Fun workspace features like slides and outlandishly creative office design schemes get a lot of attention, but ultimately, the individual workspaces where employees carry out most of their daily tasks are more germane to both happiness and productivity. Should they be private, or prioritize openness and collaboration? Should they be serious, or a little quirky and fun? These 12 modern workspaces show how various companies and designers have answered those questions, and most of the time, the solutions are somewhere in between – with a heavy emphasis on adaptability and choice.
Treehouse 2 by Dymitr Malcew
Contained within your own little acoustically insulated pod, you could stretch out and get comfortable, have a phone conversation, huddle together with another employee, wheel yourself into a private corner of the office or come together with multiple other units to form a little ‘village.’ The ‘Treehouse’ and ‘Treehouse 2’ structures by architect Dymitr Malcew are somewhere in between architecture and furniture, finding middle ground between fully enclosed offices and the kind of open-plan spaces that workers tend to find distracting and uncomfortable.
Snaking Interactive Desk by Teamlab for Pixiv
A single desk snakes around a vividly colored office space for a full 820 feet, providing all sorts of nooks and crannies for workers to choose from. Designed by Teamlab for Pixiv, a Japanese online community for artists, the wooden table is a single continuous loop with a ‘bridge’ you walk under to get inside. Cutouts in the surface make way for cables and chargers as well as a few semi-enclosed working areas.
Zones by Pearsonlloyd
From intensive individual work sessions to collaborations to meetings to phone calls, an office should have a variety of ‘zones’ offering comfortable spaces for various functions. The ‘Zones’ collection by London-based designers PearsonLloyd, created for Teknion, takes all of these needs into account.
“Zones includes a variety of furniture components that can be combined with other to create an all-inclusive office furniture solution,” say the designers. “The collection is shaped around the idea of Informal Productivity – an alternative to the traditional office, designed to give users choice and to create work environments that encourage collaborative and private settings… the emotional, humanistic aspect is fundamental to Zones as the collection supports modern office tasks in a manner that recognizes the human craving for familiarity, warmth, comfort and empowerment.”
Suspended Workspace by Studio Frank Havermans
It may look like a carnival ride, but this hovering contraption by Studio Frank Havermans is actually a desk designed for the head office at Akzonobel, a paint and coating company in Amsterdam. The designers took the color scheme from the new McLaren F1 car MCL33. It’s unclear whether the desk, which was created as part of an exhibition called ‘Common Ground,’ will be in regular use by people in the office, but it’s probably a lot more fun than the average workspace in the building.