Offices of the present and future continue to change. Instead of a large number of tiny offices, employers are encouraging collaboration, comfort and wellness within their places of work. A number of designers recently discussed how this is affecting flooring design.

Joshua Zinder of Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design (JZA+D) in Princeton, New Jersey, says that many corporate offices are still designed according to the older paradigm where getting employees to sit in a cubicle from 9 – 5 was seen as being productive.

“This was once perceived as maximising productivity, but that is certainly no longer valid – if it ever was. The new generation of workers are already looking for the corporate environment of tomorrow. The older office mode doesn’t fit what this evolving workforce wants, so many companies are going to have to adapt their offices to stay competitive and optimise productivity,” says Joshua.

An existing building’s floor plan can potentially limit a company if their goal is to facilitate greater interaction with each other as well as clients.

Annie Hintze, an interior designer at Nelson design firm, says that location is vital and often a space is limited to the confines of an existing floor plate or building.

“Certain locations limit client, visitor or customer exposure, so clients and management are paying attention to the best building locations now more than ever,” explains Annie.

Pat Algiers, president of Wisconsin-based Chemistry in Place design firm, says that there are different strategies that designers can employ to overcome pre-existing workspace challenges.

“If a floor plan is dated or the building in which a company is in is dated, the designer needs to turn it around. They need to connect the dots and make something that is seemingly dated of our time and place. It’s a challenge, but it needs to be done because anything that skews old or dated in any way is often considered as irrelevant,” says Pat.
Flooring can also be used to facilitate workflow, engagement and interaction if it is able to contribute to consistency and cohesiveness within a space.

“A consistent type of flooring that is methodically placed and designed allows the user to travel from space to space, and gain subliminal clues on how one should be interacting with each other and the space,” adds Annie.

By using flooring as a starting point in corporate spaces, designers will be better able to set the mood, look and feel – as well as the collaboration that modern workspaces require.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.floortrendsmag.com for the information contained in this article.