For many workplaces, occasional office reconfigurations can be an excellent resource. Changing your office helps you to adapt to the shifting needs of your employees, address the inefficiencies of your old system, or to work new equipment into your existing space.
When planning an office reconfiguration, it’s important that you understand renowned office furniture designer Herman Miller’s 10 workplace activities, and use them as a baseline for your new configuration:
While it might not seem important to workplace effectiveness at first, having a place where employees can casually chat can help to build the relationships between them, improving teamwork, encouraging collaboration, forging relationships, and improving overall morale.
Conversations are much more in-depth than chats, and often pertain to work or workplace-related issues. Many conversation types require privacy (such as conversations between management and workers), whereas others (such as discussions between workers) can make do with a semi-private space with little distraction.
Co-creating involves brainstorming and idea sharing between any number of employees, be it a small team or an entire division. Co-creation spaces usually have whiteboards, and often have multimedia presentation capabilities as well, such as screens or projectors, and other collaborative tools.
Depending upon the task, a small conference room or semi-private office could serve as a collaboration space.
A huddle is when a team is assembled to discuss an urgent issue or a time-sensitive plan to action. Huddles differ from conversations and co-creation in that they often involve many people, and are about open discussion to find a resolution rather than presentation.
Huddle spaces are often informal, semi-private areas where employees can gather quickly and discuss important issues with minimal distraction.
Divide and conquer spaces are useful for teams that work individually on components of a greater project. In these spaces, it is helpful for a more open design, where the team is able to easily discuss the project when necessary, while still working on their own devices.
Fairly straightforward, Show and Tell spaces are simply for gathering and sharing information, either with employees or with visiting clients. Think conference rooms, meeting rooms, and so forth.
The ‘Warm Up, Cool Down’ activity is an interesting concept which refers to the periods leading up to, and immediately following, major events and presentations. Warm up areas are associated with Show and Tell spaces, allowing an area where participants can make last-minute adjustments and revisions to a presentation or interact with colleagues. Cool down areas are where participants of the meeting are able to discuss the content of the meeting and plan their next steps.
Process and Respond is the ‘work created by work’ type of work—reading emails, taking phone calls, reviewing memos, and similar tasks.
Process and Respond work requires a space that is fairly isolated and free from distraction.
Contemplation is the process by which a worker stops and takes a step back, allowing them to calm their mind and take an objective look at the tasks on their plate. The ideal contemplative space will vary from individual to individual—it will contain anything that relaxes and inspires the individual. This often includes an area with lots of natural light, a view of nature (either through the window or through potted plants), a comfortable couch, and magazines or sketch pads.
‘Create’ is the individual variation of ‘Co-Create’. Creative spaces can be helpful to any worker or industry that requires some measure of problem salving or development of ideas. A creative space will often have a number of nearby sources of inspiration (such as books and posters), extensive brainstorming materials, and a bright and lively colour palate.
Call Us for Your Office Reconfiguration in Toronto
Are you planning on reconfiguring your office? Our office furniture installation experts can help to make sure that your furniture is reconfigured quickly, safely, effectively, and with minimal impact on your workflow. Contact us today.