Workplace Trends #2: Working Outside the Box

People increasingly work in places other than their office or cubicle, even though in most offices today, workstations take up a vast majority of the square footage. Such under-utilization of space in the office is comparable to the cost of downtime at a manufacturing facility. In today’s top performing companies, workers spend more time collaborating and learning – gathering in meeting rooms, training rooms and team spaces, as well as lounges and cafes. Yet, many companies have not taken into consideration that dedicated workstations are being used less and less. The new reality is that people move around at work and are more productive when they do. Information gets passed along in brief, casual exchanges just as much as it does during formal meetings. The challenge for those charged with creating the office plan is to balance the need for dedicated spaces that support focused work with the need for immediate access to shared spaces for collaboration.

Below are examples of the “old equation at work” where the vast majority of an office’s space is taken up by regimented cubicles or workstations, compared to the “new equation” where space is utilized to fit the changing needs of the work environment.