It’s 2018 and employees are yearning for modern and alternate ways of using their workplaces than ever before. Previously, employees have all but been shackled to a desk from 9am – 5pm, with the occasional trip to the canteen or into a meeting room, but now we’re hungry for flexible office environments with collaborative spaces and opportunities for spontaneous interaction.
Millennials are hankering after zones away from their desks where they can take a few minutes to unwind, such as soft seating breakout zones, work out spaces to de-stress in and sheltered outdoor areas to work or dine al fresco. Collaborative spaces are also high on the priorities list, inspiring creative thinking between a group of colleagues.
However, research into collaboration conducted by the Herman Miller Insights team has found that 70% of collaboration between two or three people takes place at a desk, uses few tools and lasts no longer than 30 minutes. This kind of collaboration is often spontaneous and increases productivity as people aren’t waiting for pre-determined meetings to sort things out. Employees tend to seek out designated meeting spaces when more privacy is required or when the meeting will take long enough to cause disruption to colleagues around them.
But what happens when all meeting rooms are booked out, or you just need a more secluded area of privacy for conversations, working or collaborating via Skype? This is when booth solutions come into play, providing acoustic havens and helping to dampen noise within the bustling open plan workplace, lessening distraction.
Many businesses are now thinking about the way their offices are planned out, much in the same way that urban planners design cities. Unique working zones within larger areas that encourage engagement within a space and increase productivity are top of the agenda.
One of the fundamentals of a thriving workplace is a space for employees to break away and enjoy their lunch, either individually or in small clusters. Flexible work environments cater well for this, noticing that valuable conversation and fortuitous encounters can take place even when employees are away from their desks.