Rohit Mohan, Head- Design & Development, EmaarMGF
Corporate space has always assumed as the place and the environment where people work, research, lineup collectively and file information. Its design depends on the function of the corporate along with its working schedule and timings. Therefore, it is imperative that the workplace environment should be planned, design and equipped as carefully as possible to maximize the efficiency of the workforce.
Spaces could be enclosed by walls or partitions or could be unrestrained. For example, open layout idea with small panel heights create an environment that focuses on openness, teamwork, visibility and communication. Offices with higher panel heights provide workers with plenty of privacy. Many offices have a combination of both types of spaces depending on the type of work being accomplished. Other offices opt for a mid-panel height to create an open experience while still providing employees with their own sense of space.
There are several space parameters which needs to be considered while designing an corporate space like-
Flexible Space- In today’s scenario emphasis is clearly on being lean and flexible. More companies are knocking down walls and cubicles to generate more open space. Flexibility is a significant aspect, which is achieved when there is intelligence behind the design process. The furniture should be able to serve more than one purpose.
Comfortable Places for Employees to Socialize and Relax- Cafes, pantries and other areas where people naturally assemble are popular spaces. Some corporate offer more elaborate facilities, such as fitness rooms, gym and wellness rooms for everyone from nursing mothers to employees who don't feel well. Creating spaces that permit employees to socialize and get some exercise or rest is important to create a sense of stability and healthy.
Make the Space as Green as possible- Thinking in terms of sustainability is becoming the norm in corporate design these days. Designing with sustainability concept, from mechanical and electric to lighting to recycled, renewable and reused materials is in trend.
Based on such parameters, major trends which dominate the workplace and are shaping the planning and design of tomorrow’s corporate are-
Fetch Nature inside the Building- Exposed concrete flooring which includes natural flora pattern in fabrics and artwork are becoming more famous, along with plant life itself in the form of living walls. Abundance of natural lighting, a beautiful landscape, and even a potted plant may give an employee an overall satisfaction and increase his work efficiency. Many organizations have embraced this idea by initiating the use of massive green walls and other environmentally revitalizing corporate trends to their designs.
Multipurpose Workspaces- Cubicles have been displaced by non-assigned seating. A multipurpose space can be utilized for everything from multimedia presentations to informal breakout spaces. We see more organic shape corporate desks, which allow more convenient place for 4-6 people to gather, as well as a move toward height adjustable tables for standing meetings.
The End of Permanent Layouts- There is a shift toward creating spaces that are the antithesis of rigid workstations. Flexibility is something all design experts are considering as an emerging trend which is replacing the conventional corporate spaces use to be planned with permanent layouts.
Color and Textures- There are numerous studies that illustrate color boosts happiness, efficiency and creativity. These days many offices incorporating popular colors in unpredicted ways. Products with rich material vocabulary provide designers with the opportunity to be unique and bold by using color and texture which generates a vivid, stirring and personalized work environment.
Millennial- This ambitious, tech-savvy, innovative cohort has remarkably different working styles and preferences than other generations. Millennial may be more productive sitting in cafes or lounge areas than in conventional workstations. High-tech companies have started to amplify this trend. Employees are more productive when given a variety of places to work.
Integration of Technology in Communication Areas- Specialized integration of new visualization and multimedia technologies into conference rooms is fetching ever more importance. Video conferencing is rapidly gaining in popularity. This necessitates the provision of appropriate space way out which facilitate high-quality net meetings.
Collaborative Workspaces- Casual lounge areas are in trend to permit for more spontaneous conversations and brainstorming between employees of various departments. Open workspaces help to create a broader sense of community and are simple means to endorse innovation. Collaborative space can take many shapes. Shifting from “my” space to “our” space restrain private corporate and eradicate high workstation panels.
Fostering Company Culture- Corporate design should reflect the culture of the company with a strong sense of characteristics amongst employees. Highlighting successful products and accomplishments all over the workplace can inspire a sense of confidence and promote team members to persist the good work.
Looking forward, it is appropriate that the next generation of corporate buildings will be diverse from those of the past. The conventional corporate building is deceased and more flexible, lively, hi-tech, amenity-rich corporate building is in demand. The challenge is to generate and activate work environment that motivate innovation, functionality, efficiency and effectiveness to facilitate employees to be successful and assist company to attain better outcome.