What it means to think and work outside the box

What are the most important factors affecting future office design? Design firm Studio Banana sets out 13 influential ideas to design better work environments in its book

Work culture, in particular that of the knowledge economy, has undergone a massive transformation in recent years due to various factors, including digitalisation, globalisation and the diversification of the workforce. As a result of these significant shifts, the methods, tools and environments that support our evolving working styles are undergoing a detailed re-evaluation.

Design firm Studio Banana has set out the most influential ideas on office design that will affect workplaces in the years to come in a book entitled  Think Work Out of the Box. This is organised around 13 principles that have the power to make a substantially beneficial contribution to the production of future work environments.

Below, we highlight five of the key design ideas outlined in the book.

Brand culture

Brand culture and business spirit is an organisation’s core identity and, unlike a product or service, it cannot be duplicated. Workplace design is an efficient channel to make unique brand values stand out and be expressed in spatial terms, all while reinforcing the mission that a company stands for.

‘Workplace design is an efficient channel to make your unique brand values stand out and be expressed in spatial terms’

When carefully planning the spaces in which people work, reinforcing a firm’s identity and values, and optimising the engagement and performance of staff is crucial.

Organisational dynamics

Bespoke workplace design not only provides an optimal set of spatial working conditions, it also supports both the organisational dynamics specific to a business as well as a team’s agile working processes.

The productivity-focused lean configuration of a work environment, based on a detailed understanding of working methods and behaviours, should reflect and facilitate how information flows within a company and how different teams interact with each other.

To unleash the full potential of an organisation, it is important to begin with the creation of a responsive environment that adapts to internal work dynamics, not the other way around.

Holistic wellbeing

Holistic wellbeing is an approach to workplace design that considers the individual’s health as a whole by addressing the physical, mental and social dimensions of health.

From the most tangible measures such as adjustable seating and desks, good air quality or biophilic features like plants and natural light, to less evident dimensions such as a balanced diet, good quality sleep or community life, holistic wellbeing encompasses multiple touchpoints that extend beyond the traditional boundaries of the work environment.

Engagement and inspiration

Neuroscience has proven that companies that connect to their employees both professionally and emotionally are more likely to get the best out of them. It is about building connective intelligence within a community and through this, nourishing the right and left sides of a team members’ brains as well as everyone’s emotional IQ.

‘Companies that connect to their employees both professionally and emotionally are more likely to get the best out of them…’

Make a deliberate effort to provide an experience of maximum hospitality: the one and only place where everyone can feel truly at home

Responsive environments

Amassing quantified information, analysing it, articulating insights and drawing relevant conclusions is an art form, and smart technologies can help. Akin to a responsive living system, the sensory neurons of the workplace are multiple smart trackers that turn an office into a gigantic measuring device providing utilisation data in real time, giving you rich knowledge with which to act.

Read all 13 design principles outlined by Studio Banana in the book Think Work Out of the Box here.

Studio Banana is a content partner of WORKTECH Academy.
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