A major part of the Office Re/Fresh is to test new ideas and see how they work with our space and culture. Before we order any new furniture or re-arrange what we have, we need to know what we need. We are currently conducting three pilot studies in the office: neighborhood, reception and hoteling cafe.
The neighborhood pilot is well underway; we selected one 'pod' of 16 workstations to be the test area. Since one of the overall goals of the Re/Fresh is to densify and increase total seat count, the first step was to remove all returns (small desk-height storage carts that separate work stations) and densify the benching to seat five people in a row instead of four. The office was originally designed for this growth when we moved in 5 years ago. This means our workstations are changing from 6’-0” of linear space per person to 5’-0” per person. To balance this move we’re providing more break-out spaces for focused and group work and making sure there is an increased amount of storage for personal and team items.
The goal of the reception pilot is to find a new and inspiring way to use our reception and lobby area. Our reception zone is frequently used for large events and therefore needs modular furniture that is easy to move and can adapt to diverse situations. We also want to bring our work to the forefront of the office and display what we do to people visiting. This could mean having furniture in reception that can be used for working, like work-height tables, flexible power plug-ins, and comfortable seating.
The hoteling cafe is a new concept for us, something that our office hasn’t had before. One of the Re/Fresh goals is to provide more social spaces for people to eat lunch, meet spontaneously for informal meetings and socialize. In this pilot we are removing a pod of 4 workstations near our kitchen and replacing it with round tables. At these round tables we’re doing a “chair fair” to test dining chairs for our new hoteling cafe. This gives everyone in the office the chance to be involved with the furniture selection and sit the chairs, and then vote for their favorite.
So far the pilot studies have created a really positive buzz around the office. Seeing real changes coming to life is important for everyone to stay engaged and excited about the office Re/Fresh. We look forward to more exiting changes coming in the near future!