As the return to the workplace nears, certain questions have become increasingly urgent: Who is coming back to the office and what for? Is the former work environment still suitable? Then there’s the insurance aspect, does your new workplace policy on Covid restrictions comply with your business cover?
In response to these questions, Vitra, one of the world’s leading furniture manufacturers is debuting the first ‘Club Office’ at its headquarters in Basel on 10 June 2021. Built over the last 16 months at Vitra’s head office in Basel, Switzerland, Club Office was created by Vitra for its research and Development teams as a response to the need for a post-pandemic workspace.
Yes, you may think the above space looks like a kids’ nursery, or a posh sheep pen, and you would be partially right, because there is no doubt that many employees will see any Covid infection as an opportunity to take legal action, demand compo or consult their union. So, segregation and spacing therefore is essential. IE also recommends you ditch the brew and vending machines, ban Post-It notes ( yes, at last!) and employ toilet marshals in hi-viz vests. OK, we made that last bit up, but it actually sounds like something Amazon would do.
‘Those who choose to go to the office today and in the future do so consciously – to meet colleagues and experience a sense of belonging and appreciation. The common mission and organisational purpose should be perceptible. Consequently, it must be more than just a place of work. Today, an office needs to provide added value. If an office has no character and colleagues there hide from one another, it’s better to spare the commute and stay at home,’ states Nora Fehlbaum, CEO of Vitra.
Club Office: Three different zones
The Club Office is characterised by an open and inviting atmosphere.
The Club’s ‘members’ – consisting of employees from all parts of Vitra and its close external partners – encounter a whole range of different spatial scenarios, divided into a public and a semi-public area.
The first public section provides members with a welcoming space for spontaneous meetings, a forum for discussion, informal collaboration, debate and mutual learning.
The second is a semi-public area is dedicated to more formal collaboration. Members come together on a planned basis in spaces that can be reserved for project work, for example – often over a period of days and weeks. Yet agility is still required, and thanks to Vitra’s flexible furnishings, collaborative spaces can be quickly and easily adapted and rearranged.
A third is a private zone of the Club Office consists of workstations that are sheltered from intrusion. This zone also extends into the home office, which has proven particularly suitable for concentrated individual tasks. Remote working and a well-equipped home office are, therefore, an integral element of the Club Office.
Vitra’s first Club Office was developed at its headquarters for its own Research & Design team. The public section is open to all employees and can also be visited by appointment.