to the very mature baby boomers across cultures and gender.
Office fitouts have to reflect the needs of all workers
When the chance to renovate comes along, look for what’s new and cool in office fitouts.
Here are some leading ideas:
Lots of commercial office layouts are starting to look more like a community habitat than anything else: There are things you might identify as being in a home rather than an office layout.
Garden settings, lounge chairs, floor lamps, couches, cushions, for instance are all part of the scenery now.
The fitout is designed to blur the edges between work and home so that workers can make the transition easily. Stress levels are reduced, productivity levels rise.
What’s the Buzz?
- More than ever, enclosed private offices are disappearing. The buzz is accessibility, interaction, collaboration. Sometimes, in fact, these spaces are not actually for the executives at all, but double up as private meeting rooms, small interview areas, and even mini training zones.
- Communal Meeting Areas take on a new framework. They can be as simple and flexible as a seating “pod” to a purpose built “lounge room” and everything in between. Spaces are very flexible with not so many full height walls, but rather transparent screens, furniture dividers and greenery zones. Quite a domestic feel.
- Café style meet-ups are also common at an in-house café which is the central hub of the office.
- Green Walls, light wells, courtyards, planter dividers: places where greenery can be grown, echo the landscape outside and bring in a connection with nature. Workers are not isolated from what’s outside. It’s this link that has a hugely positive effect.
- Parents’ break-out areas are appearing. A separate space for mums or dads to take time out with a baby or small child who may spend the day in a nearby child care centre.
- Parents who have daily interaction with their very small children at feeding times, or playtimes are generally much happier workers.
- An exercise zone/room/courtyard where early morning sessions, lunchtime classes or later afternoon aerobics, boxing, pilates are held, equipment stored and general staff health checks take place. Linked to these should be a well-equipped bathroom fitout with showers, storage lockers and hair dryers.
- Bicycle Parking Bays are common to cater for those who cycle to work.
So it’s about diversity, community and support. Embrace these ideas for office renovation and take the lead!