We have decided to do an experiment on ourselves. In moving to our office almost six years ago now, we transformed how we worked by creating a neutral but expansive grid of workspaces, roughly all the same size with all the usual associated support meeting spaces, kitchen and crit spaces. We had come from a tight basement to this refurbished old department store floor and it was a luxury to revel in the new space.
The great thing about our grid space allocation is it gives us flexibility to move around the office and work in different positions depending on the project. The workspaces are all similar. In fact we have exploited that flexibility further by making the point every six months to move everybody.
Of course this is useful in adjusting the space for our changing team requirements but more than that it stops that dreadful sense of immovability that can happen in offices. Changing location offers new perspectives, new neighbours and just provides that sense of reorientation we all need sometimes. It is also a great way of having a regular clearout.
Pragmatics aside, our recent office workshop asked whether the city outside our front door offered any clues to how we might develop our working platform to meet our needs even more closely. The original Glasgow grid that extended west from the High Street adopted a universal language of stone 3\4 storey tenement which consistently spread across our now city centre, in our minds an echo of our initial office layout.
What followed in the last century and a half has been a remarkable overlay of new development on the footprint of that original city, stimulated by new activity - commercial, cultural and domestic - that transformed the original template.
Our echoing workplace experiment has started likewise by exploring new activities not met by our current setting. An interesting list of extensions to our range emerged in discussion, the dark room, street café, showroom for making, team space clusters, space pockets, office park, train carriage, so watch this space for the results of our future 'urban' explorations.
One particular idea did make everybody smile - the idea of a fish tank to separate spaces and a room with kittens for therapy. Fish and Kits, a sweet variation on one of our staple Glasgow diets.