"My idea of comfort is a good lamp to read by." - Lucien Rees Roberts
I’m sure not everyone gets as excited about interior design or picking out furniture as I do, but there is definitely something about furniture that affects the way we work - especially when it comes to working in teams within an office or studio space. The aesthetics of furniture are one thing, but the functionality and flexibility of furniture can make or break how we interact, behave and collaborate, so making sure that a particular piece of furniture meets the team’s needs is very important.
Free Furniture: reshaping the spaces around us
We’ve already established that every office space is unique and so creating the right space and atmosphere is particularly important when creativity and collaboration are fundamental elements to help optimise our performance and abilities. In this final post for my creative space series, I want to focus on the creative aspect of office furniture, and the ways in which we can create spaces to help teams to converge, converse and collaborate.
When we think about creative spaces for our teams, in particular meeting spaces, the use of modular furniture is a great way to flexibly build an area in which teams can be creative. As mentioned in my previous blogs posts, meetings don’t have to take place in a meeting room - they can be held in open spaces, which offer people the ability to interact in different, and sometimes, more effective ways. Modular furniture is a flexible, efficient way to build a range of seating arrangements - whatever might be most useful for a team’s needs.
Thinking back to traditional office spaces, most of us are used to having large banks of desks running from one end of an office floor to another. Thinking back a bit further, some office spaces used to consist of individual cubicles that cornered off any ability to collaborate and converse with others in favour of focus.
However, since the increasing adoption of agile ways of working, the way in which we design the inside of our offices, especially desk space, has been a massive focal point and in some office environments it can certainly be a challenge. Architects, designers, and facilities managers all need to take into account various limitations such as budget, energy and operation costs, and security concerns. So, rather than having banks of desks bolted to the floor, why not think about movable desks? This way, your teams can co-locate, collaborate and be efficient as possible with more options than just moving yourself!
We’ve talked quite a lot about different types of working walls, and their uses for different types of teams and projects. One of the best things about working walls, particularly when they are movable, is that you can use them to quickly build your own ad hoc workspaces such as ‘creative corners’, ‘huddle hubs’ or anything your imagination desires. Once again, think about the needs of your team, meeting, or creative focus and seek out flexible options that can meet your needs and output.
A final thought...
It’s really easy to neglect the importance of the space we work in, particularly in fast-paced environments with the pressures of deadlines. Understanding the environment around us and embedding the use of visual and functional support is a key element to the success of teams and organisations. However, don’t forget to inspect and adapt to your surroundings and collaborate with creative individuals amongst you. Even with the most cost effective solutions such as makeshift desks or a magic whiteboard, you can design any space for effective engagement, stimulation and inspiration. Make your workspace succeed for you.
If you have any questions regarding Agile space, free furniture or any of the previous blog posts in this creative space series, tweet me @ctohanian.