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​​Office design: Scenario 1

​Scenario 1 shows how staff would work in a space governed by the principles of open plan working environment, shared collaborative and quiet spaces, choice of workplace settings, and mobility and adaptability.

Caroline arrives at work and goes to her workstation in the open-plan work area.

Later that morning, Caroline receives an email, requesting an assessment of a draft policy. She glances across to where Mark from her team usually sits. He is there. Caroline goes to his workstation and quietly asks if he has time to discuss the email. They both move into a close-by small communal area for a quick, unplanned meeting.

On the way, they grab a relevant document from the shared team filing section on the floor. In the communal area, they are able to discuss the assessment with ease as they are not disturbing others, and they agree that an email reply is not enough. On the spot, Caroline uses her smartphone to invite Maree and Sandy, from another team, to help them.

Later that day, all four meet; this time in a larger collaborative ‘hub’ on another floor in the building. This different space is more suitable for this meeting because, while the meeting does not warrant booking a formal meeting room, the larger collaborative hub is laid out to provide a more private setting than the smaller communal areas adjacent to the team neighbourhood, allowing them to discuss the important issues involved with the draft policy assessment freely.

Once the meeting is over Caroline chooses to work from a 1200mm wide dedicated quiet space because she needs an hour or so of no interruptions to complete her draft of the assessment. She then takes the draft on her laptop to meet with Sandy at a communal area on Sandy’s floor and review it. Once they have made some minor adjustments, Caroline is able to print a hard copy for Sandy from the closest printer, using ‘follow me’ printing.

As their technology is mobile and they have multiple places to meet and work, Caroline and her different colleagues are able to deliver the requested assessment efficiently without disrupting those working around them.