Focus v Collaboration

Workplace trends are evolving.  We can no longer ignore that employees within an organisation are diverse and have differing work tasks and work styles. Because of this, working environments need to be variable, offering employees a choice of various collaborative or distraction-free settings within the workplace to complete their tasks, otherwise known as an Activity Based Workplace (ABW).  Research conducted by Okamura shows an increase in creativity, productivity and also motivation with the implementation of ABW.

In most workplace environments today, employees cannot just hide away when they wish to avoid distractions.

Providing options for them to work alone in a controlled environment when needed allows them to complete certain tasks efficiently while still being connected to their colleagues through technology.

On the contrary, some tasks require a collaborative setting for groups to share ideas and have open conversations.

Okamura realised that there are two options, being Focus or Collaboration, that employees will require, and there are also two types of tasks Innovative or Routine that they would need to complete. Based on this, they established a matrix of work settings (below), each of which helps to create an Activity Based Workplace for employees to complete required tasks effectively.

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Capsule: Complete quiet and privacy for quickly completing urgent tasks

Fountain: Work alone and develop ideas while in control of distractions

Base: Complete individual work with the option of interacting with others when required

Forum: Casual work environment for completing creative work while interacting with others

Pit: For exchanging information in a quick and efficient meeting with others

Studio: Collaborative team setting for brainstorming and creative work

Along with a strong corporate culture and consideration of employee wellbeing throughout the work environment, this variable activity-based solution can help to increase overall engagement from employees.

Based on the above six work settings, Okamura developed a new product, Muffle. Muffle is a multi-faceted, stand-alone screening and booth system designed to suit agile working environments for both focused and collaborative work.

Click here for more information.

Summary points from presentation by Masahiko Kanaya
– Interior Designer, Project Design Division, Okamura

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