Long gone are the days of dark cubicles and drab work spaces. Businesses are recognizing more and more that these stagnant spaces are not the best model for encouraging genuinely productive meetings of the mind. The workplace needs to be a space where employees can flex their creativity, where they can collaborate, where their ideas can flourish.
A Changing Workplace
Many studies have disproved the old idea that a rigid, minimally stimulating environment is best for production. With the unavoidable influence of technology on the workplace, there is virtually no need or benefit of this antiquated business model.
Phone calls and e-mails can be answered from almost anywhere. Data that used to require massive storage space can now fit in a pocket. Meetings are no longer held at a desk, but can take place almost anywhere, including over the internet. This means that the workplace itself has to adapt to being more mobile.
Workers are now encouraged to exercise both their minds and their bodies, to shed the days of assigned seating and mingle.
It’s not just the attitude of an office environment, but its actual physical attributes that are now forefront in business design.
Moveable Walls Keep it Dynamic
A great deal of thought by business owners and architects now goes into the design of an office.
The design of a building may seem like a one-shot deal, so it’s of course important to get it right. But the modern interests of businesses and employees are ever-changing.
Some of the more common concerns include sharing of ideas at all levels, a setting that nurtures creative flow, mental stimulation, and adaptability.
Moveable walls are an especially great option for achieving the desired dynamic work environment.
Ensure Great Minds Meet
The old office model was generally that everyone had an assigned seat or desk, and that people at different levels and sectors of a business rarely crossed paths.
Now businesses are starting to recognize that great ideas can come from all levels and unexpected places. The greater the number of ideas that are being heard, the greater the chances of success for a business.
Offices now covet a design where casual hallway meetings are the breeding ground for progress. They want employees at all levels crossing paths on their way to the bathroom, at the coffee machine, in the common areas.
Moveable walls can not only harness this idea, but their ability to change the actual pathways workers take, means they increase the chances for these encounters even more.
Businesses that have stationary walls will facilitate the same general flow. But offices with moveable walls alone have the ability to shake things up when ideas begin to run stagnant. Not just intersecting pathways, but modifiable pathways are possible.
Just a simple change in routine and a chance encounter can be just the ticket to the next conversation about the next big idea.
The coffee culture of today is rooted in the idea that minds in more dynamic environments— like the eclectic environment of a coffee shop for instance—are more nurturing of creative influx.
This is because the seemingly random nature of a city street full of nooks and benches and open spaces and, of course, coffee shops, actually tumble people through a creative process more naturally.
Having the opportunity for an intellectual conversation that can accelerate a new idea is great, but that opportunity needs somewhere to progress.
Meetings of the mind need a variety of settings to meet a variety of needs. Out in the real world, these conversations do not happen in a plastic box. They can start on the street, move on to a park bench, and shift over to an afternoon coffee in a dark booth. This simple change in environment can keep the conversation from running stagnant.
A work environment with moveable walls can create the same natural movement. Comfortable common areas can give way to intimate nooks, to quiet spaces for concentration, to airy open spaces full of natural light. Spaces that can fit any number of people and any scenario, with the added benefit that businesses owners and managers can use moveable walls to change these up as needed.
Stimulate and Inspire
Of course, stationary walls can be designed with the same ideas in mind, but as businesses grow and change, their needs will also change. If constantly subjected to the “same-old, same-old,” minds working within may grow listless.
Many studies have been conducted which conclude the same thing: smarter people are more easily bored.
Companies now realize the great commodity lurking in all sectors of a business. In the past, perfectly intelligent employees may have quit or become jaded out of boredom. It’s not enough to simply attract the most brilliant minds, but to keep them interested.
Along with facilitating meetings and providing a variety of collaborative spaces, moveable walls can also be used simply for the sake of a more compelling workspace.
If it’s turning out to be a particularly beautiful fall season for instance, the walls may be focused to centre attention on that beautiful park-facing window. If employees seem to be feeling isolated in the midst of a harsh winter, erect a cosy meeting room right in the centre of the floor.
Co-working between employees of different departments is also a common practice in modern businesses. Put the art director right next to the head of tech and see if this close proximity inspires a creative partnership anew.
Employees who are stimulated, inspired, happy, are the driving force that can truly move a company forward. Ideas require the right surroundings to flow; a work environment where every day presents a new opportunity.
Whether re-vamping a veteran business, or developing an entrepreneurial start-up, the design of a modern office space can set the tone for the way a business will function in the future. It’s hard to predict which models will work best. One thing that is always certain however, is that the office spaces have changed a great deal and that they will continue to change for the better.
Creating an office space that can move and adapt is always a sure bet.
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