Priya Bala

Priya Bala


Space Design: The Office of the Future is Finally Here.

PL Blog - Space Design -11

The Game-changer called Time

In the 18th Century, each work day averaged between 10-18 hours – and this was okay because employees back then took on labor-intensive roles. But over the years, and thanks to automation, employees now clock in roughly 8.8* hours a day. The inside story? Out of this 8.8, he actually spends only 2 hours and 53 minutes getting things done.


Now, how can you own these few hours of utmost focus? And how can you try and push this time limit on productivity? That’s why you need Space Design.

What does it mean exactly?  

Don’t rack your brains over it. Simply put Space Design or Workplace Design (if you want the right search results) involves crafting a space using unique methods to deliver the maximum benefit out of that particular area. It considers factors like lighting, movement, work behavior, functionality, and employee well-being to deliver spaces that are able to foster productivity and deeper meaning. Another way to see it is ‘design that transforms office spaces into constructive environments for employees to excel’. So, a cluster of phone-booths right next to the lift lobby? Well yes, that counts as Space Design too.

Space for All, All for Space

When you plan your office using these principles, you’re talking to everyone who interacts with the space and not just your employees. In fact, you’re putting an aura out there for your clients who visit your workplace too. From the founder circle down to your admin – everyone’s tuned into the space, slowly absorbing and reacting to what vibe the design lets off.

Space Design as a Strategic Tool

The trend’s a team  – Collaboration

Companies are freeing up their employees’ mindspace to tackle bigger challenges that cannot be handled by an algorithm or an app. That said, to make sure the hours spent actually result in practical ideas, companies emphasize on collaboration.

Brainstorming, soundboarding, or just proposals – these tasks can be nailed in one shot when there are bigger round tables, clusters of beanbags, and corridor seating as a part of the office environment. This way, your employees will thank you for saving their time spent hunting for an empty conference room.

The walls have opinions Character  

Apart from giving your employees the much-needed productivity boost, space design also helps reflect an organization’s personality. With the right decisions on color, material, and creative style, your office can transform into an entity – complete with attitude and character. The other plus is that you can now communicate the organizational culture to your employees by branding the walls with values. That’s why you should think of space as real estate; why would you waste the opportunity to brand it and inform your internal audience of your purpose?  

The backend clockwork – Community

Your vibe attracts your tribe. Stemming from our earlier point about culture, Space Design is effective in setting a comfortable and positive work environment within the office premises. When you have a connected workforce, moving together and acting as one, what you’ve essentially created is a strong community. Employees register the words on the walls as well as the concept of transparency. The deeper these interactions become, the deeper is the sense of belonging – a need to come in to work apart from the work itself.

Remember our infamous pie chart at the beginning? Well that can come in handy to identify which areas need planning. Space Design isn’t only about making optimum use of the available space by branding it, but also redefining how your office is built in the first place. Cafeterias, lift lobbies, smoking areas, vending machines – these are all brilliant indicators of where time is most spent, leaving you with the task of including these ‘hot centers’ in your office design for maximum interaction.

“When you start a conversation when you’re at the coffee machine, you can quickly sit down after and have a 20-minute meeting,” says Miguel McKelvey, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at WeWork. “If you have to reserve a conference room to finish that conversation, then you lose time. It’s not efficient.”

Stepping into the Right Spaces

How do you get started? First, ask yourself how employees add value to the business – is it through exploration on their own terms or by engagement with intra-social groups? Are they individual contributors or pro-team? Based on the answer, you’ll know the split of open floors to closed rooms and cubicles.

If you already have a workspace, then go about branding the available areas to achieve the Three ‘C’s we talked about. Relook at the ‘hot centers’ and see if they can reflect organizational values or drive motivation. Remember, employees spend most of their waking hours here – make sure the message is worth their while.

If you have a blank slate, then here’s a quick checklist you can refer to when you draw up the blueprints.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution here. With various factors like employee strength, building type, and resident weather you’re bound to go in circles a little. But hack at it, answer the only questions that keep your employee morale high and play some mix-and-match. ‘Open floor plans have destroyed my business’ – said no one ever.


ContentIndustry Related

Print is dead


Or is it? No we’re not following the footsteps of Socrates. We’re just fussing over the decade-old question that’s earned a black or white answer from the advertising fraternity. And while we add our two bits, we’d like to take you along – so that you can step out of the grays and find an answer for yourself.

Print’s your invisible hero.

‘Let’s make headlines.’ Quick question. Where did this phrase come from? Now, were you thinking newspaper or the first fold of a website? With over 18 families of paper, 3 categories of ink, and a legacy dating back to 4,000 BC – Print still reigns the throne of modern communication. Why then, do we feel like it’s dying?

Because, we’ve taken Print for granted. That newspaper you get in the morning with your milk? It’s as ingrained into your daily life as the bus you take to work or the loyal mug of coffee that gets you through the week. In fact, go back as far as you can – you’ll find that our humble guy, Print, was always there. Even if we were to step away from newspapers, there’s no dearth in the number of times Print pops out to greet us, every day.

Print’s a time machine.

Anyone agreeing that ‘Print is dead’ has to process the word irony. The whole world is rummaging through the bygone era and redefining the basics as ‘au naturel’. We’re trying so hard to have the best of both worlds that the hashtag ‘#vintage’ (last we checked) has over 55,640,328 posts on Instagram! And let’s not forget to read between the lines here – we’re using digital to flaunt something analog.

Print’s a great pitcher.

The world of advertising has seen a lot of new channels and has swept up the consumers in a digital wave. But even between electronic billboards and phone adverts, any good communication agency will always vouch for the effectiveness of Print. Whether brochures, newspaper inserts, or great packaging – Prints got the trump card in making a sale because it follows the unsaid, three-step rule. A – Make personal contact, B – Make information easily accessible, and C – Make it memorable. It’s no surprise then that 67% of all online brand searches stem from offline marketing.

Quick tip: Pick direct mail over email as 80% of all traditional mail is opened, while 80% of all email is ignored.

We heart Print.

This is a reality that we can’t escape (apart from traffic jams and pineapple on pizzas). As humans, we’re invariably attached to things that are multisensory in nature. Why? Because the same part of the brain that processes our senses, is responsible for storing memories as well. It’s no surprise then that Print delivers a strong sensory experience by tying in touch, sight, and sometimes even smell. So whether you decide to emboss over leather, engrave into stone, or etch onto wood – the dictionary of printmaking opens up a world of delight that you’re bound to treasure.

We crave Print over pixels.

October 27, 1994. When the very first digital banner ad was released, the human race was drawn to its novelty. Thousands of companies emptied their funds to jump onto the digital bandwagon and gain the first-mover advantage. But since then, much has changed. Today, digital adverts have earned the hatred of consumers who befriend ad blockers to escape the wave of push advertising. We now turn to things that don’t involve the ‘white screen’, choosing magazines over e-mailers and real experiences over virtual journeys.  

Afterthought: While we’re here, let’s not forget another endless debate – Kindle vs Books. 60% of all downloaded e-books in the US are never read, despite their perceived popularity. Who knew!

Print’s got a new family.  You can access this multiverse, right here, right now. There’s a whole wide world where Print never ‘died’, never ceased to amaze, and is still the go-to choice of many. These ‘Print Purists’ are seen sitting with their newspaper crossword in trains, buying Egyptian papyrus off Amazon, and collecting postcards from around the world.

Inside info: Speaking of postcards, this industry now offers themed, detachable, and color-in postcard books by artists like Johanna Basford and Zoe de Las Cases.

Print lives on.  

It’s called a box of memories for a reason. And not a folder of files. When you open this box, you can expect a few cards, carnival tickets, worn-out books – and everything ‘printed’. What we’re getting at is this: we’re humans, not robots. We naturally ‘prefer’ things in analog, in Print. And what truly touches us is this very Print. We might explore digital, but that’s again only to make our experience richer. Take for example how Curved TV as a technology was only brought in to make the viewing experience more real.

Our sound logic is best illustrated thusly – you maybe reading this online, but we both know that if you’d have to save it, the best way would be to snip it out and file it like the good ol’ days. If you agree with us then, without further ado…

… say hello to Print!