Guest Post: Sarah Somers, Interior Designer at Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford
The corner office used to symbolize power and prestige. Today, however, many organizations are shifting from a hierarchical office arrangement to a more open environment that embraces collaboration, resource sharing, and team building.
When it came to designing TCU’s new Administration Building, the design team spent the summer of 2018 engaging end-users for this new space by touring different office environments, engaging in space planning, and gathering feedback on staff members’ specific needs and desires for their new space.
Research consistently supports the fact that open office design provides several health benefits. Not only does the layout of an open space encourage greater physical activity, but it also allows more natural light into the space, which has been shown to encourage greater productivity. The absence of walls enhances indoor air quality, too, by increasing airflow. In addition, every workspace in the new Admin Building will feature sit-to-stand desks, giving employees greater flexibility to control their own comfort and to reduce the amount of sedentary time during the workday.
The real beauty of the new Admin Building, though, is that it marries the best of both worlds – the open and the more private. Private spaces still exist, and collaborative spaces abound. When we set out to design the space, we conducted hundreds of interviews to ensure everybody’s voice was heard and varying opinions were considered. The result is a space that features a blend of work zones, personal space and communal areas, all customized to TCU’s end users and the unique TCU culture.