Trends in New Orleans office design – especially space size and configuration – are moving towards more flexible offices and an increase in shared space, with amenities added as needed for the specific vertical. Here are the first five of ten trends in office design:
1. Collaborative space is a flexible thing. Everyone’s heard the stories about how cubicles stifle creativity but open office plans create chaos. True collaborative effort isn’t the norm in every industry, and many people work best undistracted. That said, even cubicle space can be adapted with varying heights and layouts to make it easy for workers to confab when needed and share ideas as well as space.Moving away from an open floor plan doesn’t have to mean a death knell for energy and spontaneity, all you have to do is remember who is trying to do what and within what parameters, and take into account that not everyone has the same work style, and design accordingly.
2. The big private office for everyone is out. With the sky-high cost of commercial real estate these days, most companies simply can’t afford the footprint for individual walled offices with a window view. Smaller workstations arranged in a pattern around a central conference room or in a varying pathway format for ease of communication can serve just as well and prevent people from feeling like their autonomy and sense of personal space is completely gone. An alternative work environment allows team members to work together when needed and retreat when serious focus is required.
3. Shared break space is important. When everyone arrives at work, pulls their chair up to their desktop,and spends even lunch at their desk, social interaction suffers. consider footprints and shave a foot off of every workstation in a ten unit row, making 9X9 workstations measure 8X9. The remaining 10X9 space can be converted into a tiny lounge with a small table, two chairs, and a phone extension as well as a shelf for items or a coffeepot. Add a plant for character and people can spend at least a few minutes away from their desk getting to know a co-worker when needed. Add a door, and this space also provides privacy if an employee needs to make a personal call while on break, take medication, etc.
Check back next week for three more New Orleans Office Design trends!