I ran across a great article on workspace design titled "A Brave New (Integrated-Business) World." It provides a great overview of what is happening in the workplace design space with special emphasis on collaboration. Here are some excerpts:
Without a doubt, we’re operating in a brave new business world.
- The era of cubicle farms and private offices is well behind us
- Forward-thinking companies realize that future growth lies in the ability to create value-based, multigenerational, and interconnected workspaces
- Rapid and ever changing technologies are driving this change for furniture that both anticipates and seamlessly integrates these advances
And speaking of integration, with technology advancing at a dizzying rate — what steps are you taking to ensure your workspace reflects this rate of change?
Today it’s not a question of whether you should acquire collaborative workspace technologies, it’s deciding what and how soon.
There are several workforce trends that are at the forefront of ushering in the furniture/technology integration revolution, namely “the office minus the office” and “innovation through collaboration.”
With these trends in mind, there are many unique challenges and opportunities for work place design. Integrated furniture provides an opportunity to leverage the opportunities presented by this connected, global marketplace.
The office minus the office
Let’s paint the picture of the world-class modern office — what will you expect to see? Lavishly appointed offices? Think again.
One thing we can guarantee you’ll see less of in progressive workspaces is actual walls and actual (face-to-face) workers. No longer can we remain tucked away in isolation at work — seating arranged by “neighborhoods,” large-scale open spaces, free-address, “drop-in” workstations, and dedicated brainstorm lounges are all the hallmark features of the next generation of office design.
In short, we’re working in a global platform that demands transparency. Furniture that integrates technology on the front-end provides an additional outlet for the creation of collaborative knowledge, which many experts believe to be the epicenter of innovation.
Innovation through collaboration
Collaboration isn’t just a passing trend — it’s a steadfast business imperative.
Collaboration generates energy, and a workplace with positive energy will produce positive results. The numerous benefits of increased workplace collaboration have been well documented by researchers:
- Two heads are better than one: employees who are encouraged to collaborate become more engaged at work, sparking greater opportunity for new ideas and insights
- Companies that foster a team-centered approach to problem solving experience increased retention and productivity rates
- Effective collaboration plays an integral role in positively influencing how well an organization, irrespective of size, will perform over time
- The promotion of interaction provides a sustained competitive advantage to the business while boosting employee moral and overall well being
- Plus, our global economy requires businesses to perform more with less, across multiple time zones, 24/7.
“We know that creating fluid, agile work environments that encourage collaboration will continue to be a challenge for many businesses,” said Paul Waskey, managing director for Regalmark. “Their ability to foster interactivity in a workplace culture that encourages team-building is intrinsically linked to their ability to cultivate innovation.”
That being said, work environments now must acquire flexible and adaptive furniture solutions that integrate the very technologies driving this change.Office Space , Office Space Design