With the added emphasis on creating work and office environments which embrace the workforce in more domestic and appealing settings, there has been a concerted move towards specialised seating – away from the office desk. Soft seating, such as occasional chairs, couches and booth type seating have now become a necessary and functional part of the daily work culture, and are no longer only found in the reception and executive areas.
Break-away seating – moving away from the busyness of task areas – allows for more focused concentration on individual activities where distractions are negligible or for more relaxed communal discussion areas, where stakeholders can freely discuss current topical ideas and issues. And simply catch up with each other socially and informally.
Typically the type and positioning of focus seating minimises distractions – providing the user a privacy bubble for optimal concentration. Some of us will remember carthorses with those eye blinkers on, so that they didn’t get distracted when trotting down the high street…..with wrap around high sides, focus seating applies the same principle of limiting one’s peripheral vison, with the added advantage of audio interference also being dampened.
Typically, the seating is positioned to avoid direct line of sight with anything that might cause a loss of concentration – staff desking, busy traffic areas etc. So if you see a chair facing the wall – that’s not the naughty corner for delinquent staff members – that’s a welcoming breakaway space for private contemplation and concentration.
With a heightened awareness of the need to re-connect following a pro-longed period of isolation, communal seating in the form of occasionals, couches and sofas, ottomans and benches are becoming commonplace breakaway oases.
Strategically positioned – these seating clusters are reminiscent of our domestic lounges, playrooms and outdoor patios, where staff are able to relax, share and listen, and…….feel at home.
Apart from enclosed meeting, training, conference and boardroom spaces, which tend to be established contained areas, either alongside or close to task areas – alternative and informal forms of collaboration and knowledge sharing is becoming more prevalent.
While the seating is still break-away and possibly informal, the difference here is that the work related sessions are supported though the use of technology and a variety of tables to suit the connectivity needed.
The emphasis being on encouraging all partakers to be as included as possible, avoiding the restraints imposed by hierarchy, formal agendas and the like. Brainstorming, creative thinking, problem solving and inclusive participation – both physical and virtual – are key outcomes.
On a daily basis, we are helping our clients to revisit the efficacy of their current business models, adjusting to the evolving workspace, creating productive and attractive workspaces. Let us assist you too.