Does your office have informal spaces? Do you use the office for less formal meetings? Today we talk in this article about the growing importance of informal spaces in new offices.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated a change in the way we work, which had already evolved towards flexible and hybrid models. Although in recent months many companies have verified that it is possible to work from home, the real value of the office has also become evident, as the only setting that enables connection and interaction between people. Social interaction that cannot take place at home.

All companies prioritize the health and safety of their employees in their return to the workplace. It is clear. For their part, in addition, employees demand flexibility, with respect to when and where they work. Therefore, the office must be redesigned to allow work activity and social interaction that cannot take place at home.

We want to go back to the office to collaborate and share as a team

We want to go back to the office to collaborate and share as a team. For this reason, it is so important in terms of motivation and effectiveness to promote and facilitate the work flexibility of employees, as having all the tools, spaces and precise technologies so that people can really give the best of themselves in a flexible culture.

The offices also retain their corporate role, as a space for customer relations and a showcase for their brand and culture.

Informal spaces, an unstoppable trend

We will no longer go to the office to send e-mails or fill out forms, but to do collaborative and creative tasks and socialize, and that forces us to change the workspaces.

Among these collaborative spaces, informal spaces are gaining prominence, even more so than before the pandemic, when they were already a general trend in all sectors.

As people have become more mobile, workspaces have become increasingly diverse and informal.

Cafes, libraries, living areas or recreational spaces have replaced the traditional meeting rooms, with the aim of offering more comfortable spaces to their staff and at the same time promoting spontaneous collaboration and socialization.

One of the spaces that has changed its look the most are those of restoration. The canteens are committed to design, and some companies have created authentic restaurants, in which besides eating, employees may work at certain times in a more informal setting. For this reason, it is common to see company workers in these spaces times other than lunch or breakfast.

It could be said that we are living in a moment of transformation in offices, which are transitioning from formal to informal.

What are informal spaces?

When we speak of “informal spaces”, we refer to areas of the office in which the employee can both take a break and continue working, but in a more relaxed way, either individually or with other colleagues. This translates to areas with sofas, beanbags, restaurant tables, stools, or games, for example.

Informal spaces acquire greater prominence in the office and are integrated into operational areas.

Informal spaces are intended for use between 15 and 30 minutes and with no more than 5 people.

They are much more welcoming and fun design spaces, and these are important because the environment greatly influences our motivation and productivity in our daily work.

Are informal spaces productive?

This is the big question, and the answer is that they must be. In addition to having a nice and beautiful design, these informal spaces should also be productive. In this challenge, there are many points that must be addressed when putting them into practice. They must be equipped with the same services as a conventional workplace, mainly access to communications, energy, and technology, as well as having surfaces designed for working.

The decision about the furniture is always one of the most important. Not only because it determines part of the design, but also because it greatly influences the comfort and health of employees. For example, furniture programs that respond to a new flexible, connected and collaborative office environment, such as Ofita’s Meet up! (in the image).

oficinas en madrid meet up 2

Other spaces that are sweeping the office design are semi-private, soundproof cabins (such as Vetrospace), coworking areas, and spaces for innovation. All, with a common component that they share with informal spaces: their reason for being is to facilitate collaboration.