There is no office of the future, only change.
Knoll has an insightful and interactive article on their site. It breaks down change in the workplace. We’re sure that you’ve heard that the only permanent thing in life is change. In the article, Knoll looks at how to put an effective workspace planning strategy in place. A plan that will help you deal with the rapid changes in today’s workplace. They examine four approaches to planning. And list the building blocks you should use in your planning.
We’re sure that you’ve heard that the only permanent thing in life is change. In the article, Knoll looks at how to put an effective workspace planning strategy in place. A plan that will help you deal with the rapid changes in today’s workplace. They examine four approaches to planning. And lists the building blocks you should use in your planning.
Workspace planning approaches and building blocks
In what Knoll calls the r/evolution workplace, there are four relevant ways to approach workspace planning. Each one has a distinct look, feel, and functionality. The one that is best for your business depends on a variety of factors. They include your industry, business model, employees, resources, and much more.
The four approaches include perimeter, core, efficient, and adaptive planning. Your building blocks for planning include work modes, workspaces, and work tools.
In this post, we will go into more detail on perimeter planning. But first, let’s take a quick look at the building blocks. They are what you will work with for all four of the approaches to workspace planning.
There are four general types of work modes:
Focus is heads down, individual work, requiring concentration and freedom from distraction.
Share is short-term interaction, with a small number of co-workers.
Team is group work, with a larger team working toward a particular goal or shared activity.
Social activity is informal and involves personal connections and opportunities for learning and mentoring.
There a two general types of workspaces:
Primary workspaces are for individual people and configured to support focused work.
Activity spaces complement primary workspaces and support collaboration in a variety of settings.
Finally, there are three general types of work tools:
Technology is the means by which people access and share data, communicate, document results, access power. It is also how they navigate the workplace.
Furniture creates settings, adjusts to the user, enables reconfiguration of the work environment, and connects people to technology and each other.
Personal accessories include lighting, organization tools, and adjustable monitor arms. It also includes ergonomic seating that adjusts to particular tasks and preferences.
Now, let’s look at perimeter planning.
Perimeter Workspace Planning
Perimeter planning is closest to what most people think of as the typical workspace. It is a classic approach to workplace design. It places fixed enclosed spaces along the architectural perimeter. And it puts open spaces in the building core.
Professional and structured, Perimeter planning chiefly supports individual “focus” work and linear work processes. It is still useful in professional industries such as legal, accounting, banking and insurance.
Despite its more traditional approach, perimeter planning still integrates the four work modes and two types of workspaces. It just emphasizes the focus work mode and primary workspace more than other options.
It is easier to understand perimeter workspace planning if we visualize it. And think about primary, enclave, team, assembly, and community spaces. So here are a series of layouts that do just that.
There are many things to consider when designing a work environment. Perimeter planning is one approach you can take in choosing a design for your space. The optimal furniture and esthetic choices are just as critical to the success of your business.
As mentioned above it may or may not be the optimal approach for your enterprise. In fact, it is the one that you will see less and less frequently in the future.
At Mason Inc., we can help you make the determination if it is for you. We can provide you with workspace planning, design, and furnishings. The ones that will make your workplace the efficient, productive, and engaging environment it should be. Please contact us for more information.