We’ve arrived at the middle ground, in which companies are abandoning hot desking but not returning to closed-door offices. Where exactly does that leave us?
“It’s quite easy to point to the limitations of both ends of the spectrum,” Huxol says. “This friction between what the open office means for our clients’ corporate culture or brand ethos, and designing truly productive work environments has motivated our work in this sector”.
Think of it as the new era of super-customisation. For the office Bluecore, an email marketing startup in New York City, HuxHux and decorating firm Homepolish not only created meeting rooms of varying sizes, but also listened to the company’s individual story and the needs for employees within it to create some unorthodox arrangements.
“One employee we talked to said, ‘I’m most creative when I’m in my bed with my laptop,’ so I thought, ‘let’s make that happen,’ “Huxol says. He carved out a tiny nook high above the company’s grand entranceway, and lined it with glass. The little eagle’s nest is the perfect size for a few pillows and an informal meeting. And it has the best view in the office.
Another consideration when laying out the space was that Bluecore has an in-office custom of halting work every day so everyone can eat lunch together. That worked without a hitch when it was a few folks working out of an apartment, but when the head count approached 40, it seemed impossible to sustain.
HuxHux came up with a solution. It brought in a massive table for the café that seat 38 people. Now the team can continue the tradition from its early days. Our personal favourite was the YouNow office design. Those colleagues certainly have it lucky!
Is this a trend toward the end of trends? It’s certainly encouraging to see designers and architects embrace the individual narratives of the companies for whom they are creating the next generation of workplaces. For now, at least, customisation seems like it is king.