“Going to work” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but for most of us? Welp, it probably involves lots of sedentary hours sitting with pretty poor posture at a desk that’s not quite the right height, staring and staring and staring at a screen. But! The times, they are a-changin’, and employers—and designers—are recognizing that there’s lots more to a day in the life than sit, stand, and coffee break.
Herman Miller has been a hub of next-level office design since the Era of Eames, and recently completed a six-month-long research project exploring the new and highly evolved ways we’re approaching the wide-ranging facets of our various gigs. Coupled with some killer illustrations by Daniel Carlsten, the series of ten scenarios offer an interesting look at how we communicate effectively and get shizz done productively. According to Herman Miller Editorial Director Sam Grawe, the goal of the project was to go beyond the trends. “Collaboration is such a huge buzzword in this industry,” he says. “We wanted to look under the hood to identify common kinds of behaviors and activities.”
As a blueprint for future office incarnations, each of these could be a pretty amazing way to get the most out of a team. After all, understanding the real-world fundamentals of how people make workplace magic both alone and together could improve the quality of output and, ideally, and future of workstations.
Scroll through and see if you recognize any familiar patterns (and wistfully imagine how you can incorporate more simple contemplation into your daily routine, as per the last drawing!). Let us know which you find most appealing (or unappealing) in the comments, too!
Chat: Incidental and impromptu.
Converse: Interactions addressing a specific topic.
Co-Create: Generating new ideas amongst groups.
Divide & Conquer: A team works on different parts of a problem in close proximity.
Huddle: A team addresses and resolves a pressing issue.
Warm Up, Cool Down: The time before and after scheduled meetings.
Show & Tell: Sharing info at a planned meeting.
Process & Respond: Work generated by work.
Create: Gittin’ it done, doing individual tasks.
And a bonus: Contemplate, aka The Shower Principle. Create enjoyable, inspiring distractions and solutions will appear.