Back to the office, a need or an obligation?

In times of physical distancing, socializing has become even more essential.

2020 was an experimental year, changing all aspects of our lives.

It proved that, for many, working from home is possible. Remote employees have proven their commitment, being responsible and productive from their small home offices thanks to technological progress. Working hours are more flexible and enable us to spend more time with our families. So why do so many of us want to go back to the office?

People have an innate need to be part of a group and its collective identity. The desire to be together and socialize, to interact and share. And the offices are the physical space for the engagement to the corporative values and culture.

The labour market has reinvented itself and, in the near future, many companies will opt for a hybrid form of work, combining remote work and in-person office days.

Offices must no longer be conceived as large rooms with individual workstations. Traditional workspaces must evolve to become social and collaborative areas. In addition to being safe, these environments must be more humane, welcoming and promote well-being.

Without a doubt, the challenge will be to make employees “feel at home” when in office, in the sense of comfort, belonging and trust. For this reason, we must devise new workspaces that guarantee these needs and new collective feelings.

Their layout must be transformed into open, social areas mirroring the new organization model. Small and large meeting rooms, break-out and waiting areas take on greater importance.

The new demands in terms of furniture must include homey, warm and versatile pieces. Modular upholstered seating programs, sofas and armchairs together with acoustic accessories or textile room dividers, acquire even more presence in future projects.

Break-out areas.

Rest areas are designed to encourage informal meetings, so these should promote creativity and spontaneity, as well as offer comfort”. From these relaxed encounters great ideas can emerge.

The company Regus Cesarea boasts a dynamic, flexible office spaces with co-working areas. Neutral, soft shades have been chosen to create a modern, open workspace where contemporary, timeless office furniture is displayed like Tiptoe sofa together with Tonella lounge chairs and poufs that add extra seating. A project by Orly Dekter.

Regus Cesarea es un proyecto de Orly Dekter. Imagen de

Under the concept of ONE colour / ONE function, the design of these offices uses the grey colour as a chromatic unit to define an open, dynamic and creative workspace. The colour contrast is added through upholstered pieces and auxiliary furniture like Mini Tortuga lounge chairs or La Isla bench. A project by EN Studio.

The offices of this technology multinational not only transmit Akamai’s global values and identity, but also provide the privacy that employees need to carry out their work. The different spaces promote a sense of community and encourages collaboration thanks to the different spots distributed throughout the layout, where pieces like REW or Tortuga can be found. A project by Roy David Studio.

Akamai is a project by Roy David Architecture. Image by Itay Benit.

This large, open office in A Coruña creates a comfortable workspace with the aim of being inspiring. The central area is designed to be a relaxation area for meeting and gathering. The lounge chair Mini Tortuga and Magnum guest chairs are integrated into the space, adding a modern touch and a fresh colour palette. A project by Alejandra Quintans.

Project by Alejandra Quintans. Imagen de Wifre Meléndez.
Workshops areas.

Technology, communication or design companies also include small workshops for meetings in which to explore new concepts and ideas.

The Krion showroom (Porcelanosa Group) has included a work area that favours the interaction of the teams in an inspiring and creative space, which includes tools that facilitate the presentation of ideas and decision-making. Using calm, neutral hues makes it easier for the team to focus. The Magnum armchairs have been chosen for this work area. A project by estudi{H}ac.

Krion Showroom is a project by estudi{H}ac. Image by Alfonso Calza.

Large blackboards for technical meetings were installed in the Akamai offices, together Perigallo stools, whose vivid red and blue finishes add a playful contrast.

Akamai is a project by Roy David Architecture. Image by Itay Benit.
REW Room.

For small offices, upholstery rooms can be integrated as intimate areas which offer privacy for informal meetings or rest. The REW seating program has a wide modularity to create isolated seating aisles.

In the offices of this technology company, several REW compositions were interspersed between the workstations. The vibrant and pure colours of the upholstery add texture and a bright counterpoint to the sobriety of materials of the rest of the offices.

Proyecto de A2SM Architects. Imagen de Vaidotas Darulis.
Individual offices.

Private offices have also changed their conception, by including relaxed areas with sofas to hold conversations.

The private offices of Dynamic Yield incorporate Obi sofa, providing a comfortable seat to disconnect and relax. The sobriety of materials such as metal or concrete is combined with vibrant spots of colour such as pink, red or green.

Dynamic Yield es un proyecto de Roy David Architecture. Imagen de Itay Benit.
Co-working.

The co-working spaces are an alternative to the home office or working from the office.

IOS Offices Chalputepec is an open, sociable and very functional place to be enjoyed.

A bold combination of colours and textures for a coworking space as vibrant as it is elegant.

IOS Offices Chalputepec es un proyecto de Mayer Hasbani. Imagen de Gilda Mäyne

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