01 · 03 · 2018
Reality: What a Concept
The results of the following exercise may seem self-evident. So, bear with us:
1. Look up the word, office. You’re likely to find something like this:
3. Now, answer this question: Who’s best able to determine if your office has the power to produce, to generate, to create?
If your answer to #3 isn’t the person or group of persons who occupy your room or set of rooms, we invite you to read on.
Who’s On First?
Nine times out of 10, workspaces are designed before a single person who’ll actually work in them enters them. Bosses tells architects what they think. (“I want to make sure Murfwhiffle in Accounting isn’t playing Batman: Arkham City all day.”) Architects draw plans they like. (“I thought it would be cool to put this obstacle course between the work area and the rest rooms.”) Designers select furnishings they like. (“Standard work-surface heights of 28 to 30 inches are so yesterday. We thought it would be cool to spec ours at 14 inches.”)
But nobody ever asked Schmidlap, the calligrapher with the bad back, whether he plays computer games, if he has an overactive bladder, or whether he’d be able to work on a 14-inch writing table without lying face down or being in lumbar traction.
Are those examples absurd exaggerations? Yes. Is there a nugget of truth in every one of them? Yes. Do we think someone should have had the foresight to check with Schmidlap to find out what he actually does and how he does it before creating his workspace? We’ll leave that one to you.
Real is Not a Four-Letter Word
We love designing, creating, and furnishing workspaces. We enjoy every project we undertake. But we understand the Schmidlaps of the world make it go ’round. So, if Schmidlap’s not happy, you don’t succeed. And if you don’t succeed, we can’t consider the project a success. That’s why reality is as much a part of every workspace we design as materials and aesthetics.
If reality isn’t a part of your office concept, you might want to think again before it’s too late. After all, if your people aren’t happy, they won’t be productive. And if they’re not productive, your customers won’t be happy.
Just ask Schmidlap.
Image by DavidGMorgan, courtesy of pixabay.com.