The last few decades have seen the world become a much tighter canvas as connects across the globe have only brought countries and communities together. This increase in transparency has led to cross-pollination of ideas and has brought people together, giving rise to the phenomena of ‘Collaboration in the workplace’.
Cloud computing and faster internet connections are allowing professionals to collaborate with experts from across the world to deliver more efficient products. With the production sector exploiting the digital workspace, the new educated, skilled and engaged workforce needs new spaces that allow them to function at their best. These new workspaces need to establish a far greater emphasis on partnership and interdependence, so that the users may productively and effectively connect.
Our new workplaces need to take a socialist approach and ensure that the open floor-plate format helps in dissolving the boundaries and creates multifunctional and flexible spaces that are key to supporting the evolving co-working environment. Strategies to develop new or existing setups to this format do not necessarily imply a spike in investment cost, as by optimizing the existing resources, be they material or fiscal both the capital and operational costs can be controlled.
Planning or converting space to have dual functions in key in ensuring that the entire footprint of the office space is utilized to its maximum. This multiplicity of function, helps in giving each space an ever-evolving character making it more dynamic in nature and allowing for the occupants to transform it as they please. With the long hours that we all seem to be putting into work, as top organizations strive towards making their employs overtly comfortable (almost ensuring more comfort than home), there is a major blurring of lines between our work time and personal time. While, this fad is here to stay as planners and architects we can certainly ensure space transitions can help nudge an individual to perceive the space for its original intent. Hence, the need to create multiple break-out zones in a typical floor plate is far more important now, so as to provide a distinct contrast between the spaces where we work and where we take time off to stare into space
It is imperative to constantly refine and integrate learnings from a much wider arc of behavioural trends to inform strategies that need to be applied to develop spaces. In an ideal working collaborative environment, its users must feel secure to be productive. These finer nuances of spatial demarcation help in creating a unique identity even for multifunctional spaces.