IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 13
7. FOSTER socialization and friendship
Design practitioners are tasked with creating
spaces that foster community and engagement:
bar-like gathering areas, cafeterias with a coffeehouse vibe, group fitness spaces, while opportunities to socialize are important for other reasons.
14. CREATE opportunities for healthy sustenance
Participants noted the need to design pantries
so clients have adequate space for storing for fruit
and nuts, preparing lunch, and making sure
microwaves/ovens/toasters are located places
where smells won't emanate.
8. EMBRACE variability and the bespoke experience
2015 is anticipated to be the year of the curated,
customized, bespoke experience-"created just
for you, at whatever moment in time you're in,"
said Durst. Employees want a work space carefully
tailored to their particular tasks and work preferences, or an opportunity to choose from a variety
of work areas throughout the day.
15. REMEMBER that every new design solution
invites new problems
Sit/stand desks have created their own design
issues: often a sitter adjacent to a stander feels
visually violated and "looked down on."
Additionally, the increase of daylight and views
and glass offices have raised concerns about
privacy and security.
9. OFFER just a few options - not unlimited choices
Participants warned that offering too much
"bespoke experience" can actually lead to more
dissatisfaction, especially when it comes to
10. INCORPORATE space to focus
Continuous distraction and interruption-
from technology, work culture, or poorly conceived
open offices-has spawned a crisis of focus.
The IIDA happiness survey conducted last year
reported that 80 percent of respondents said
"constant interruption" was what they would most
like to change about their workplace. Offer enough
enclosed rooms for employee use, and choose
materials and features that dampen sound and
allow opportunities to screen distracting views.
11. SUPPORT a workforce on the move
Design spaces that encourage people to move
around: standing-height desks, lengthy amenitypacked corridors, internal stairwells, and a variety
of work areas, promoting physical activity
Accommodate non-traditional seating requests,
incorporating on-site workout facilities, provide
walking routes within and around the building
including those adjacent to windows, and group
break-out spaces into centralized support zones
to encourage movement and interaction.
12. RETHINK ergonomics for an active office
Ergonomics takes on a whole new meaning in the
flexible work environment, needing to accommodate workers who want to be constantly moving.
16. OVERSEE on-boarding
The design process needs to include time for
on-boarding, and ensuring that clients and their
teams understand what the space offers and how
to use it. Clients are not always willing to budget
for this penultimate phase, which needs to be
rectified-participants mentioned data is key here.
17. COMMIT to post-occupancy evaluation
Post-occupancy evaluation is another key piece
of the puzzle, a way to ensure that users have
settled in, and a means to identify any aspects
of the design that should be modified or finessed.
As with change management, post-occupancy
evaluations can be a hard sell, an option many
clients won't pay for. But do designers have an
obligation-or at least an incentive-to provide
both services anyway? Might designers need
to stop thinking of these integral phases-which
can both measure and safeguard outcomes-
as optional? It could be argued that it is for
the betterment of our entire industry.
18. ENCOURAGE the client to take ownership
Still, even when change management and postoccupancy evaluations are included within
the scope of the project, there is only so much the
designer can do to control the outcome in the long
term: the client has to take ownership of the design.
Armed with data about how to uphold well-being-
and, therefore, productivity and profitability-
clients would have ample incentive to ensure the
best design is properly implemented and upheld.
13. ENABLE borderlessness
Advancements in teleconferencing and telecommuting are supporting free-range work habits.
But there is a difference between enabling borderlessness and designing offices that practically force
people to accomplish certain tasks at home.
Borderlessness also entails being able to work
anywhere within the office, abetted by Wi-Fi,
portable gadgets, and EV charging stations.