Zoning isn’t just a fashion trend. It’s an integral part of our lives. In our workspaces we use zoning to create productive, collaborative, cultural and break out spaces.
And it clearly works!
A good office space improves wellbeing which reduces sick days, supports team retention and attracts new staff – you can read more in our article: ‘the value of privacy in workplace design.’
What we’ve not been so good at is sustainable zoning!
Creating those flexible spaces, that we can lift and shift without causing waste. Avoiding glass partitions and plasterboard walls that go into the tip after an office refit or move. We’re all about using quality, temporary products that can be moved around as the mood takes you and even taken to new offices if you move.
Sustainable. Practical. And of course, beautiful.
As we nudge back into a post-COVID world – a eutopia of hybrid working and sustainable living – rethinking our workspaces should be the only consideration for employers (ok, not the only one, but a very important one).
There are 3 key zones to consider. Let’s take you through each of them, and with a little assistance from our ‘outside the box’ zoning products, help you imagine how you can create a sustainable, impactful workspace.
This is your home from home. It’s where you have your quiet space for concentrated work. This could be a traditional workstation area, with desks and screens, or it could be pods. You need to promote high concentration and focus – for big tasks like strategy and planning, or when you simply just need to get something done.
With Roman inspiration, Antonia creates pre-designed zones with soft curves and a practical, innovative structure. Think first class lounge, yet accessible to everyone. Choose different colour curtains to create branded spaces and position them away from open and collaborative spaces (they need peace and quiet!).
We don’t mean open plan in the traditional sense – an expanse of space with hundreds of desks with little privacy and complete silence. No, this is a productive open space. Maybe a larger zoned area for up to 12 people around a table or a flexible space that can be used for small workshops but also carved up into smaller collaboration areas or informal one to one chats.
“How can you achieve all this in one space?” we hear you ask. It’s simple. With sheer and acoustic curtains.
To bring people together and create a large sociable and collaborative area, perhaps for training, sales meetings, problem solving and idea sharing, U-shaped curtains work really well around traditional style tables. Check out bubbly Olivia for some inspiration!
Breakout areas are really important for wellbeing. Subtle Cassia can provide versatile spaces for smaller working groups, or even just relaxation and coffee. Understated straight curtains also make for interesting and reconfigurable walkways.
Areas for productive and creative sessions, such as planning and strategy, should be built into this space. Inspiring Ellie really promotes collaboration and high energy. L-shaped curtains give a feeling of seclusion and privacy, and acoustics options reduce sound in and escaping out.
On the flip side, gentle Lewis gives a hug in a curtain! A curved feature is ideal for designing calm spaces and informal chats within the larger open space.
Try: Julius and Gaius
Think Starbucks. It’s spontaneous. It’s flexible working at its finest.
Perhaps a sales rep is passing the office and needs to check emails and have a coffee. Or a couple of colleagues want a casual one to one conversation away from the main open space. This area is like the ‘focus’ zone but softer and less private, with huge energy. There’s a real sense of purpose.
Take a look at Julius and Gaius zoning structures which will give you an idea of what we mean. Imagine a podium desk tucked behind a cluster of these beautiful constructions. Go big and bold with Ruby or Flamingo colours or keep it subtle and muted with Taupe and Jute.
try: Curtains and Circle of Life
In all honesty, this zone has a lot to achieve. Let’s think about it logically. You might need a space for conferencing, workshops, training sessions, confidential and sensitive conversations… You could be looking for a space for anywhere from 3 to 300 people (or even just two having a confidential conversation).
It’s a big ask. Particularly as some companies are reducing their footprint with hybrid working. But having everything you want really is achievable and sustainable – you just need to be clever.
To create a highly flexible space use U-shaped curtains to zone off large meeting rooms, which can be pulled back to make one large space. Or one of our personal favourites is the Circle of Life. It’s such an ergonomic and natural shape to make even the most bog standard meeting come to life and be exciting.
And then there’s Elsa, one of our brand new products. We are really excited about this one. We talk a lot at Stansons about the importance of light and its impact on wellbeing. Lit zoning curtains take the beauty of nature into an indoor design statement. It brings personality to reception areas and collaborative meeting spaces.
Try: Zoning Structures and Acoustics
Collaboration spaces are very on-trend, and post-COVID working is seeing employers using these areas to entice staff back into office. This centres around the kitchen, break outs, informal work chats, team collaboration, and a bit of relaxation.
You can be imaginative and quite clever with these spaces. As they tend to be noisier than other areas, you likely want to prevent the laughter and high energy from spilling out into other spaces. Gaius and Julius structures with acoustic boards can do amazing things. Or if you want an even funkier design, Vicki, Josef and Coral use ceiling baffles and acoustic wall panels to keep in the fun.
Here’s your takeaways on sustainable zoning
When we zone off an area, we must ask ourselves what do we want to get out of this space? If you think about your home, your kitchen will usually have good lighting and facilities to cook and eat. That’s very different to what’s in your bedroom, or your bathroom (or at least it should be!).
To bring this back to sustainability, a huge passion of ours, quite often we want to use one space for multiple purposes. And that is why these flexible zoning structures really work. There doesn’t have to be a huge refit with a ton of rubble going to landfill to reconfigure the space. You can practically change your office on a whim.
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