Multi-functional spaces in tomorrow’s workplace
For most businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic has really brought the realisation that today’s offices are about far more than a desk to work from. To create just a functional workspace has become a distant goal, as companies focus on making the workspace clean and risk-free rather than ideal to work with. With social distancing measures and a focus on improving the employee experience in mind, multi-functional areas of the office are a key feature of tomorrow’s workplace.
JLL research shows that 58% of employees miss the office – a figure that’s even higher among millennials. For many, it’s down to human interaction as well as being in a professional work environment, which is why multi-functional breakout spaces are so important. These are spaces available for everybody – open and enclosed meeting rooms, conference rooms and other areas – allow for more engaging and collaborative company culture. Designed well, these agile spaces can help to make the office somewhere people want to be.
Creating highly functional areas of the office for maximised use is what multi-functional spaces are about. Agile workspaces aren’t exactly new, but they have completely revolutionised the way we look at office spaces. Adaptable and tech-enabled, they’re the spaces where teams gather for brain-storming, where customers come in to discuss business, and where colleagues can have a quick chat in comfort.
There is no single way to create a multi-functional space. It should be designed according to the needs of the teams and the organisational culture. They might include semi-private pods, screens for presentations, larger tables for meetings, or quiet spots for focus work. Modular furniture is the right choice so that companies can easily re-design the spaces to suit their changing needs.
While it has been part of offices, it presents a fresh way of re-configuring workspaces for the next version of the office. We need to consider a few important points while creating an inviting and effective multi-functional space.
Large rooms can be re-configured and used in different ways. Instead of just putting series of tables and chairs, combine those tables with private booths that get into a more intimate setting, then it can start to support smaller group meetings that don’t necessarily need a conference room.
Encourage collaboration with furniture that can be easily moved and can serve a variety of functions. The more ways a single space can be used, the more often it will be used. Consider technology needs, including power outlets, data access, collaboration tools, and AV equipment. Spaces that lack this equipment may be underutilised, or not used at all, because these tools are essential to the completion of many tasks.
Why should we incorporate multi-functional spaces into the office now?
When there is an absolute need to return to the physical office, it is necessary to make adjustments and be extra compliant with the guidelines for safety. Make use of every part of the office in the very best way possible so that no space is left idle and untouched. There is enough room for everyone, and every space is used effectively.
Promote Health and safety and distribute employees around the office to maintain physical distancing and adapt accordingly as workplace guidelines change. Conference rooms will not be solely for meetings, lunchrooms can double as mini-huddle areas, and booths can be set up for working lone wolves or intimate brainstorming sessions.
Multi-functional workspaces are all about large areas and open spaces that provide plenty of room for movement and versatile seating arrangements. These spaces will utilise technology to help facilitate a contactless workplace, ensuring hygiene, modern technology and connecting all remote workers.
Social Spaces is a collection of innovative, contemporary, designer products for corporate breakout spaces, open plan offices, reception areas, meeting rooms, dining areas, and much more, designed and manufactured in the UK by Dams. Modern office environments call for stylish design in every aspect of their specification and our Social Spaces portfolio offers all the good looks and aesthetic choices to satisfy the latest trends and the most enduring designs to suit all multi-functional workspaces.
In the long-term, multi-functional spaces will be the reason why people enjoy coming into the office. These are the spaces where people can work according to their own needs and preferences and interact with the people around them to feel part of a community. When designing an agile workspace, it’s important to think about the diversity of employees and provide a variety of spaces for work methods and preferences. No one size can fit all.
With the use of multi-functional spaces, employees can get back on the grind together with their colleagues and enjoy exchanging ideas once more, while still keeping track of social distance. They can offer a lot of room for flexibility in terms of furniture displays and can be a great opportunity to showcase brand values and culture. Visitors get a better feel for a company’s vision and brand when they see an open, collaborative workplace, while the right working environment can help employees feel part of something greater.