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Common Areas- Opportunities for Quick Collaborations

Designers are successfully promoting agile unique spaces as solutions to promote creativity and productivity.

Common Areas- Opportunities for Quick Collaborations

Designers are successfully promoting agile unique spaces as solutions to promote creativity and productivity. What used to just a “between space” is now trending into common areas, not just for co-workers, but for potential clients, short meetings, and social breaks.

With all the changes in sustainability and technology in the years before, designing for people was pushed aside. Now that the focus is back to maximizing potential, performance and productivity, designers plan to help employees come up with their next great idea. Here are a few ways they are having success with this:

Connecting employee paths in the workplace

WVU Medicine Commons Area connecting work paths
Designers have become more specific thinking about chance opportunities for employees to incidentally meet while passing through workspaces. They think about the placement of anything that is communal, such as the placement of coffeepots and snack machines. Chance opportunities, like meeting on the stairs, may lead to conversation that, in turn, could lead to solutions to challenges in the work place.

Creating a unique welcoming common area that includes a semi-private nook

WVU Medicine adding semi-private nooks into the common area
The common area is intentionally placed and accessible to guests and all employees to increase the best-case scenario of brilliant conversation that directly results in innovative solutions. Semi-private nooks allow for the quick conversation to continue, resulting in an unplanned meeting that may result in solution.

Including conference rooms in the common area

WVU Medicine adding glass to divide offices and conference rooms
With the popularity of open floor plans, designers are confronted with its appeal but its partial lack of certain functionalities. One of these is the fact that sometimes we need to meet and not hear everything around us. Along comes glass. Glass walls are not only sound proof, but they also have the ability to keep every body’s mind awake in the middle of a busy day.

Including agile work areas that include adjustable desks and tables

WVU Medicine adding agile workspaces
To break away from traditional trends that lead to poor health, bad backs and carpal tunnel, designers are trending toward stand-up workspaces and lounge areas that include side tables. These areas allow the employee to move around during the course of his/her workday. Long ago there was the traditional office. Now, the trend is moving. The new employee is no longer required to sit all day and has the freedom to work while being mobile.

Employees naturally gravitate toward these spaces for the change-of-pace work environment. Well-designed common areas now belong to many successful companies and have been proven to stimulate creativity, encourage collaboration, and increase client potential. These activity-based settings not only provide employees with the appropriate spaces to be successful, but also motivate them to be more productive.

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