The problem is the same at almost every workplace: there is a lot of information, and even more unnecessary information, or at least the information is in the wrong hands. Sharing and refining information is, however, a precondition for innovation.

Globally fragmented companies do similar work in different locations. This results in overlapping efforts and costs getting out of hand. Productivity is also compromised by the information produced in these companies potentially never reaching the people who need it. Office design seeks to find solutions to the most acute problems of the information age.

Great ideas are not created by switching to a different set of sofa cushions

Building a workspace that promotes idea generation is no simple task.

Great ideas are not created by changing the textiles of sofa cushions in the lobby or bringing in a top-of-the-line espresso machine. Building a workspace for the information age must begin with the company’s vision and objectives.

Every workplace should think about what people come in to do on a day-to-day basis, and why. This is the premise of the Workspace approach.

Even if remote work is the most cost-effective form of work organisation for many employers, a designed workspace provides better support for both job satisfaction and productivity.

At workplaces, information is shared and used to develop new ideas in the spirit of co-creation. The use of this collaborative way of working that transcends geographic and job role boundaries will grow significantly in the workplaces of the future.

From interior design to workspace design

Located in the centre of Helsinki, Workspace produces workspace concepts, or workspace design, for its customers. Workspace design goes far beyond interior design, although effective interior design solutions are an essential element of a productive working environment.

The design of business premises always starts from the customer’s strategic vision. From that starting point, the process involves employee participation, in order to analyse the effectiveness of the current workspace and how it should work in order for the organisation to achieve its objectives.

A key aspect of the design process is moving from the executive level to the grassroots level. You must ask employees why they come to work and what they want from it. The result of the process is a workspace concept where the different ideas and views of employees come together naturally, creating something new.

Only when we have a clear understanding of the work performed and the objectives for it, will we begin to design the concrete office space and its interior design solutions.

Make decisions while standing up, not sitting down

Future work communities will be increasingly focused on collaboration. This is absolutely necessary for generating new innovation. Collaboration in the information age requires appropriate spaces for different work stages. There must be room to think, to quiet down and to get things done. Multispace solutions are currently an important trend in the design of business premises. The key is understanding what happens in each work stage.

For example, the way meetings are held should be reinvented, making sure that everyone knows what decisions are to be made in each meeting space. The rooms where decisions are made should not have any seats at all. When everyone is forced to stand, they will also deal with the decision-making situation as quickly as possible. Small changes like this can produce tremendous improvements in productivity.

In the future, business premises could also be a mix between a traditional office and a trendy café. Our Working Café concept is a good example of this approach. Besides supporting different stages of work, an office space must also support the different states of mind and needs of the people that use it. For example, I am personally at my most efficient when sitting in the back seat of a taxi!

Kenny Hytönen
Executive Consultant

Workspace is a consultancy and design agency that creates innovative workplace concepts and strategic workplace solutions for office environments and customer service functions. Workspace employees have diverse backgrounds including Architecture, Interior design, Branding and Customer experience Management, Work Psychology, Industrial Engineering, OD/HRD and Economics. Our clients represent various industries from privately held companies to public sector, eg. Senaatti-kiinteistöt, Nordea, Finnair, Wärtsilä and Sanoma.

Published

11.10.2013
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