In general, I’m as up for embracing flash-in-the-pan office design trends as much as the next person. Like, if my workplace wants to have a ball pit in the breakout space, I’m here for that. But there’s one trend I can’t quite seem to get my head around, and that’s the so-called comfortable workspace. You know what I mean – a cushiony, couch-filled zone intended to facilitate collaborative, creative interactions. In my opinion, all these areas do is make it really hard to get anything done short of having a much-needed nap.
It’s as though all the office design companies based in Melbourne got together and dreamed up a conspiracy to make us forget about going home at the end of the day. “We’ll just add a few cosy features here and there, and everyone will forget about their homes and families and social lives and downtime!” Good try, buddies. You’re not fooling anyone, even as we fumble with our laptop cables trying to find the power hub artfully concealed inside a pouffe.
Okay, fine. Maybe it’s not a conspiracy. If it was, it would be a fairly pointless one, because as soon as I sit down on a couch I immediately switch out of work mode. I gather that that’s kind of the idea, with the outcome being that people start thinking more laterally or enter a flow state or something. If that’s what you think, though, the joke’s on you, because my brain simply becomes preoccupied with binge watching action movies and ordering green curry.
Now, that’d be an innovation in commercial fitouts. For Melbourne offices with discerning tastes, I propose designated napping zones (that are not also supposed to be work zones)… imagine that! I really think it could be a win-win, because workers generally need to nap and employers generally benefit from well-slept workers. I mean, if it did become a thing, I guess I’d probably be just as suss on it as I am on the collaborative couches. But at least I’d actually have permission to sleep in the office, as opposed to just the unfulfilled suggestion of being able to doing so.