The Office Work Space

A recent topic of debate that has become popular is the differing types of workspace that are available to companies now and what is the best way to be productive and maintain a happy health working culture.

You have on one side the more traditional office layouts either with a team being enclosed in four walls each with a desk and computer, the American office movie vibe where everyone has a cubicle or a floor where people of more seniority tend to have individual offices while the employees sit grouped together.

However, the rise of more communal workspaces has been on the rise for many years now, popularised with creative and tech firms, the stereotypical “Millennial” office with sofas, break out areas and a gym in the basement are become more common. Not just in funky start-ups but larger corporations are finding this is the best way to attract new talent is to buy into the culture of slightly more modern environments.

There is no right answer to this of course, one is not infinitely better than the other. But you feel that the traditional outdated layout is dying out. What people want has changed dramatically in the last 25 years. The average Briton will spend 3,507 days of their life at work (Reckon I’m only about 600 days in :/), with companies wanting to retain talent, they have realised that employees have some many more drivers than just money nowadays, people want to work in cool environments and feel more inclusive and part of the business. An easy way for companies to do this is to have a more open plan layout, the remove of walls between management is both literal and symbolic in this case.

With working from home becoming much more prominent as well, translating this habitat to an office is again a simple way to make employees more comfortable and relaxed and therefore more productive. Around London WeWork style offices are increasing familiar (basically a serviced office minus walls, plus a beer fridge). This is making it easier for smaller firms to create this vibe as well.

On my various travels around the city of London visiting various clients I have seen a variety of different offices over the last few years with most being a mix of the two, most people seem to like to have a fixed desk, a point around which their day can revolve. But having impressive break out or “work pods” spaces to get away from the central hubbub seem great ideas to improve productivity. I guess throughout 3 and a half thousand days you will probably need a break from people sometimes