When picking up my girlfriend from the airport before Christmas, I used the waiting time to buy some magazines that are not (directly) related to my job profile – I chose something with a focus for design. In discussions with my girlfriend who is studying architecture, I figured out that design is much more than just making things look good but also to solve problem / offer solutions.
Quite often, the main goal of design is to hide complexity and make products / rooms / buildings look clean / simple / minimalistic. (Same goal as in most of the digitalization projects by the way)

Offices create / free energy!

When diving deeper into the topic, I recognized that a lot of design examples are actually offices. And there is a good reason for that: We spend a huge amount of our life working, most of us in offices, so it seems clear that people have an interest in nice offices where they feel well. (And Well-being for employees is kind of “en vogue” in business)

What also attracts attention is that especially the new cloud-native digital companies seem to shine in building new fancy offices and build references although they at the same time offer most flexibility for people to work remotely. It seems they even need to have more attractive offices so people meet physically and work together more closely.
Plus, they are of course as well in the middle of the “War for Talents” where fancy offices create a great attraction for the Generation Y.

New work & offices

When we see both an increasing number in open shared desk-offices and virtual skype meetings, how to create the possibility to work focused on a topic without being disturbed too much? When trying to achieve more communication across different teams, is it wise to have them sit in different buildings in single offices with closed doors ? Or would it be a good trigger to have common meeting areas / coffee corners where different teams just run into each other without the need of intentionally scheduling a meeting?

Examples

Check out the new office building that R/GA build, for example:
https://www.rga.com/about/workplace
They even created a whole documentary about it and say that it is important to have the right environment when you want to free the creative energy of your employees.

Shiny, white design space for RGA (source: rga.com)

Steelcase is a company that creates furniture for offices. Pretty straight you might say, chairs and desks , what’s so special about it? Well, Steelcase understands itself somehow like a consultancy for the cultural change that is coming along with the digital transformation. As we learned that offices are important to create the right environment for your work, what does furniture need to provide here? In its (very interesting) partnership with Microsoft, they also discover how to connect virtual Collaboration services in offices and furnitures.

Doesn’t really look like a traditional office, does it? ( source: steelcase.com )
Different working types reflected in different types of furniture (source: steelcase.com)

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