Working zone constitutes the foundation of our efficiency. Therefore, more and more frequently traditional and boring solutions are rejected in offices and replaced by more democratized rooms stimulating creativity. It may seem that the era of noisy open space with a „box” assigned to each employee is slowly conceding for a mobile model of an office. Such model envisages that working places do not have to be composed of a desk and swivel chair. Zones for joint conversations, places for spending free time and separated places for people who need to concentrate or discuss an important issue (for instance on Skype) are created in big companies.
What is rented by companies as open space may be easily transformed into inspiring zone to which employees will come back every day with pleasure. How can we make such a measure? It does not seem an easy task. Indeed, if we do not have experience, it is worth working with a professional interior designer. However, if we decide to arrange our office independently, it is worth remembering about five fundamental principles which are the key to success. These are the following.
Choice of location as a part of establishing your image
The first step in order to create a friendly working zone is to choose a proper place for your office. It is worth remembering that its location should be adjusted to the company's profile. If we care about a quick establishment of business contacts, it is worth choosing an office with headquarters of companies with a similar profile. If a company functions in the creative industry, it is worth searching for a place where we may gain clients but also a place with more artistic atmosphere – thanks to it our brand will become recognizable as a one that belongs to a certain place. Open space is often located in revitalized postindustrial buildings, and thus the atmosphere is guaranteed by high windows typical for industrial architecture as well as walls with fragments of a raw brick or concrete. If we care about space with a more professional form, we should start looking for our headquarters in newly realized offices. However, it is worth remembering that the presence of natural lightning or view at trees, park or river do not only constitute about attractiveness of an office but they also contribute to better efficiency of employees and stimulate their creativity. The example of an office which stimulates grey matter is PIXERS office located on Wyspa Piasek in Wrocław in the neighborhood of a river, trees and historical churches.
Function over form, that is rational planning
After choosing your office, it is worth taking a minute for planning certain sections in open space: individual, group, relaxation or discussion zone. In spite of the fact that it is open space (and maybe that is the reason), it is necessary to „divide” it functionally and ergonomically. Employees working with a client should be on the opposite site of your office than, for instance, department of creativity or IT, all office equipment should be placed near administration department and a zone for talks and meetings should be separated from the rest of your office. The idea of a mobile office envisages that all functions are also mobile. The selection of proper furniture is an inseparable part of rational planning of such a space. However, it does not consist in desks and chairs, but mainly in big tables for joint work, comfortable puffs and functional wardrobes for keeping the whole documentation, projects, advertisement materials etc., which will perform a role of partition walls. Module furniture will be perfect in open space because they may be easily adjusted to individual needs and demounted in order to change their configuration.
Personalized arrangement = uniqueness
The uniqueness of the biggest companies in the world such as Google or Skype consists in application of personalized solutions. Grass on the floor, swing on the ceiling, slide instead of stairs – these are only some of many elements deciding on uniqueness of your office. However, we usually cannot afford such extravagances due to funds, technical conditions or construction limitations in a particular building. In such situations we may use decorations like personalized graphics on the wall in the form of a label or photograph wallpaper. Such solutions are becoming more and more popular in Poland, e.g. offices of such companies as Droids on Roids or Lokum which have already been PIXERSed. The graphics referring to the company’s business activity, profile and basic values is an economic and extremely effective way for personalization of your office.
Important: place for relaxation and leisure
While taking care about employees, we also take care about a good image of our company. Therefore, it is not worth saving space – it is worth sacrifice few meters for space where they could sit, eat, talk and know each other better. Such place may be divided by the use of soft and hairy puffs, on which one can relax after lunch. Moreover, it is worth taking care about an educational area with the newest industry magazines, books and board games or gadgets for exercising creativity, e.g. irreplaceable Rubik’s cube. Such area should be well-lightened by the natural light so that tired eyes could rest.
Touch of color and living plants – domestic atmosphere at the office
The separation of a functional zone in offices by the use of colors and designs is the easiest way for orientation in big open space. It is worth remembering about psychology of colors – each of them functions differently on the human mind, and thus it is advised to avoid a red color in a place intended for debates (provokes aggression) and choose green. It is not recommended to use grey in creative rooms (calms down and lulls). It is better, however, to paint walls e.g. vivid pink which stirs imagination. A good well-being of employees will be guaranteed by living plants which filtrate the air and make offices more comfortable. In open space, in turn, it is good to choose high trees and palms which are placed in big planters next to each other and perform a role of „hedges”.