Work isn’t one-size-fits-all anymore. Yet all too many offices try to cram the diverse types of work done by today’s companies into the same old desk/conference room/kitchen combination that our grandparents suffered through. It barely worked then, and it certainly doesn’t anymore.

Today, we’re going to hitch a ride with Vanessa, a Project Manager for Acme Labs. Throughout her day, Vanessa is engaged in a variety of different types of work, each of which requires a specific work environment to support it. Some of her work involves collaborating with her colleagues and clients, while other parts of Vanessa’s day involve working on her own. At each stop, we’ll see how the right office workspace design helps Vanessa and her team get the job done.

Oh, look! Vanessa has just arrived at the office. Let’s tag along.

Glass-walled offices for heads-down work a RE/MAX Results in Loring Park

The glass-walled office gives employees a place for heads-down work at the Loring Park office of RE/MAX Results.

8:15 a.m. — Heads Down

Vanessa is a morning person, so she wants to get the hardest work done first thing. She starts her day working on a new project plan for Acme’s big new product initiative. This is heads-down work, and Vanessa needs quiet to give it her full attention. The glass-walled den gives Vanessa the seclusion she needs while providing enough light to keep her stimulated. There’s even a sitting area for those times when colleagues need to join her.

Open workstations within the eHome offices

Open workstations within the eHome offices gives employees the personal space they need while remaining open for impromptu conversations.

10:20 a.m. — Quick Conversation

Next, Vanessa is off to her team meeting, but on the way, she passes through the main workfloor and stops by Lamar’s desk. They have a brief conversation about his budget projections for the new product. Lamar’s workstation provides enough of a barrier to help keep him from getting distracted by other people in the room, but is open enough to allow for conversation with coworkers like Vanessa. There’s even a bench for her to pull up and look at Lamar’s numbers.

A specially designed team workroom at Tricam Industries is perfect for project updates.

A specially-designed team workroom at Tricam Industries is perfect for project updates.

10:30 a.m. — Project Meeting

At 10:30, Vanessa arrives at her team meeting for the Peterson project. Jacquel, the project manager from Peterson is calling in to get a status update with Vanessa and her three-person team. The meeting room includes enough space for this small group, along with the video conferencing technology and whiteboard the team needs for collaboration.

Large meeting space at PowerObjects' North Loop offices

A larger meeting room with collaboration tools gives teams at PowerObjects the opportunity for extended collaboration.

1:15 a.m. — Extended Collaboration

After lunch, Vanessa meets with the product development team to flesh-out the new feature request on the Excelsior product line. The lab features space for more people to spread out and work on long-term projects together. This can include a combination of collaboration and individual work. Today, the team is brainstorming how the new feature will work and documenting the specs for full development. The product engineers can continue to work in the space together even after Vanessa has gone to her next meeting.

A larger presentation room at Houston Engineering

A larger presentation room at Houston Engineering ensures all employees can take part in trainings and staff meetings.

3:30 a.m. — Presentation

In the afternoon, Vanessa attends a presentation from the HR team to learn about Acme’s new professional development program. The presentation room is designed for “show-and-tell” sessions to large groups. It has a lectern and screen up front, classroom-style seating, and even stadium risers to ensure everyone has a seat.

A lounge area at the Minnesota Board of Cosmetology offices gives staff a space to escape from their desks.

A lounge area at the Minnesota Board of Cosmetology offices gives staff a space to escape from their desks.

5:00 a.m. — Lounge

Vanessa winds down her day by catching up on email in the office lounge. But this is not the cramped employee breakroom of yore. Instead, it’s a “resimercial” space. That is, it brings the comforts of home life into the office. This one features couches, comfortable chairs, high-top tables, and booths. These give Vanessa and her colleagues an informal space to work, while encouraging impromptu conversation. The lounge is a great change of pace for employees who can otherwise feel trapped at their desks.

Conclusion

If you’re anything like Vanessa, your work requires switching between several different types of activity and ways of thinking. As Minneapolis office designers, we believe the kind of space in which you do that work can have a dramatic impact on its success. Does your office have the kinds of workspaces you need to perform at your best? If not, contact PlanForce today to transform your office design and give your team the spaces they need to thrive.

Brock Ray, Director of Marketing
Brock Ray
Director of Marketing & Brand

Equipped with a designer’s eye, a storyteller’s soul, and a marketer’s targeted goal-setting, Brock works with clients to help develop integrated branding, graphic design, and digital marketing solutions — creating property marketing and space branding solutions to tell their stories and reflect their values.

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