Will the “Next Office” Need Privacy Panels?
Steelcase is well known for publishing lengthy articles about upcoming trends in office space design. These are some of our favorite resources to share with readers because each one is chock full of interesting ideas for discussion. For example, here’s one from issue #63 of 360 Research about what company executives are noticing and changing about their workplace layout. The office building itself is an often overlooked resource that organizations are learning to tap to bring out the best in their human capital.
This particular article focuses on agility and collaboration – two topics that are linked (in the minds of many businesses) to the open office space without panels. However, we see quite a few opportunities in the new “spacial concepts” touted by Keane for the inclusion of desktop mounted privacy panels or even panel extenders for traditional cubicles. Here are the top 3 based on quotes from the article:
“Running a successful business requires teamwork and frequent collaboration, but rare is the office that can ably host even a two-person meeting.” If you need small, enclosed spaces for two or three people to meet and discuss a project, the simplest answer is a freestanding pod with high walls. It’s cheaper than a built-in conference room and can easily be repurposed for other work when it’s not being used for collaboration.
“Using a strategy we call ‘Best Place”, we created a great range of flexible workspaces to meet changing needs. You have the freedom to move, to collaborate, to put your head down and focus.” Employees may feel cooped up in a cubicle or too exposed at a desk depending on the time of day or what mood they woke up in that morning. Having a range of different workstation types to choose from can help deliver just the right environment for every day of work. Our panel extenders come in a variety of heights and lengths to create a varied landscape to support all types of activities and attitudes.
“You have to give users more options, more control over their space, and be ready to change any space, even the spaces you love the most.” Oh, yes, we’re familiar with the need to change. That’s why we created the panels in the first place. Employers need an option for adjusting wall heights without tearing down and rebuilding workstations. With our panel products, any workstation can be upgraded in a few minutes using just an Allen wrench.