Architectural Intelligence: The new A.I.
CCER’s Colin Davy explains how understanding work spaces makes smarter workplaces.
In order to increase productivity and attract the best employees, organisations often choose to redesign their offices. It’s a great idea, however many find that, after spending a lot of money on architects and funky furniture, they’re left with a brand new workplace that actually doesn’t work.
AKKA Architects told the Smart Workspace Design summit in Amsterdam that too often, organisations go for gimmicks over what employees actually want and need to do their job well.
So how do you design a workplace that works?
There are a few key principles:
The intelligence of users
Spaces should be designed to harness the intelligence of users, so you need to ask yourself what people need to maximise their potential? Do they need quiet space in order to concentrate? Do they need places to collaborate and share ideas? Do they need places to chill out or an area to, literally, work up a sweat? A single-zone or one size fits all approach to office design rarely provides the variety of spaces and environments that employees need to thrive.
The honesty of behaviour
Talk to your employees about what they need – they are the experts in how they want to use their space. It also pays to step back and observe their behaviour. Watching how your workforce works and interacts will indicate what spaces you need.
The value of time
The way employees want to use the office will evolve and change over time. Recognise these changes. If employees are not using a space as intended, find out why and see what tweaks you need to make.
A workplace that is designed with all of this in mind will encourage creativity, collaboration and learning, which drives the innovation every organisation needs to thrive.
So before launching into an office makeover, ask yourself the following questions:
How are employees using the current space and what works?
Do your employees have the space to collaborate and share ideas with their colleagues?
Do they have the space to work quietly to develop these ideas and thoughts?
Build your space around those answers and you’ll be on your way to creating a workplace that works better. And you’ll find that taking the time to gather a little Architectural Intelligence was probably a very smart move.