office interior design checklist
>>stephanie hi there, and welcome to anotherepisode of sound stories - an inspirational podcasts for creative professionals and storytellerswho want to improve their lives at home, and at work. i'm stephanie ciccarelli, your host and co-founderof voices.com. joining us today is nicole ledinich. today nicole's going to share with us howwe can make our space optimized, not only for ourselves but for all of us, all the peopleon our team, with ideas for designing the dream office space in a creative way for professionals. so nicole, whether you have an existing officespace or looking to move into a space, it
can be overwhelming to sort out where to startwith a design process. so how do we begin? >>nicole i think the first thing to do withdesigning great faces to get your team, and to get the right people on the team early. what we really like to do is foster an environmentthat's about co-creation. so it's not about an expert coming in andtelling you that these are the latest trends in office spaces, and you should be in anopen office that looks like google because that's really cool. it's about getting people who want to understandyou and your business who want to push the
edges with you, and to co-create with youwhat that space is going to be and that takes some time and it takes having the right peoplearound the table. >>stephanie no, absolutely. so that all being said i know we've been throughthis process together. >>nicole yes. >>stephanie just for everyoneâ€™s sort ofknowledge here, we've worked with nicole at facility resources and she helped us makean absolutely phenomenal office space. if you've ever been to see it, then you knowit's kind of google-esque. it's got all the great stuff in it that'smeant for us, and it really fits us well.
so when i say that too, i want to ask youare there any special designing in office for creatives. >>nicole definitely. i think for creatives and for everyone what'sreally important is to start to understand the behaviors that are taking place at work. and so when we say words like creative, orwhen we say words like collaboration, it's what is that specifically for whatever companywe're working with. so what was that for voices.com, that couldbe very different than what that is for facility resources, or what that is for facebook, andso the question is is what is that creativity
that you're wanting to foster, or from a businessperspective what is it that you're trying to create as leaders in your company thatyou may not have right now that you want space to support. and that can look like all different typesof spaces and things, and that may change even departmentally. >>stephanie wow okay. so if i'm reading into this right and i knowbecause i've been through the process but for everyone else's benefit, does this kindof come from what the company's culture is? >>nicole it does.
so we definitely start with â€œwhat is thepurpose of the companyâ€. so this is giving us a lens into what is uniqueabout whatever company that we're working with. what is their purpose? what are their business priorities that aregoing to drive business forward the most in the next three years? what is your character like and when we lookat character what does that say about your culture? so it's that kind of prosperity model thatwe look at first to go to, and it gives us
a sense and a vibe for the people that wereco-creating with. >>stephanie and one of the things that youcan do, for those of you listening, that is really an important part of our process wasthat sit down where we all got together and it looked at the different modes of work andwe can get into that in just a minute but but just all the different ways that you workwhere you might work. what you might do during the day? you know and how often do you do this, andyou need to be close to certain people in your company more than others? >>nicole yeah what's really interesting ishow do we have conversations and with design
what often happens is we ask people a bunchof questions and they do their best to answer the questions but like everything that's garbagein, garbage out so we want to change the way that programming looks like, and instead ofasking a whole bunch of just technical questions we're trying to get a pulse and a vibe forwho you are and what you're trying to accomplish, and what could the space be for the peoplewho work there. and that's just a very different programmingprocess right from the beginning. >>stephanie but it really does matter thoughthat everyone who has kind of a vested interest in that space and its design is involved inthe process of some degree. obviously you're going to have certain peoplewho do more of certain kind of tasks but but
the dreaming the envisioning the vision boardseven of like what do you want this to look like and and how does that fit in with realitybeing like do you really need it's kind of like over and above or does this really fitwho you are what your brand is >>nicole exactly. the process that we engage clients with isfrom a miller's process which is living office, and what we're finding is companies like voices.comwho want to do that they want to engage their staff in the design process. and that often comes up with a lot of fearfor leadership, how are we going to manage all these the people's opinions? are we kind of opening that can of worms?
but we're asking people in a different way,and when leadership opens that up to the team like voices did, they get a lot more data,and they get people focusing on different things. so rather than the fears about what the solutionis am i going to have a private office or not, we're having discussion about behaviors,or what kind of creativity do we want to foster, and we're getting that engagement which canreally help with the change that the team is ultimately going to go through. >>stephanie yeah because sometimes it is actuallymoving into a new space all together. it might not just be remodeling what you alreadyhave.
so i guess just thinking for people who aregoing to work with what they have. >>stephanie so they've got a great officespace you know they got more than enough room for all their people, they're just not feelingvery energized, not very creative, they're kind of like â€œoh, you know this bothersmeâ€. â€œi don't get enough sunlightâ€, or whatever. like what are ways that we can use that processto determine you know how do we make this a better livable space, but also how do wemake it more conducive to creativity? >>nicole so the first thing that we're reallytrying to understand what the living office process is, and you mentioned it earlier,is modes of work.
and that's how we map the behavior. so rather than getting into the solutionsand thinking about where things go in the plan, it's what are the behaviors that weneed to happen. so when we say we collaborate, well are youcollaborating... are you trying to foster collaboration between two departments andwe want to create that synergy. are you in an environment, or do some peopleneed a think tank like environment? we want to workshop with you know whiteboardsall over the place, and places where people can be super creative and sit in differentpostures? do we look at how people are moving throughspace and where does naturally happen through
collisions? so we're trying to look at these behaviorsthat are specific to the company that we work for when we have that data it becomes mucheasier to start to layer in that psychology piece, as we map out the plan. >>stephanie so and i love what you just said,because you that made me think of a process that we went through with you. so part of that was mapping out just the physicallocation. like what do you have right now what stillneeds to this what is actually integral to the design.
so i guess if you could maybe describe thatprocess of when you did actually go around and look at the different rooms, what wereyou looking for in those rooms and why? >>nicole we're looking for what are peoplestarting to naturally do so we always say that you know... are you adapting to yourspace or is the space adapting to you. and often times, we find that people are havingto adapt to their space, but we can see when we look in their rooms and what they're doingwhat the teams wanting. so if all of a sudden you know they've triedto put up whiteboards everywhere, it sparks our curiosity to be like what kind of collaborationis happening in this room. or we're looking at departments in your office,in particular in the sales area, i mean you
had the tv's going off in the songs when youknow, they have a sale that's a very different environment. that's not how our sales department works. it's really great to see that. so how are people creating what is the creativityoften like what are the creative solutions that they've been applied in spaces. we're really curious about like what's naturallyemerging and bubbling up in that team. >>stephanie and for a company like ours wehave you know sales team, it, marketing, customer service, finance, not every company has allof those different diverse groups of people
with very different tasks and objectives. like a sales floor it can be really loud,you would want it to be anyway right. you want to be making some sales so. but then you'll have people who are doingmore independent, quiet work. how does that fit in? i know that we... i kind of hinted at adjacencies and i'll letyou talk about that in a bit, but it's like well what kind of stuff do people do? they get up, they sit down, they go to meetings,they come out of meetings, they cool down.
maybe just describe what these modes are. >>nicole yeah there's all different to workthat we don't necessarily think about. so everybody is really familiar with whatherman miller calls process and respond. you're sitting at your desk you're doing youremails you're doing your phone calls and those we're all really familiar with what a meetingis, or a traditional meeting where the show-and-tell experience where the focus is on the contentbeing presented or the presenter. and we're really familiar with what mightbe our focused work that we're doing, so our create work which is when we're focused ona task specific to our role. so it could be if an accounting team is workingon a spreadsheet, and we value that being
uninterruptedly, but there is all these otherbehaviors that the global research is showing exists today. so things like chatâ€™s a really interestingquestion from a business perspective. where is chat a hindrance in your business,where could it might be disruptive, and where is it a really great thing? we have decades and decades of research inthis world about the value of water cooler discussions. so chat is an important thing to put someattention on. one of my favorite modes of work is contemplate,and why i love it is that contemplate is showing
in the world that we're starting to realizethat people are not robots. we are not machines and that now companiesare wanting to again remember that we're designing for human beings. and so contemplate is... maybe in a call center,a staff member has just gotten off a really difficult call and they just need a momentto compose themselves. so these things exist today. there could be co-create which is all aboutidea generation and in an era of ideas of herman miller calls it, idea generation, especiallyfor the creative workforce is so important, and so important for every level of a business.
it's important for marketing, but it's alsoimportant for people like david and yourself who are entrepreneurs, which is you know atan essence level and extremely creative field. so these are some of the modes of work thatwe get into and what it's showing us is that people are working together far differentlythan what they did 20 years ago, and that means we have to look at space differently. >>stephanie and technology is saying so wework together too right. so you have these different modes, but nowyou don't have to be beside someone to tell them something. >>nicole exactly.
technology is actually one of the key thingsthat has allowed us to start thinking about space differently, so not only do you nothave to be beside them to necessarily communicate, or to create something, but the other thingis is that it allows us to move and so when we talk about behaviors what come up is goneare the days where our desk or our private office can suit all things. we tend to struggle with things like uninterruptedtime so what the evolving technology has allowed, is for us to explore easier ways for peopleto move and move to other settings that allow people to do their work. and so if your behavior isn't being supportedat your desk which is going to happen, then
you move to a place that it supports. and that speaks to your earlier question aboutwell what about when there's different departments? and different departments need to move differently. so maybe somebody who's in a creative areawants to be in a really buzzy open space but sometimes needs that concentrate have workand so they move for that and maybe somebody else really needs those private offices butthey want to come out for times of collaboration. so we're looking at that in all differentdepartments and ultimately what we're saying is one company is not the same as anothercompany, and when department is not the same as another, and we need to start designingfor what's unique to each.
>>stephanie yeah well just thinking againto our own experience, but we've recently moved into an incredible space. we've got lots of room far more room thanwe ever could have dreamt we never have but we're going to put it to good use it you knowit's there to help us to grow so we had to get a reception area for instance and hadto understand what the dynamics were of when someone comes in from outside. where do they go, where they sit, do theyfeel comfortable being in here? you know, is there a spot where people cankind of perch you know for a little bit. they don't have to sit down you know theycould just be waiting for someone.
there's all different kinds behaviors forvisitors to let alone those who are actually working your office day to day. >>nicole definitely and i really like whatyou're touching about is you know how do people come in and they're comfortable, and that'sactually the big question about space. whether it's a visitor coming in, or yourown staff. we can do things in design that can be quitecontrived. we used to do it all the time, â€œoh my goshi have this amazing floor plate. there's this awkward little nook. i'll put a lounge area.
that used to be really exciting and myselfand many of the designers that i've worked with would wouldn't understand why it wouldn'tbe used, and now with living office, i understand, because it's the psychology of human beingsthat makes up space you know intuitive and easy and natural to be in. so it's that idea of you know a three-seatersofa in the waiting room no one sits in the middle. there's a major psychology of how human beingsnaturally act, and behave in space, and we need to start layering that in early and thedesign process and understanding that component. >>stephanie i guess there are some universalto certain human behaviors but then we have
different personality types and how they mightwork in a certain space, and that was a consideration to for us when we were looking at you knowspaces for contemplation. that obviously is more of an introverted reflectivesort of activity and you may be able to do at your desk or maybe not so there's differentplaces where people can just sit and think and and literally just not you know be infront of a device. maybe you don't have a screen or whateverlike it's just you let your mind just sit there process, something perhaps right. or maybe just a place to be quiet a placeto have a phone call where you're not disrupted even.
>>nicole yeah there's lots of really interestingthings that happen and again, even just having business leaders acknowledge that there'sa difference between you know introverts, or extrovert, or we can even talk about highlysensitive in space. people need different things and when we cansupport people in space they can do their best possible work. so another example of that is after a meetingroom is... or after a meeting, people will come out and an introvert may you know wantto pull someone aside and bring something up that they didn't bring up in a meeting. well how does that get supported?
or how do those kind of huddle's that we seemto always see after meeting get supported? so these things that just happen whether wesupport them or not. >>stephanie and that would be like the cooldown right likeâ€¦ >>stephanie in terms of herman miller terminology,it's like you know you can warm up before a meeting and you're getting like a littleâ€œoh boy we're going to go inâ€ be waiting you know there needs be an area, for if someoneelse is already in that room then where you gonna be you know you want to be on time butyou don't want to be you know obnoxious and like walking in on their meeting. so you have somewhere that you can wait andwarm up for that meeting potentially, or review
your notes before the meeting and you knowit doesn't even have to be a nice social grace, you're just sitting there do whatever you'redoing. but then of course there's the the kind ofwinding down the cooling down. there's going to be people who want to talkto each other regardless of what you know the reason is afterwards, because they justthey need to continue that conversation. >>nicole exactly and what's really interestingis when it's not well supported, people will tend to dissipate more quickly, and you don'tknow the creativity that could have been lost by not fostering an environment that supportsthat conversation to happen. so it can be something as simple as a standingheight table with maybe some stool that allows
people to naturally feel like this is wherei perch. i can sit here. this is okay. and so the idea is is how do you foster asmuch creativity in the group. we're not going to consciously think â€œohokay let's go seek out a space across the buildingâ€, it's not how we behave as humanbeings, so that's what we're trying to support. >>stephanie yeah. oh boy, it's a lot of fun. i mean i've seen both sides as someone whohas worked in an environment but also someone
who's been able to observe how the environmentis designed and just the different factors that you take into account. so you have introversion, extroversion, highlysensitive persons, a lot of really interesting thought workfare psychology wise. and certainly for some kinds of i guess personalitytypes or you would need to have very different environments that they feel comfortable into do their best work, and for them you know it might be having an area where they cancollaborate but in a very small group, maybe it's a smaller meeting room versus everythingalways feeling so big and exposed. and i was well different departments meanthings so we know we spent a lot of time with
voices like looking at marketing for example,because that department has a very different function, and so it's like well what do youneed to kind of like foster that creativity and spark that. and what things need to be seen and enclosedadjacency so one are people out there desks versus when do they pop over to you know maybea workshop that has white boards and things on the wall. or when do they filter into your plaza, whichis a lunchroom with so much more functionality built in. so what are all these things that happen?
how do people move through space. what's happening there and is every departmentsupported in what they need? where else your sales department those peoplethey don't need to move so much from their desks, they work much more at their desksand they're going to more social spaces for that collaboration, because of their roleso everybody's different. >>stephanie what would be the one thing youwould tell somebody about how they could be creative right now in their space? >>nicole i think that change of posture issomething that's really really important to think about.
and so that can be something as easy as switchingup one of your meeting rooms. maybe it doesn't need to be a boardroom tablemaybe it's sofas, maybe it's beanbag chairs with white boards, but changing that ideathat we have to do business in one way which is sitting at our desks or sitting arounda boardroom table, change of postures huge. a really simple change, and a really greatexperiment can even help a business owner start to see and get some feedback as to whatmight be happening. so maybe it's little test project before abigger investments made, but see what's working for your team, get their feedback experimenta little, play a little, that's what this is really about so that we can start to kindof push our edges and realize that work can
happen in many many ways. >>stephanie we have so many great ideas aboutwhat to do right. maybe someone's in a really dysfunctionalspace right now but they don't know, like how can they tell that their space reallyisn't working it's not the people, it's not that they aren't doing their jobs right, buteverything just feels a little bit bleh. like how can they know if their space is actuallycreating these problems that they might be having in their organization. >>nicole i think it's a real sensing, andi think that that's the challenging thing would design is there's no real checklist,but i think certain owners get this feeling
of like there's more. like i feel like i have a creative team andi don't see them working together. oftentimes what you'll see when space isn'tworking as a team will start to shut down a little bit. they'll start to work more siloed becausethey're frustrated, oftentimes because they can't get the concentrative time that theyneed and they don't come together and collaborate. so you'll tend to see that siloed effect,and even thinking about how your meetings are so when you gather the team together fora meeting like is it... are you getting the vibe are you getting the experience that you'rewanting in that meeting or is it flat.
all these kind of human behaviors when there'snot excitement or creativity to me or kind of red flags that there might be somethingbigger going on, whether it's culturally, or whether it's space, or a combination ofboth.>>stephanie or lighting even right? >>stephanie that can affect things. maybe you're in a room that is not reallywell-lit but it's the only space you have you know that's got windows. but it for whatever reason it's just likei don't know the pot lights are burnt out or you know... maybe there are little thingsyou can do to fix it right away, but it literally could be something to do with just somethingvery easy to fix.
>>nicole yeah oftentimes it's in a meetingroom, we really value to whiteboard but the way the table on the chairs are doesn't makethe whiteboard easy to access, or technologies hard. we find that often when people have you knowsmart boards and things like that herman miller actually has research on how long it takesthe average person to set up for a meeting room, all these things start to hinder people,and they tend not to go two spaces that don't work with them, and they don't even know howto name why until somebody starts asking the questions. >>stephanie right.
>>nicole if you're seeing that you can startto think [noise of thought], what about technology, what about lighting, what is the furniturewhat is the circulation? you can kind of start to fill out these thingsand maybe make some small shifts. >>stephanie yeah because if the chairs are10 years old maybe, like i mean someone might not feel terribly creative sitting in a chairthat's got like i don't know a tear in it or something like, it could be cosmetic...could be a big kind of factor in how someone might feel about their work, but it's alsosort of just you know you want people to feel comfortable you want them to encounter asfew number of obstacles as possible to achieving their goals.
>>nicole exactly and maybe it's a creativeroom and what people really need to be doing is sitting on a couch or standing at standingtable we sit so often, so maybe we need to be up and energized, and you know white boardingand creating an idea generating, and things like that, so posture is a really big thingagain that's easy to identify and play around >>stephanie something that we have and othersdo probably are tons of whiteboards as you mentioned. like everyone loves the whiteboard, anyone'screative when you can write on a whiteboard right, and i do believe that everyone canbe creative, so if you for some reason believe that you are not creative here you are.
it's merely just connecting things i thinksteve jobs had said that before all it is just, you know, â€œwell i saw that, and isee this, and i put them together, and this is what i gotâ€. like i've got some connection right. anyone can be creative so that said you knowhow many people do you know of in the work you've done make use of having say even thosepainted walls, where you can write on those like it like almost like chalkboard paint. >>nicole i would say that it's definitelyevolving more. what i think happens is the differences ifpeople are mindful of the change that they're
making, and they're making it purposely notbecause they thought it was cool, but that they're really thinking this would work wellfor our team and how the space is being used, so i always think it's kind of like the whyof it is always really really important. and some of those tools that we're seeinglike the whiteboard paints that are out there, or standing height tables and some of thesesolutions that for example companies like herman miller do global research to develop,you know, are fostering these behaviors but it says bigger you know bigger question ofwhat is it that you're wanting and why. i think that's the place to start. >>stephanie well that's it for this week thankyou for joining us on sound stories.
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