Earlier this week we posted an article delving a little deeper into the connection between efficient classroom design and productivity-inducing workspaces.
Thanks to advice from Pod Space and Innova Design we discovered the reasons why business centre, coworking and flexible workspace operators should look to the best learning environments for office design inspiration.
The next question is, how can operators extract these elements for their own spaces?
According to Innova Design, a furniture and fitting (FF&E) design company for the education sector, one of the key things to consider is how the space will be used: “Like in a classroom it’s important to consider how the space will adapt to new technologies and working methods, as well as how the layout will work for and appeal to employees.”
“From workstations and desks to storage, meeting rooms and break-out spaces – office workplaces need to stimulate employees, encourage a good work ethic, enable collaboration and promote the culture of the company – just like in a school.
“To achieve this, factors from positive classroom design can be adapted, like ergonomics, acoustics, space planning, heating, lighting, colour, furniture, and storage.”
Looking ahead to the evolution of workspace and classroom design, Pod Space, home of customisable ‘pods’ for domestic and commercial uses, believes that creativity is taking centre stage in the way we build and use spaces both at school and at work.
“Schools are becoming much more creative in how they encourage children to learn and thus their needs for teaching spaces are changing also. There has been a drive to make more use of outdoor spaces and the benefits of natural light and bright spaces in increasing children’s attention span.
“Employers too are acknowledging the benefits of providing light and welcoming spaces to increase productivity in the workplace. Designers are responding to these changing needs by creating spaces which can bring a little of the outdoors in.”
According to Pod Space, working outdoors is a pleasant yet impractical option for office-based employees. However such an environment can promote wellbeing and aid productivity, so a workable alternative is to design a space that allows intake of fresh air along with natural light and a good view of the surrounding environment.
Another important consideration for Pod Space is the environment. For a company that builds ‘eco pods’ and sustainable, flexible spaces for multiple uses, this is of particular interest.
“As access to the natural environment becomes increasingly important, so does public awareness of our impact upon it and thus the importance of sustainability,” says Pod Space.
“There is an increasing demand for buildings that can supply not only great function but also fantastic eco credentials, and all within brilliant design. Designers have to respond to this need by creating buildings that include low impact materials and sustainable features.”
In work, as in education, we are always learning. So when it comes to designing a fresh, innovative and productivity-enhancing workspace, operators have a world of inspiration at their feet – starting with the education industry. As a sector in which we are all deeply invested, it is perhaps prudent to look first at the best proven examples of learning environments in order to draw inspiration for an intelligent workspace that is ultimately designed to work in the best interests of its users.