Home Offices: workspaces with home air
In recent years, work spaces have been transformed considerably in search of greater communication, relational horizontality and generation of synergies. In this sense, distributions have proliferated in open spaces, with reserved areas for interaction and exchange and isolated capsules only when privacy is imperative. Transparency is rewarded over the visual block as a necessary basis towards the concept of Home Office.
Recently, the brands themselves, together with the architects and interior designers responsible for building their spaces, are committed to projecting workspaces with the air of a home. It is easy to see a growing introduction of aspects more typical of the home, both in the distribution, the type of furniture, as well as in the materials and finishes.
If, with the opening of the work spaces, the aim was to promote teamwork, communication and creativity among different departments within the same company; With the introduction of the Home Office concept, a more friendly aesthetic impact is sought, both for the worker himself and for the clients. The design of professional furniture, whether offices or stores, has taken on this trend by adapting its products to an air more typical of living than of working. Well, apart from an aesthetic will, the improvement of working conditions ends up translating into a significant increase in productivity.
Goodbye cubicles … hello open and fluid distribution
The walls of the organization, essential once as a symbol of power and limit of the activity of the company, disappear today in the promotion of interconnected, collaborative work, with space for creativity and the exchange of ideas. If our ways of working change, so should the spaces where they develop, encouraging certain practices that improve the day to day of the companies.
A modular distribution of the space, allows this to be modified at the same pace as the workers. Modularity helps us achieve timeless distributive systems that are capable of adapting to different circumstances, even those that are still impossible to foresee. Our projects , whether in the residential area or in the professional field, tend to look for an optimal distributive that meets the client’s needs and the possibilities of space, but also can easily adapt to new circumstances that may arise.
In a complementary way, we feel totally part of the “home” trend that characterizes the current work spaces. We do not believe that it is a way for the worker not to feel the need to go home, nor that they should feel at home, because we are going to work. But having pleasant spaces is a determining factor in the productive capacity and in the public image of the company. The home creates trust, welcomes, protects, connects us with soft values, with the human and enriching dimension of all exchange in which the qualitative passes over the quantitative.
The objectives and the keys of the home office concept
- The office is cozy and presents the warmth of home, which encourages a more fluid and familiar way of working
- We use elements of natural materials such as wood, iron or stone, as well as fabrics that give textures and complexity to the whole.
- The lighting is designed to be able to face different lighting scenes according to the circumstances. The lamps or wall lamps look for an aesthetic impact, the predominant light is warm and with materials and a sustainable energy use.
- The distributive elements are pieces of furniture that keep the upper part open to facilitate greater visibility of the whole and a greater sense of space.
- The layout of the different work places facilitates the communication and the exchange of ideas among the workers, so that the spaces do not present blockages, both physically and luminously.
- Regardless of the activity, creativity is enhanced thanks to the possibilities of rest / recreation / leisure interspersed with work activity.
- The space itself works as a source of energy and motivation for the people who work there.
- The space is modulated and personalized around the activities by custom furniture, sliding doors and specific material such as blackboards, samples or screens.
- Contact is the norm, although there are specific spaces to be isolated for a greater concentration or because privacy is required.
A modular zoning for space to emerge with different utilities
A possible scheme of general zoning could be the following:
Workspace and concentration
A large station of workplaces in an open and open space, formed by large tables to work in community interspersed with other stations or separate smaller tables to choose how and where is the best way to work on each occasion. Thus, the perspective of the Home Office promotes the autonomy to adapt at every moment to the rhythm of the worker.
Informal Spontaneous Meetings
A high tables with stools, a small room with four seats around a coffee table, …. There are different formats that bring to the office the spaces where we meet in our homes.
Having a large room for meetings is essential. Although we trust in the benefits of transversality and contact, there are certain conversations or working conditions that require closed spaces, be it a job interview or discussing a sensitive or confidential topic.
It is advisable to have at least one cabin isolated, so as not to be disturbed or not to disturb. Video conferences or telephone calls lead us to raise our voice more than we should in a shared space or, specific works that require a high concentration make it highly advisable to have an isolated module. Modularity allows us to integrate the module, or even make it emerge when necessary. Being together does not have to be a problem, nor a fashion, but a willingness to work better.
Rest area: lying down, eating or coffee
As a room that is integrated into the office, the rest area is not an ‘exit from the cage’ but a continuation where the work remains or should be suspended. We recommend the distinction between an area where you cook and eat, a specific area of rest, where you lie down for a few minutes and eliminate the drowsiness that sometimes invades us when we should concentrate.
Recreation, socialization and leisure area
Sometimes it is not the drowsiness, but the need to disconnect a moment and clear the mind. It is in these moments that it makes sense to have a recreation area. Everything must have a sense adjusted to the use, and must not add elements by fashion or replicating trends without taking into account the idiosyncrasy of the company. It is highly recommended to involve the employees and future users in the definition of elements that can help them disconnect and create new links with people with whom you do not usually coincide through the game. Socialization is also a way of empowering collaborations that otherwise would never see the light. It is necessary to invest efforts also in what is not immediately productive, but it constitutes a solid basis for communication.
Previous study and understanding of the usual practices is fundamental to develop the concept of any space.
In this sense, the model proposed as Home Office is a return to the community dynamics of work spaces.
To finish we want to highlight three fundamental aspects that collaborate in the moment of projecting a Home Office.
It seems that little by little the idea of the importance of enlightenment in the state of mind, emotions or concentration begins to sink in. The whitish lights, which are common in most workspaces, are diversified into warmer shades, although the diversification and increase in lighting typologies and alternatives that we have today are even more remarkable.
So we recommend carrying out a light study taking into account natural light and its synergy with the artificial one. We must measure the amount of light (lux) in the general working space, which should receive as much natural light as possible, and be able to determine the adequacy of the different zones according to the type of light received.
Another fundamental aspect is the vegetation. Whenever space allows it, we advise you to introduce plants that offer color, organic appearance and beauty to the whole. In certain spaces, it is the vegetation that reinforces the idea of the Home Office to a greater extent.
Pay attention to the relationship, the movement, the transformation
Finally, and in a high level of abstraction, we believe that in order to get the most out of this type of space, we must slightly transform our way of thinking. If we focus on what is the same and therefore on the repetitive continuity of being, we turn to the set of relationships that constitute it, in its continuous transformation, in enhancing the difference.