How office design has changed to adapt to our new needs
As office becomes more than a simple space where to work, the same office design has to adapt to this development.
Offices are now much more than places where people work and the same concept of being at work has changed over the past few years. The main shift is due to technology which is now indispensable. As a consequence, new thoughts in furniture, spatial and workflow design have been made: technology has not to be distracting and at the same time a workspace has to be comfortable and healthy, helping this way productivity.
Nowadays work is something you do, no matter where you do it. There is no more demarcation between the different areas of an office, there are hybrid spaces and open workspaces which foster collaboration and sense of community. The same hallways, seen before as an area of transit among spaces, are now a way of connection; on the other hand, the reduction of personal offices and assigned desks foster information exchange and work relationships. Seen before as a luxury, privacy is now on-demand. Similarly, tailored areas are now preferred to classical big meeting rooms, specialized spaces focused on answering a specific need so that a team can reunite and do the job with the best working conditions and all the technology they need for that task. Recreational areas, once peripheral, are now seen as central squares with cosy sofas and armchairs with a range of services to engage and connect people.
In this scenario, it’s clear that the layout of a space should include collaborative and collective zones as well as private ones, that employees can select based on their needs. An easy solution can be presented by modular marble and natural stone partitions which have the versatility to provide the necessary privacy without taking away communication and collaboration between people, such as our “Muri di Pietra” and “Diaframmi” collections.
The emerging concept of comfort, well-being is linked to the notion of inspiring a sense of not feeling like you’re at work, contributing to productivity. As offices are places where people spend the most of their daily time they should privilege the wellness and well-being of employees.
The use of natural materials in an office such as through marble feature walls helps insulate environments, thanks to their sound-absorbing properties: this promotes the dissipation of a larger quantity of sound energy, guaranteeing high acoustic quality. Natural stone claddings in workspaces improve to uniform internal heat conditions and therefore provide comfort to workers. They can also ensure space healthiness by providing a good indoor air quality, enhancing the psycho-physical well-being and productivity of the people who work inside. With good thermal properties, stone cladding contributes to the energy efficiency of a space as it helps to optimise the amount of energy used for heating and cooling.
Nature is good for people, it is an antidote to stress. An office design should therefore not lack the presence of plants and vegetation, even inside, having a relaxing and regenerative effect on workers, boosting their productivity. And if it’s not vegetation what about choosing luxury wall coverings evoking tropical rainforests, such us our “tropico” or “palma” models?
Natural stone helps fulfil the requirements for the design of an office both from a thermal and acoustic point of view and in terms of safety while facilitating maintenance in the long term. In this way it’s possible to achieve a result that is welcoming and functional at the same time and therefore to guarantee an ideal setting for maximum productivity.
Our feature walls and floors for interior stone design offer a unique and elegant solution for giving character to all spaces and are entirely made of natural stone and marble that have low maintenance requirements and preserve their beauty over time, hence making them suitable also for large spaces such as offices and workspaces.
Among the pictures: a project by Marmi Rossi & Silvia Bettini, Andrew Loader Design Commercial Interior Fit-out, EDDA Architecture, Viktor Udzenija Architecture + Design, Stone Group, Toner Architects