The identity of a company is also expressed through the design of its work space. Between flex-desks, standing meeting rooms and nomadic offices, new trends in office architecture are emerging. Is “daddy’s office” living its final years?
The office has always been a showcase for companies. But above all, it remains a formidable management tool. Its partitions and openings reflect the entire philosophy of the company. How will tomorrow’s work fit into the future of our cities? Commute time, social and economic diversity, the mix of private and professional life… are all issues that real estate professionals must address. One of the main debates about the future office is the flexibility of its tertiary buildings. With the will to create buildings that are no longer just a set of open spaces, but that provide spaces adapted to the different ways of working.
To meet this challenge of decompartmentalisation, business districts such as Paris La Défense, in Île-de-France, are taking the lead. “For a long time, we were happy to juxtapose towers next to each other, observes Marie-Célie Guillaume, CEO of Paris La Défense. We are now seeking to create a link.” Hence the opening of bars, restaurants, meeting places… If the objective is to promote a social mix, the business district also seeks to attract profiles of various companies. Like start-ups and SMEs.
After co-working, it’s time for “corpo-working”. A contraction of the words “corporate” and “co-working”, this new organisation, which aims to create an open and shared work space within a company, gradually spreads within several companies like ING, Procter & Gamble, SAP… In France, the telecommunication group Orange is a forerunner with its Villa Bonne Nouvelle, a space of “corpo-working” where employees, freelancers and start-ups mix.
Neither at home nor at work
Designed as a “living laboratory”, this 350m2 space offers some sixty professionals the opportunity to work side by side for nine to twelve months. The completely open space can be adapted to the needs of its employees. With the communal kitchen and the living room as the only fixed points, each employee has a locker and a wheel casket, which can be arranged at will, and can access a resting space that recently experimented with a “siesta cocoon”, for micro-siestas of 15 or 25 minutes.
This mix of private and professional life also leads to the design of less “compartmentalised” offices.”As far as the layout of the workspace is concerned, it has been demonstrated that changing postures to work allows more creativity and exchanges. Also, in view of the fact that, in this constant swarm of ideas, people sometimes needed to isolate themselves in order to concentrate, furniture that alllows that and where you can also make personal calls has been added“, stresses the group, which now offers a variety of open and closed spaces adapted to the flexibility of use by its residents.