To call some of the more contemporary workspaces an office these days would be misleading. Often equal parts studio, workspace, lounge, and dining room, some offices these days look more like a well-outfitted apartment than an actual place of business.
To coin a phrase, the multifunctional office seeks out ways to maximise profits and decrease costs, and commercial property is one area that presents the potential to reduce outgoings dramatically. As well as the increased popularity of hot-desking, companies are now looking to cut down the amount of space each employee needs while at the office.
In an attempt to minimise the floor-space required for modern offices, there will be an increasing demand for areas and furniture that can adapt to different needs in the office, creating more flexible workspaces. The same trend will be seen in office furniture, too, with an increased demand for multipurpose pieces, such as sofa pods with built-in tables and conference tables that can also be used for bench-desking.
Here are four ideas you can consider to optimise the space in your own workspace:
USE FURNITURE TO CARVE OUT ‘’ROOMS” IN AN OPEN SPACE Since there are no proper rooms in many open plan spaces, the first order of business is to create designated zones. You will need the space to remain open, while still creating specific areas for various uses like nose-to-the-grindstone work time, a relaxing area for welcoming guests, a creative collaboration space, and perhaps a canteen nook.
Instead of building walls, you can carefully arrange larger pieces of furniture – a boardroom table, a generously-sized sofa, bookcases, rugs and acoustic pods – to visually define each of these areas.
MAKE ROOM FOR TAKING BREAKS Being able to take a break from your desk and take a laptop to the sofa is a game changer. If you sit at your desk all day long, you’ll get tired – which leads to procrastination. So, instead, consider moving to a different part of the office, creating a change of scenery and pace, along with renewed focus
THE KEY TO MIXING-AND-MATCHING IS A LITTLE CONSISTENCY It’s totally okay to mix a variety of materials and furnishing styles throughout a space, as long as they’re interesting and have some connecting theme.
Consider office furniture that has clean lines, but that has one or two details that tell a story: a great fabric, a fantastic bracket, the perfect shape. It’s good to mix and match materials so that the space carries a consistent baseline vibe with subtle props of material interest and colour.
GO GREEN Rather than art, rely on foliage to make a big impact in the office. Along with using tall plants to help define the different areas, you can also sprinkle several others throughout the space to perk up empty corners. Plants bring such life to any area with maximum impact on a minimal budget.