A box full of Lego's scattered in the playroom can mean a couple of things: one - who is going to clean this up? or two – what can I make out of this? Building and re-configuring these classic building block toys gives us many ways to create something and we are only limited by our imagination. Like your work place, we see freestanding furniture like sofas and tables as blocks which we can reconfigure to make room for spaces as the need arises.
Why do we need flexible spaces?
Creating spaces give us an opportunity to personalize it the way it would help us carry on with our tasks. Open and flexible spaces support creativity and experimentation. It shows that development of ideas, growth and change is constant and pushing for creative ideas thrive in the space. Spaces that are re-configurable and flexible reflect growth and change which is ironically constant, especially in business. Seeing change and transformations in the workplace reflects the many activities that happen there, and how space is used as a tool to help the team to work together more effectively and build a community.
So, how can we create a spaces when we already built our workplace?
Here are some things you can use to create space in your workplace. Some of them you probably already have in your office,and some are inexpensive and just require minor assembly, installation and imagination.
1. Whiteboard sliders
Hang whiteboard sliders from the ceiling were you can slide them to form boundaries. Not only does it creates instant space, it also captures and stores your ideas and illustrations. Make sure to check the weight of the marker board against the weight that your ceiling or wall track can hold before installing.
An inexpensive way to create boundaries are curtains. Opening and closing curtains instantly blocks off a space. It also lends a comfortable ambiance to the space, reminiscent of someone's home. Fabrics like sheers give transparency while defining a temporary space.
3. Movable and mobile furniture
Seats and lounge sofas on casters are easily transported to different spaces and transform it into a group space. When mobile table and screens are added, a collaborative space is created.
Ottomans and cubes are additional seating found at workstations or open lounge areas. But when put together and arranged in a circular form, it encourages participation and interaction. The Buoy by turnstone is a great example of an ergonomic, mobile ottoman that can be customized for you.
5. Freestanding Screens
Screens create temporary boundaries, define a space and bring privacy to your team or personal space. Using marker board surfaces make areas multi-functional, while a semi-transparent screen creates a visual connection with the rest of the office.
Small changes in the workplace can make a difference on how we work and communicate effectively. When in doubt, test it and see if it works for what you are trying to do. Change is constant, we just need to adapt and keep up with it.