(Part 2 – Creating the Space)
Part one of our post “Bringing Home to the Office”, discussed the furniture used in ‘resimercial’ spaces. Of course, the furniture style and design is incredibly important but choosing the right pieces and using those pieces effectively can make all the difference when creating your functional, welcoming space.
When considering your overall plan and which furniture options will best suit your needs, take some time to think about who will be using the space, as well as how and when it will be used. Does the space need to accommodate multiple activities? Will the space need to change configuration from time to time? How can you use light to good advantage? Is there an opportunity to apply biophilic design elements? There are lots of things to consider but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just take some time, do some research and think about what you want to achieve. You could even ask your team to share their ideas – after all, this space is meant for them. Engaging a designer is always a good idea, and sometimes your furniture provider may be able to assist with space planning and consulting as well.
Resimercial spaces are meant to feel welcoming and homey. Details that aren’t typically seen in a commercial environment, such as framed mirrors, throw pillows, softer sofas, wood and other natural elements, really help to soften a space. Be mindful of durability however; although wood can look warm and pillows may look cozy, they may not look that way for long if they are placed in a high traffic area. If you add softer design elements, make sure the quality is right for the level of use you expect. Don’t be afraid to ask the experts for help with these choices. That’s what they are trained to do!
Resimercial space planning should provide some variety and options to move and change location in the place in which you work. At home, you may choose to work at your desk for a while, move to your sofa, and then maybe, tuck into a chair by a window for some quiet reading. Providing options for this type of choice and flexibility means that spaces need to be created thoughtfully, and remain mindful of the type of work taking place – try to incorporate the personality of both the organization and the individuals who work there.
Resimercial spaces also need to be flexible and ready to adjust to the changing needs of the workplace. In the short term, any furniture should be easy to reconfigure so that furniture placed for quiet contemplation can easily transition to allow for creative collaboration. Longer term, the furniture should be able to adapt to the changes we can be certain are coming as we continue to learn more about the new way of working.
So, is a resimercial space right for your office? Most offices are finding that at least some part of their workspace should be devoted to a comfortable home-like environment. Studies are showing that comfortable, calm spaces contribute to overall employee health and wellbeing; and providing opportunities for employees to have some control over their workspace can have a big impact on how an employee feels about their employer and ultimately their productivity and desire to stay with an organization. Thoughtful creation of a welcoming workspace is, more than ever, a valuable investment in your employees and your business. Bringing some of the warmth of home into your office, may be just what you need to smooth the bumpy road to the new way of working.