Closed office spaces are traditional workspaces, with functions allotted to each space, for instance, a dedicated space for every team, every department, each employee is provided with a designated desk mainly known as a cubicle, a combination of enclosed and semi-open spaces, with a waiting area and open reception area. The open workspaces merge within each other, they mainly are defined by the placement of furniture and partitions if required. The partitions are kept as spatial as possible, allowing a visual and spatiality within the space.
The open office spaces usually are housed in a larger area, subdivided by partitions and spaces defined by furniture, a concept of flexibility also comes to play, where space can be shifted or arranged as required. Closed workspaces are disciplined and programmatically have a pantry. But the open workspaces have the freedom to work at multiple spaces, with spaces like a cafeteria, library, gym, hammocks, theatres, etc. giving the employees a break during long work hours.
MCI headquarters is an example of a hybrid, a closed office space with strict and disciplined working environments have partitions horizontally placed providing every employee privacy, and avoiding distractions during working hours. Tag boards, partition at eye level, forming individual workstations, bringing a sense of order and authority amongst the employees. This project has individual cubicles, as well as spaces that encourage group interaction and discussions.
To initiate interactions, introspection, and discussions a cafeteria, gym and amphitheater are also housed in the headquarters at the ground level, the segregation is such that the workspaces and workstations are kept on the above floor.
Moda headquarters of the Paris Bar association by Renzo Piano. A project on workspaces for lawyers who are mainly known for their individuality and professionalism is a perfect corporate workspace, divided at multiple levels with auditorium, board rooms, bar President’s cabin, library, offices, and workstations for lawyers. In this office arrangement, a hierarchy and authority govern the entire management, making it necessary to follow a disciplined seating formation. This office space design promotes professionalism within the lawyers. The boards’ rooms, auditorium, and library are the spaces for discussions and interactions bringing order and formality in the project.
Open Plan workspaces are spaces designed for employees not only to work but also to enjoy the work environment. These workspaces create chance encounters and initiate interaction between the employees across the departments and teams. This sensitive work environment helps by pushing the employee to its maximum potential, keeping them at ease.
Buy me a coffee office space, a work-friendly office with partitions in glass, frames, planters, etc. help in keeping the floor space open and visually accessible. The layout is such that one can sit and work as per mood, with a sense of relaxation, group discussions, and meetings happening seating over a couch sipping a cup of coffee instead of seating in a boardroom. The workstations are even placed at the height of a bar counter, allowing view and comfortable working. A resting room with twin beds also was provided for small naps, during the work hours.
MW Arch Studios’ workspace is a blend of nature and works together, aiming to bring peace and tranquillity within the designers. As transparency plays an important role in making this workspace connected to nature. Workstations are kept transparent, made up of glass which reflects the greenery outside into the eyes of the designers. Trees are placed in the front and the courtyard, with workspaces between them, this connects both the gardens and keeps one refreshing throughout the day. Activities like a spa, bath, and library were provided for relaxation.
The cubicle system is quite strict, possibilities of interaction with someone from a different department or team gets almost ruled out. The only break they get is lunchtime, where some go out to fetch, few sit in the pantry, while others consume on their desks, such a stressful environment suffers in the production of the work. But, these workspaces keep the employees encouraged to work happily. As they are considered human and are allowed to have breaks, change their workstations, one day they can work at the desk and on the next they can sit on a couch and work. Such comfort and freedom encourage them to work better, where they’ll be more concentrated, as they’re not worried about the ergonomics much.
Addressing the comfort of the employees is a must as they spend no less than 9 hours at the workplace each day. A small break, some space, and time for relaxation are necessary for their well-being, a comfortable working environment thus increases productivity. Open offices are spacious and allow easy movement of light and air ventilation, and with other functions coming up together, increasing interaction and creating a friendly atmosphere.