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ACTIU Berbegal y Formas, S.A.
Space as a lever of change

Space as a lever of change

DECEMBER 2018 | 3 minutes

Technology, innovation, design, strategy, performance, comfort, flexibility and sustainability are the terms that best define new workspaces. Environments that do not stop evolving and that, reflecting a new way of looking at and understanding work, have become one of the main players of a new lifestyle where personal life and professional life come together.

With an aesthetic that is increasingly moving away from the one normally associated with traditional offices, to uses related to the domestic or leisure environment, these spaces already garner the most attention from architects, designers and facility managers.

Places where most of us spend a large part of our daily lives, which, with a great influence over our physical and emotional health, must respond to the new needs of companies and their workers. Just as houses evolve in parallel to the needs of those who live in them, and leisure and retail environments change according to the target audience, it is now essential that workspaces grow in line with the business philosophy it houses.

Understanding the workspace not only as a simple container, but as part of the content it houses is fundamental. Therefore, the change cannot be limited only to the physical environment, companies must also be willing to change their DNA and modus operandi according to their workers and customers. Flexibility, mobility, transparency or collaboration are fundamental terms both from a spatial and hierarchical point of view.

Neither traditional cubicles nor the much demanded until recently, open spaces. Now workspaces require personalized solutions, which enhance the creativity and well-being of its users.

Defining a work strategy that responds to the needs of companies is the goal that architects, facility managers and designers consider when undertaking this type of project. A process in which space and the company must advance in parallel, which goes far beyond the generalist solutions applied until now. Every company is its own world, and today's offices are nothing like yesterday's or tomorrow's.

The only way of designing a high-performance work space that lasts over time is to make it flexible, versatile and customizable. Environments that combine collaboration, concentration, learning and socializing, and which allow each employee to choose where, how and when they want to work.

How to turn the workspace into a lever for change, attract and retain talent, improve productivity and increase the well-being of workers, is one of the aspects that concern companies the most. In order to transform them and make them more effective and efficient through their work spaces, the professionals in charge of this must work hand in hand with them and their workers. And, in addition to the architectural space, the workplace also involves furniture and lighting. Aspects capable of improving the physical working conditions of its users, on which the facility managers and the furniture companies have a lot to say.

Denys & Von Arend author of the project.

Even landscape artists now have a place in these projects, where vegetation plays a fundamental role, through vertical plants and gardens that cease to be seen as specific elements and build true natural oases. It is about creating a new user experience through the pillars of spaces such as furniture, vegetation, light, colours, and textures.

Beyond furniture, lighting or vegetation, technology stands out as the key player of the change undergone in the way of interpreting the workspace.

Offices have ceased to be seen as just physical environments and have now become places that transgress times and places, where communication between geographically dispersed work teams, innovation, working from home, sensory stimuli or shared information screens to encourage interaction and learning are fundamental. New technologies are blurring the boundaries between places where we live, work and enjoy our free time, and require new professionals capable of dealing with complex projects that, apart from the space itself, involve people, processes and technologies.

Therefore, it is essential to identify the needs of companies and their workers, in order to undertake the architecture project from an overall perspective, in parallel with a process of furniture and lighting implementation. And the fact is, until recently, it was the number of jobs, offices and meeting rooms, which defined how offices were designed, now it is quality. A quality of the work environment implicit in the productivity and well-being of employees, through living spaces which are constantly changing, where it is not a matter of adding metres, but of improving how they are managed.

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