Work dominates our collective idea of what life should entail. What we do for a living plays a significant role in determining where we live, who we meet and socialize with, what we eat, what we wear, what we buy, and so much more.
And yet, our culture is divided about work. Some people are anti-work and others are self-proclaimed hustlers. Some people enjoy the daily commutes to their 9-5 jobs and others are adamantly sticking to flexible hours and remote or hybrid work.
Many believe that in the capitalist society that is America, the value of a person or an activity is always measured by productivity more than anything else. However, looking at work in a social sense may reveal that the value of work is not based on productivity at all. In “The Office of Good Intentions. Human(s) Work”, architects and designers LeeAnn Suen and Florian Idenburg suggest that the office is a space that serves as a “container for occupational distraction”. Their commentary contains a rather bleak and perhaps nihilistic view of the purpose of a job. Idenburg describes us as “humans within the system” who are valuable as consumers more than workers. The designers suggest that the function of work is to occupationally “distribute purchasing power amongst consumers”, wherein work has no meaning other than the meaning we assign to it. Idenburg goes as far as to suggest that work no longer holds value in performance, but in the environment in which it serves to give workers a sense of meaning.
Still, work has a grip on us, literally. Suen and Idenburg suggest that the office is designed to subtly and overtly control and survey workers. Some people argue that in-person interaction and oversight are requirements for productive work, while others argue that remote work has already existed in some sense long before it seemed to suddenly become a norm. In fact, Suen and Idenburg propose that the definition of a workspace has been gradually evolving from physical to digital since the first email was sent.
Suen describes two strategies for surveillance: obscurity or cuteness. Offices can either be dreadful or welcoming, depending on how the space is styled and arranged. Function meets form when the right equipment, furniture, and pieces are implemented for the given persons and tasks.
Modern offices need to be designed and furnished to meet the needs of workers who want to feel comfortable and happy as they work. Ergonomic and modular furniture can be easily installed and found here.
Some experts suggest that office redesigns and renovations will be key to retaining employee motivation and morale as the nature of work progressively becomes more digital. Even in industries where the work literally cannot be performed remotely, employees will still prefer an office that feels like home in an emotional sense. Envisioning in advance how a space should make a worker feel is key to planning an office redesign or renovation.
We recommend Creative Office Design for discovering new and used office furniture. You can give them a call today.
Creative Office Design
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