One thing’s for certain: offices are changing in ways that would make Roger Sterling throw up his hands and pour another drink. Curtained conference rooms and three-piece suits have morphed into gray hoodies and rumble seats, and the mysterious schedules of senior executives have been unveiled by the new norm of working out in the open.
But is office design really a one-size-fits-all project?
In a recent article, The Chicago Grid called out a list of frustrations that some are encountering with today’s more fluid workspaces – among them, the need for quiet zones and areas to make phone calls.
We know that we benefit from the relationships we form at work, and yet research shows that in many instances, productivity is being lost in our new “open offices.” So the obvious question is: can we have it all?
We believe the answer is yes – if done with intentionality. For example, turnstone's space (pictured above) is designed with zones that are task-specific. We’ve also fostered an office culture that supports the kind of movement and flexibility needed to make them work.
Build your office zones:
Collaboration Zones provide a natural crossroads for coworkers to meet and share ideas. By nature, they operate at a higher volume than the two other areas and can be as informal as a big table in the break room or a more formal conference room. Any space where people can meet and work effectively together can be a great collaboration zone.
Let's work together. Add a collaboration zone to your space ››
Fun Zones have been made famous by companies like Klout, who have found ways to elevate gaming systems, ping pong, and snack food to an art form. These zones support the kind of activities that make people love coming to work. They also help your team gel and build the kind of rapport that makes thinking and creating together an energizing experience.
Turn up the music! Let's ramp up the fun in your office ››
Quiet Zones are spaces that better allow you to think and get things done. Often, they offer room to stretch out and focus on work at hand while keeping friends nearby for a quick brainstorm. It’s important to provide quiet zones that cope with normal office activity but are not overly disruptive.
It's time to tackle your to – do list. Let's find a quiet zone ››
Private Zones are places to hide away when you’ve got serious work to do and don’t have time for interruptions. Private zones politely send the message, “Don’t bother me,” while allowing you the concentration needed to be productive. Ideal private zones may have doors and remind you of more traditional office spaces, except that they’re generally intended for one person only.
Shh! I'm on a deadline and need a private zone ››
Zones ensure that team members with varying work styles can find a good fit for both their personality and their task list. With careful planning and intentional design, you can ensure that your company hits the sweet spot of enviable office culture and productivity levels that enable you to contribute to the world in positive, inspiring ways.