What is activity based meeting places?

For a long time office design was rooted in a hierarchal and controlling view of labor, with efficiency and productivity as the most important guiding values. But as more organizations have shifted from producing products to delivering services, things have changed. The modern office has become a meeting place where ideas are exchanged and new knowledge is generated. Creativity has become many companies’ most important competitive advantage both when it comes to winning customers and attracting the right employees.

The past few years’ rapid technological advancements with wireless networks, smartphones and internet communication has expanded the office and freed work from physical boundaries. Working from home in order to solve problems with colleagues in another country in another time zone is now as easy and common as it was to send a fax in the eighties.

Architects refer to activity based workplaces where the office is designed around the tasks and activities that must be accomplished. This may require space for everything from individual tasks to large project tables. Some spaces may encourage collaboration while others allow employees to be alone and silently concentrate. The fixed workspaces are replaced with »touch-down« areas where anyone can sit down to work. Flexible solutions allow the office to either expand or scale down in order to conform to the circumstances and present activity level.

In the activity based workplace, meeting spaces play a major role. It is in the meetings between people that the organization’s value creation occurs. The model with a suite of large, similar looking meeting rooms located on a separate floor, which must be booked in advance, is on its way out. The concept of activity-based workplaces is in the same spirit as Offecct’s vision to design furniture that vitalizes meetings and stimulates exchange of ideas.