At a time when we have all been starved of social contact for 18 months, it is no surprise that many are keen to get back to the office in order to recapture some normality. However, what many did not anticipate is the demographic split of those wanting to return to the office and those preferring to stay at home.
Many elder workers, well-established in their industry and careers, are not keen to return to the office. Meanwhile, many younger workers are looking to return to the office, at least part-time, despite being typically more tech-oriented than their elder counterparts – and so better equipped for remote working.
The answer to this lies in the greater need of younger people to build and establish networks and communities of their own- communities that previous generations have already created and could rely on when working from home.
This trend, combined with the rise of hybrid working, creates a need in the workspace for environments that can enable true connections between team members, building the social capital so essential to long-term collaboration and teamwork.
Creating Community Spaces
However, these spaces very rarely happen by accident, especially in the office. They need to be created, bringing together all the elements necessary to building a community. According to psychologist David Canter, environment is comprised of 3 elements: activities, meaning, and physical attributes.
Not allowing for any one of these aspects will undermine the creation of a place where people want to be, which in turn negatively impacts the effectiveness of the space. To be a community space, it needs to be a comforting environment in which your people will feel (and be) safe and valued, which will, in turn, enable them to focus on collaboration, building the networks so essential to your long-term success, as well as yours.
Communities in the Workplace
A genuine community environment in your workspace should be a communal, comfortable space in which great work gets done. By creating a workspace in which your people feel a sense of purpose and belonging, you are simultaneously creating a culture of community whilst enabling productivity. This space houses the wide variety of environments needed for your people to carry out their complex tasks while catering to the needs of different roles and personalities.
Just as in cities, towns, and villages all over the world, true communities are created by the people who use a common space, not by designers. A community space is built around the needs of its users and adapts to their changing requirements, rather than trying to force-fit them into an environment that is not as effective as it can be. Only then will your people realise the power of the community that they have created, and its potential to create amazing outcomes for your business.
Creating Communities Through Furniture
The exchange of knowledge and collaboration happens naturally in a community space. As an environment where everyone shares their challenges, solutions, and expertise, it becomes a creative hub of collaboration. This synergy leads to an incredibly powerful competitive advantage. A cutting-edge workspace is full of spaces that foster communities, not only giving your people a place to work, but transforming the way they work.
As the element of your space that your people interact with the most often, furniture has an integral role in enabling and empowering communities within your workspace. Through collaborative furniture, you can create spaces that encourage people to network and innovate, creating effective communities that drive your business forward.
Not sure where to start? Book a call with one of our workspace experts today, to help you understand how you can foster amazing communities within your own workspace.