Research and analysis are ongoing; Herman Miller has identified several significant patterns in the way organizations and their design partners are using space to support new ways of working. Based on observation and study of the evolving workplace, Herman Miller’s Living Office provides a basis of understanding and a framework for adapting needs for effective use of space.
After years of study, Herman Miller has gathered more than 70 distinct data points from 120 different floor plans. These plans represent organizations across a variety of industries. This research has yielded six significant trends in successful workplaces.
This is the fifth: From Required Circulation to Desired Circulation
Forward-looking workplaces tend to devote greater percentages of their floor plates to circulation or “in-between” space. If this seems counter-intuitive at first, consider the increased importance of movement and serendipity in today’s workplace.
Progressive organizations look for ways to build activity into their employees’ work lives. Steve Jobs famously used this technique years ago, but with a different goal in mind. When he designed a new headquarters for Pixar, he purposefully located the bathrooms near a central atrium “so that serendipitous personal encounters would occur.”
People need areas designed to get them from one place to another without having to think too much about the best route to take or worry about getting lost. But in today’s work environment, these in-between places must be as purposefully designed as the work settings they connect. The benefits of zonal overlap suggest that the shortest route between two settings is not necessarily the most effective one. Allowing—and planning—for fortuitous encounters elevate the work experience and free up mind-share for creative problem solving.
The nature of work has changed. To provide a platform for the best work and results, the places we work, learn, heal, and collaborate must evolve as well. Speak to a workplace specialist by clicking here. Read the full Herman Miller white paper Measure What Matters here.
Six Vital Characteristics of the Most Productive Workplaces; (condensed from Herman Miller’s white paper Measure What Matters); FIVE of SIX