New Space Models: Office Layouts Stimulate Employee Interaction and Collaboration

               Office spaces are evolving.  As the Corporate Art Co team can attest, the look of the typical office is evolving.  The office cubes laid out in rows are no longer the norm, and they are being replaced with smaller workstations with lower or no barriers at all.  Companies are beginning to use the open office space to create informal meetings areas, mimicking a café style feel. LPA Inc. principle senior designer Rick D’Amato said, “With the recession, there has been this goal to consolidate and reduce square footage.  It has really created this need to dial-in and understand the work process, and it’s really enabling us to think more about that process with our clients. We have to really understand how they work and how we can help them work smarter.”[1]

Corporate Art Co’s office utilizes every inch of the office for projects, work space, and storage. The room can be rearranged easily for meetings or presentations.

Team-oriented environments build energy and productivity.  Corporate Art Co moved into the Mastercraft building in 2011. The reduction in space was a little intimidating, but we were up to the challenge. After all, team-oriented environments increase energy and productivity. We decided from the start that the CAC office would be a place for brainstorming, open dialogue, and laughter. Over the last year, our team has grown from two to four, and the valuable space has been divided for functionality. Team members adjust their schedules to allow for productivity; we work from home when Holly needs the office for scrutinizing focus on fine art appraisal research. Theresa arrives early in the morning to make client calls. Jody and Morgan frequent the local coffee shop for a change in scenery and to unblock the creative juices. The open floor plan takes some compromise, but is an asset when we’re working on team projects or for keeping updated with work-related happenings.

The role of art in the “New Office.”  It is possible to hang fewer high value pieces that everyone can enjoy from his or her vantage point. With so much time spent staring at computer screens, our brains need visual breaks more than ever. Art is a window to your imagination: a walk through nature, overlooking a beautiful sunset, a vision of brilliant colors and patterns. Many companies are incorporating branding into their interior design, and replacing art with logos and business graphics. The drawback to this trend is that employees may experience ‘branding fatigue’. Even the most dedicated employee needs to be able to stand up, stretch, and not think about work for a time span.

Grain and Mortar is a strategy, branding and design company down the hall from CAC at Mastercraft. Their open work space enables them to freely discuss projects and collaborate easily. 

Corporate Art Co lives the office evolution.  At Corporate Art Co we are surrounded by art; we search for it on the internet, hang it on our walls, in the hallways, and store it for client visuals.  We all enjoy the large Carol Pettit and David Diaz paintings on our walls, which allow us those visual breaks. Looking at the art from a different perspective and vantage point keeps our creativity fresh.  Looking at something differently sparks new ideas and new ways to approach a problem.  The shift from individual offices to an open, shared space is the working model at Corporate Art Co.

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