Quick read: the open office style is not the best workspace for every organization. Despite the advantages of decentralisation, this movement may not be the best one for many organisations. To create better workspaces, we propose that the new workspaces must be points of reference, highly efficient, less hierarchised, open and shared, participative, ergonomic and healthy, clear and accessible, must create a community and should be variable and flexible.
Change speeds up decision-making. That’s why this is a good time to test new ways of working in organisations! We are more willing to test solutions that improve our day-to-day lives when we are outside our comfort zone. Although Toyno responds rapidly to change, that doesn’t mean that we don’t plan it. We thus prepare spaces and think about new ways of working which are flexible and intuitive so that employees can adapt easily.
In recent years there has been a tendency to create spacious offices that brought people together in a single space, following the trend of organisations like Apple. This centralisation movement sought to reduce the distance between teams, unifying the culture of the organisation and horizontalizing hierarchies between employees. More open, more flexible spaces have been projected in the open office and hot desking style which stimulate the sharing of ideas with others. The growing concern with well-being has resulted in the creation of social and leisure spaces which have started to occupy larger areas at offices.
With the implementation of mandatory working from home during the pandemic and now offered as an asset in an organisation, decentralisation and horizontality between teams became natural. The workspace has been condensed into the computers of each employee and offices have become empty and accordingly maladapted to the new way of working.
But the wish to socialise and work in a team has not gone way, despite the vast number of people preferring to work away from the office. That’s why workspaces need to offer resources which can surpass the convenience of working from home.
We can envisage 3 possible scenarios:
Scenario 1: The office space becomes the Hub for socialisation and small satellite spaces are created for collaborative and/or individual work.
Scenario 2: The office space ceases to exist and small satellite spaces are created for collaborative and/or individual work and socialisation.
Scenario 3: The office space becomes the Hub for socialisation and collaborative work and individual work is carried out from home.
Despite the advantages of decentralisation, this movement may not be the best one for many organisations. That’s why we are proposing a general solution for better workspaces which must be:
Points of reference: spaces that justify the travel as they offer significantly more resources, equipment, services, or human resources. They start to be viewed as socialisation hubs for social interaction and/or for collaborative work.
Highly efficient: spaces that take into account energy efficiency, environmental sustainability and space management policies and the safety and well-being of those who work in the organisation. They must also be prepared for accommodating multiple activities.
Less hierarchised: Spaces that can be shared by everyone safely and which promote interaction between those who work on teams through socialisation and collaborative work. The new workspaces must promote less physical and psychological barriers to facilitate communication amongst those who use them.
Open and shared: Spaces more open to partnerships and community through scheduling, the offer of spaces and shared services.
Participative: Open spaces which promote the intervention of users and which are transformed to meet their needs rapidly. These spaces promote sharing and collaboration behaviours.
Ergonomic and healthy: spaces whose main objective is to increase comfort, health and safety. Endowed with a holistic design which pays due consideration to those who use them, the tasks, the cultural context of the organisation and space configuration.
Clear and accessible: Spaces which are physically and cognitively accessible to their users. They are thus spaces which are easy to use and understand, which communicate a series of clear usage rules without using signs or notices.
Community: Spaces which promote working relationships and camaraderie in and between teams by creating collaborative activities and experiences.
Variable and flexible: Spaces capable of accommodating different types of activities and users where people can choose where and how they wish to work.
The new workspaces must promote a unique experience which reflects the culture of the organisation, which motivates and inspires its employees. These spaces are made by people and so they must be viewed as living spaces in a constant state of evolution, in other words, they must be prepared for change. Even though there is no magic formula, our work process and the methodology which we apply enable us to create more flexible spaces which are more capable of meeting the specific needs of each organisation.