You don’t get all the clues in the workplace

How do you approach workplace design was one of the many questions thrown at our expert panel at our recent Designing for Modern Work event.

Research, unsurprisingly, was one of the answers as knowing what work people are doing, and how they are they are doing it, will undoubtedly inform the space and facilities required. But Luke Pearson co-founder of PearsonLloyd, was a little sceptical about its role. 

“Research is always a strange thing. Quite often it’s too late because people are observing what’s already happening” said Luke. His design team try and draw parallels between what’s happening in other areas. For example, people are now renting their flats out as offices via Airbnb and according to a recent report 50% of all Americans will be self-employed by 2025 – it’s this type of information that gives little hints as to how workplaces will need to function in the future. “A lot of the research we do is to try and tie up things that will have an effect on the workplace. You won’t get all the clues in the workplace, that’s only giving you a reflection of what the current status is; you’ve got to look outside of that to understand what is actually happening” continued Luke. 

So, what else do you need to consider when designing workplaces? Culture is probably the big one. But remember, organisations can have many different cultures within them. Some people will want to be close to others, some will need individual space for total concentration. Luke reminded us that “different work attracts different types of people with different types of personalities and they respond to different types of environments.” Want to hear more from Luke? After the discussion we caught up with him and he explained to us how it’s flexibility that defines the modern office. Find out why he believes that, and more in the short video below.