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    Lunchtime Architecture

    Harnessing the potential of our offices

    In our new lifestyles our work and play lives are merging but it has taken some time for our work spaces to catch-up. Long gone are the days of 2-by-2 cubicles and working in pin drop isolation and quiet. We yearn for a space to thrive at work. The average person is now spending more than a third of every day in a dreary, drafty open plan area, which was designed more for ambiguity rather than opportunity. It’s about time we take back control of our office environment, opening it to a range of possibilities, maximising its effectiveness.

    In many cases you are not in control of the cold exterior of the impersonal buildings you work in. However, this does not need to stop you ‘advertising’ your business from the windows or the doorway as you enter your office. Lights and blinds seen from the street instantly signal to passers-by where your home is, putting you apart from the rest of the building. Even introducing other senses as you enter the office makes your business more memorable such as a specific material palette or creative signage. The trade or field that you work in should seep through the entirety of the office. Whether you design and create wrapping paper or work in software, the essence of your trade to should show to outsiders at well as reminding workers what they are working for.

    Another way of harnessing the potential of the office, is employing ABW (Activity Based Working). This can be a massive undertaking for a company as it spans from flexible working desks to yoga spaces. But when you are in a tight city office you might only need to incorporate key concepts to make your office have a more AWB approach. Allowing everyone to bring their personalities into the workspace is very important. This could simply be the employment of an empty wall for ideas inspiration or general personal updates that people wish to share. Sharing in each other’s accomplishments and ideas makes a more friendly office and a more cooperative workforce.

    From time to time, even when working in very small teams, everyone needs a breather and a quiet space to retreat to. It’s important incorporate a quiet corner or breakout space where everyone feels comfortable going to at various times of the day. In here you could introduce soft furnishing and warm colour palettes. Conversely, it is also important to have a communal lunch area where desk workers are forced to step back out of their workstations and away from their screens while they eat their lunch. It is recommended to have designated games in this area rather than a television screen ensuring that more communication and stimulating activity occurs in at lunch and eyes are given a rest from screens.

    At Buju architects we offer interior design and office refurbishments at all scales, give us a call or come in to discuss how we can optimise your office and add more play to your work day. Take a look at our previous projects for ideas and inspiration.