Workplace Design | The Third Space

Posted 17 September 2019 / 1 minute read time

As future workplaces put a greater emphasis on virtual communication, workplace designers are being faced with a new challenge. How can we create physical spaces that still encourage face-to-face interaction and meet the innate need for human connection?

In a recent article in WorkDesign Magazine, Melissa Spearman discusses how many now view the workplace as a second home, so employees are drawn to comfortable environments where they can work, socialize, and be themselves. Engaging workplaces now integrate connection points and collaboration zones where people can interact.

These “third spaces” draw people in and encourage them to take a few moments to pause from work. This act of slowing down allows for chance interactions between co-workers, encouraging socialization and connection. When employees take a break from their focused tasks and enter a light-filled room that offers refreshment, one that’s lively and healthy, they enter a different frame of mind, one more conducive to creative ideas and new connections.

At Munson Business Interiors we try to incorporate many of these workspaces throughout a floor plan. We call this workplace design trend “Resimercial”, a blend between commercial and residential style furniture. As we meet with clients and discuss their needs we are finding that their employees are wanting more and more less traditional social spaces. This could be found in ways like sofas, bean bags, comfortable chairs with a tech arm and power.

Employees are wanting different meeting spaces for different types of meetings. For example if you are meeting with a colleague to discuss a project you might prefer meeting in a space that is comfortable chairs with a lower coffee table. But if you are meeting with a potential client and giving a large presentation you might prefer to be around a traditional conference table with traditional seats.

Take a look at our portfolio page on Louisville Free Public Library for some workplace design with intentional “third spaces”. https://www.mbifurniture.com/portfolio/louisville-free-public-library-st-matthews/

Read Melissa Spearman’s full article on drawing employees into the office and what a magnet workplace means in WorkDesign Magazine.

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