The Per­fect Fam­ily Get­away

SLOW Magazine - - Edition 51 -

Tango Ma­toti, space plan­ner and work­place strate­gist at Tétris, ex­plains why the mod­ern work­place can no longer op­er­ate in a solely open-plan space. The na­ture of work it­self has evolved, and the of­fice is shift­ing with it. There is no such thing as a cookie-cut­ter ap­proach to a work­place lay­out. Ev­ery com­pany has a unique DNA and the of­fice en­vi­ron­ment must be crafted around the needs of the peo­ple who work in it. It re­quires an un­der­stand­ing of dif­fer­ent work styles, the var­i­ous tasks at hand, as well as the cul­ture of the busi­ness. Add to this ris­ing real es­tate costs, and it is ap­par­ent there is a grow­ing trend to re­duce in­di­vid­ual desk foot­prints to sup­port more ac­tiv­ity-based space so­lu­tions. Within this im­mer­sive space is also a need to cre­ate a deep sense of be­long­ing – if peo­ple are spend­ing hours at work, it makes sense that they feel more at home.

The of­fice has be­come more of an ex­pe­ri­ence than a bricks-and-mor­tar place you go to work. It’s a con­nected, highly in­ter­ac­tive space and the en­vi­ron­ment needs to re­flect this. Taskdriven em­ploy­ees seam­lessly switch between col­lab­o­ra­tion and fo­cused work, knowl­edge-shar­ing and so­cial­is­ing, and they can’t do this in a tra­di­tional open-plan space. The ag­ile work­force ap­pre­ci­ates the flex­i­bil­ity of a com­bi­na­tion of open, pri­vate, team and re­ju­ve­na­tion zones – and if it can in­cor­po­rate home-like in­flu­ences, even bet­ter. Com­fort­able work spa­ces that sup­port mo­bil­ity in­flu­ence pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The trend of resi-mer­cial de­sign plays to a multi-gen­er­a­tional work­force in that it cre­ates a col­lec­tion of al­ter­na­tive workspaces with a va­ri­ety of fur­nish­ings for a range of age groups in which to be re­laxed and con­struc­tive. It’s why the cof­feeshop vibe at work has be­come so pop­u­lar. Re­ferred to as the “cof­fice”, it pro­vides cowork­ing space for the mo­bile gen­er­a­tion where com­fort and con­nec­tiv­ity is the main at­trac­tion. Like­wise, the ad­di­tion of cosy, pri­vate al­coves suits the em­ployee who’s eas­ily dis­tracted in a more pub­lic work en­vi­ron­ment.

These are good ex­am­ples of how the need for adapt­abil­ity is driv­ing the de­sign of multi-func­tional spa­ces. What may look like a chill zone is also a pro­duc­tive work space. That couch com­plete with data ports is as per­fect for pre­par­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion as it is for tak­ing time out with a cup of tea. Meet­ing rooms equipped with stor­age fa­cil­i­ties are ideal for busi­ness trav­ellers. Ad­justable-height desks can be an in­di­vid­ual work sta­tion in one mo­ment and trans­formed into a quick team hud­dle spot the next. And while the C-suite may no longer have their cor­ner of­fices, their se­nior­ity and level of re­spon­si­bil­ity still re­quires a mea­sure of pri­vacy, while re­main­ing ac­ces­si­ble. With the ap­pro­pri­ate fur­ni­ture and screen­ing, you don’t need to build four walls to achieve both.

So open-plan is still open, it’s just less fac­tory-style, less static, more home-cen­tric. Peo­ple pref­er­ences and mo­bil­ity are driv­ing a blend of spa­ces that sup­port a mul­ti­tude of tasks and ac­tiv­i­ties. As tech­nol­ogy ad­vances, so do our work­places. Our open-plan of­fices are evolv­ing to of­fer greater flex­i­bil­ity on a plat­form that re­spects the need for group col­lab­o­ra­tion and in­di­vid­ual think­ing time – and both are im­por­tant for busi­ness per­for­mance.

About Tétris

Tétris is the wholly-owned full ser­vice de­sign, fit-out and re­fur­bish­ment spe­cial­ist of JLL. As a fully in­te­grated JLL busi­ness, it is one of the only global in­te­ri­ors firms in South Africa. This net­work with an in­ter­na­tional real-es­tate com­pany of­fers cred­i­bil­ity when pitch­ing for blue-chip busi­ness, and sup­ports a com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice so­lu­tion, far broader than an av­er­age fit-out con­tract. Based in Jo­han­nes­burg, the South African Tétris team pro­vides turnkey ser­vices to of­fice, re­tail, in­dus­trial and ho­tel oc­cu­piers. The range of so­lu­tions cov­ers all phases of a project: work­place strat­egy, con­cep­tual and tech­ni­cal in­te­rior de­sign, project man­age­ment, procurement, and con­struc­tion.

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