The state of in-office work is changing and it’s changing rapidly. The pandemic saw many employees shifting to remote work in the wake of office closures and lockdowns, but the tide is turning and employers are asking employees to make the return to office (RTO). Employers are increasingly meeting employees in the middle, with 30% of companies offering hybrid work models as of Q2 of 2023, up from 20% in Q1. And with the majority of employees still working from an office (59.1%), employees want their workspaces to be inviting and conducive to both collaboration and privacy. 

In the early to mid-2010s, it was all about open floorplans and wide, airy spaces for office design. But post-pandemic, employees are increasingly seeking higher walls and private spaces, and want more of a balance between collaborative and solo areas. According to Andy Cohen, Co-CEO and Global Co-Chair at Gensler, “What many companies don’t realize is that the office needs to give employees the space and resources for both collaborative and deep focus work, not one or the other.” It’s key for employers to design spaces that employees want to be in and return to, but for many that may be easier said than done. 

Let’s dive into our suggestions for how to build both team and solo spaces within an office, and which Fríant products can bring those design ideas to life. 

Options for Collaboration 

Open tabletops and easy reconfigurability 

Whether a team needs a quick huddle or an extended working session, they need a space that’ll make it easy for them to speak across the table, with enough room for laptops, notebooks, drinks, and more. Our solution? The Verity line. 

Verity is our benching system that’s perfect for open areas or meeting rooms and can be set up as either single-sided or double-sided as needed. It also provides easy access to power so teams aren’t scrambling to find an outlet to charge their laptops. And as teams grow and change, the configuration of Verity can easily change, as well. Need to attach more units and expand that workspace? Not a problem with this system. 

For the most ideal collaborative setups, try a double-sided configuration that enables teams to easily see each other to talk across tables, share ideas, and solve problems. 

Seating areas for a change in scenery 

Try setting up some cushy soft seating in open areas of the office. It’s nice to work somewhere other than a desk or table, and these living room-like corners can encourage great conversations that lead to great ideas. 

Pair our Aras and Petalstool seating with either our Raffe or Roke accent tables for the perfect blend of comfort, functionality, and style. The Aras comes in two sizes; the two-seater is especially nice for creating more ample seating that keeps people feeling connected, rather than simply gathering around a bunch of single chairs. Throw in our large Petalstool for some fun seating that people can share without feeling cramped, and one or two single-seater Arases or Falas for teammates who would prefer their own chair. Finally, add in some side tables or a larger coffee table from either the Raffe or Roke lines and you’ll have a great seating area teams will be fighting for (so maybe create one or two more). 

Options for Privacy 

What’s old is new again 

“Cubicle” became a bad word in office design for quite a while, synonymous with cramped boxes, drab colors, and sadness. But here at Fríant, we continue to get feedback that employees want their own space upon returning to the office, whether that’s a cubicle, a workspace shared with one other person with some partitioning, or even acoustic booths where they can take calls or do some quiet, focused work. 

We’ve got options. 

For partitioning, our Interra and Novo systems get the job done. With Interra, tiles can be switched out depending on your teams’ changing needs and preferences. Markerboard one day, windows the next. It’s also an incredibly versatile system that can be integrated with our Dash storage or overhead storage with pneumatic lifts. Similarly, the Novo can also be outfitted with overhead storage and has the option of segmented tiles that can be mixed and matched. Interra and Novo make it easy to build private workspaces for employees that also have the functionality they need to work with ease. And with different fabric choices available, you can add color and personality into these spaces. 

Minimize distractions, maximize productivity 

Whether it’s a private conversation or a case of writer’s block, sometimes your employees need a quiet, secluded space to work but don’t want to take up entire conference rooms for large groups that may need them. Our ReddiSpace acoustic booths can help. 

Available in four different sizes, ReddiSpace provides a quiet, comfortable, enclosed space with soundproofing that cuts distractions and helps employees focus. They’re powered, so employees can charge devices while they work, and the booths have casters that make them easy to roll around if you decide to change up the layout of the office. 

There’s a wide array of customizable features, from wall color to carpet color, from sofa fabric to tabletop finish and more, so you can add some character to your workplace. 

Get feedback from your organization before determining the best office structure for your workplace. Are employees wanting more private spaces over public areas or vice versa? Staying tuned into their preferences and needs will help you design a workspace they’ll look forward to coming into and will help them do their very best work. “If you want people to come in, the office has to be a place people want to go, not a place they feel obligated to go,” says Cohen. 

Be sure to explore all of our products on our site to find the pieces that will help you create an office that’s as stylish and welcoming as it is functional and efficient.

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