We don’t work in the same way as we did 150 years ago—and, as the way we work as changed, so too has office design. The last twenty years in particular have brought about a sea change: Rather than simply typing at a computer all day, the workaday ideal involves meetings and brainstorming sessions. A lounge might be every bit as productive as a cubicle, and that lesson has been embraced by dotcoms and ad agencies.
But there’s another vision primed for mainstream offices: The “mobile Office,” where no one gets an assigned seat, and anyone can choose a different work environment every day. L.A.-based Clive Wilkinson Architects recently completed a 3,000-person Mobile Office project in Sydney, Australia, for the financial giant Macquarie Group. Wilkinson spoke with Fast Company about why mobile offices work—and why they fail.
The key though is that you have to built in lots of cushion, in case more people happen show up on day, and, more importantly, to give people lots of freedom of choice. At Macquarie, 50% attendance translates to 85% occupancy in the new office.
But the office isn’t simply a jumble of dotcom-style playrooms. “Everything is designed to be ergonomic,” says Wilkinson. “Something might look like a sofa, but the measurements are made for sitting up and working.” You can see that in here...