07 - Apr - 2021
What Do Website Design & Office Design Have In Common?
When designing a Conforming Workplace, the goals are similar to designing your website. You want people to want to give them an experience that makes them want to stay longer and come back often.
As many organizations are putting their return-to-work plans in place, they are primarily considering a full return to the workplace, a hybrid model that allows employees to work remotely one or more days per week, or a fully remote model.
In our white paper, Because One Size Doesn’t Fit All, we introduced the concept of The Conforming Workplace as a solution for the post-pandemic workplace. The Conforming Workplace is an approach to creating a workplace that combines furniture, architectural products and technology solutions to allow the workplace to meet the needs of the workforce rather than forcing the workforce to fit the space available to them.
Numerous industry research studies indicate the majority of organizations are planning to implement a hybrid approach, implemented uniquely to their organization’s and employees’ needs and structures. It allows employees to work from home where they’ve indicated they are more efficient when focusing on their specific tasks. And it allows them to come into the workplace to work in teams where they are more successful in more collaborative responsibilities that involve strategy, creativity and innovation.
Pre-pandemic, offices tended to allocate a majority of their space to assigned individual workstations and offices with a smaller allocation of their footprint to shared and collaborative spaces.
The changing dynamics of the workplace will lead to varying numbers of people in the office at any given time and will shift the role of the office to one that is more geared towards the collaborative activities while still accommodating employees’ ability to work independently in between meetings.
This brings a new set of challenges to facilities managers as it relates to designing the workplace. Organizations will be looking to reinvigorate their cultures and instill new energy into their organizations upon the implementation of their return-to-work plans.
As with successful website design, it all starts with creating a user experience that balances the needs and wants of the website visitor with the objectives and strategic initiatives of the organization. Successful User Experience Design is founded in a deep understanding of the audience, what they want when they come to your website and delivers the information in an aesthetically pleasing design.
User Experience Design creates a website experience that makes it easy for site visitors to find the information they’re looking for, so the experience is one that makes them want to stay longer and come back often because they found the experience useful.
The Conforming Workplace draws on those same design objectives. Driven by the idea of delivering an experience to employees, customers and suppliers so they’ll want to stay longer and come back more often.
The user, those who use the space, are looking for a workplace that will enhance togetherness with their co-workers, provide them with space they can escape and restore their energy levels, a space that is furnished with products that will ergonomically support their work, create equity for a more diverse and inclusive workforce and workplace, and provide them the latitude to move about freely.
As a leading Knoll dealer in the United States, CI Select designs The Conforming Workplace by applying Knoll’s concepts of Dynamic Neighborhoods or Zones to deliver on the needs of the employees to collaborate, create, innovate and strategize with their peers.
This creates a holistic workplace experience that supports four distinct people-centric characteristics. *
Environments that have a sense of belonging, providing opportunities for people to facilitate conversation, join together to solve problems, share content, be social and enjoy the benefits of learning form one another.
Thoughtful settings that feed and restore people, away from hectic noise, with access to fresh air, near natural light, surrounded by nature and with products that ergonomically support their work.
Planning optimized to support a broad range of diversity and inclusion, creating a more respectful place built on empathy and fairness across a breadth of physical and virtual engagements.
Settings that offer ample space for individuals and teams to move freely through different interactions and activities over the course of time, and with furnishings that respond and adapt.
The execution of this comes together by creating six distinct Dynamic Neighborhoods and Zones. Each of the neighborhoods and zones serves a distinct purpose for the user experience. The following is a brief description of each of the six zones and the roles they play.
Spread out, rearrange and throw ideas against the wall while seamlessly transitioning from group work to individual and smaller team activities, all within the same highly flexible and comfortable neighborhood.
Begin with the end in mind by engaging in purposeful, goal-oriented activities in productive settings that can shift and evolve as projects progress and move through different phases of work.
Convene with visitors or teammates to share, socialize, build community and culture in living room-style settings that easily segue to a range of meeting experiences whether in person or across video with remote participants.
Check in for some deep work–be it a few hours, a day, a week or more–in a neighborhood that not only delivers shelter for productive focus work but also inspires a sense of belonging, serenity and flow.
Embrace the buzz. Leverage high-traffic spaces to bring people together in informal ways—supporting impromptu “bumping into each other” experiences. It’s a hospitality setting that nurtures a sense of belonging, whether you’re connecting with others or simply desire to work “alone, together.”
Come together for community building and connection. This free zone is centered on an open town square–style event space that allows people to exchange ideas, learn and get their social fix in a reconfigurable gathering area. When there’s no event, it’s another space to sit down and think.
Successful User Experience Design creates a website experience that draws people in, makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for and delivers an experience the user finds welcoming and beneficial. Designing The Conforming Workplace applies the same concepts and goals to the workplace by applying user-centered design principles and creating a workplace your employees, suppliers and customers will want to spend time.
Employees will find it easy to navigate and find just the right space for their work situation as they progress throughout their daily responsibilities. And, by delivering a workplace experience that makes your employees want to come to more often and stay longer, it will help your organization rekindle the culture and positive energy that fuels successful innovation and long-term vitality.
To find out more about how The Conforming Workplace can help you prepare your return to work, please contact Dan Tramelli at 314.686.6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Knoll, Inc. The Thriving Workplace, Crafting a New Narrative.
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