The Perfect Family Getaway
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.
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.
For more information, please visit https://za.tetris-db.com/.