Third Space Furniture
There is no doubt that flexible working spaces are increasing in the office environment. Companies are reducing floor space by offering flexible working and hot desking.
The focus on this agile approach has meant a greater demand for third space furniture. In the past third space furniture included coffee tables, side tables and may be the odd display case. Third space furniture in 2018 is something very different. Today it needs to facilitate meetings, hot desking, socializing, quiet working, town halls, dining, presenting and even broadcasting.
So there are lots of exciting, new designs to be realized. Here are a few observations and considerations we have noted over the last few months when designing furniture for third spaces.
1. Third spaces often get moved around, the space is likely to change so keep the furniture flexible.
2. Whatever the intended function of the third space, it is likely to be used differently. A modular furniture design can help with this, third spaces often end up having a table or chair pulled up to allow for more people, designing this requirement to the furniture can be helpful.
4. Size matters, the idea of third space is to save on the square foot required, bear this in mind when looking at the size of the furniture specified.
5. Power, people using these spaces will need access to power.
6. Office flow, don’t forget to consider the space around these areas so users aren’t tripping over that low coffee table just out of their eye line, we know that sounds obvious but…
7 Acoustics, consider the noise generated in these spaces and the impact on rest of the office area.
8. Confidentiality, some third space furniture will need to offer the ability to work confidentially.
9. Food, many of these spaces are used for dining, bear this in mind when looking at materials and colour of material, tomato soup and cream fabrics don’t mix.
10. Fresh air verses a draft. There is great emphasis on office air quality, no one wants to sit is stuffy, cramped third space but equally no one will use it if it’s in a drafty corridor. The furniture specified can help combat both these issues.
11. Finally, maintenance, lots of third spaces have alternative furniture in them but do consider the maintenance of what you specify, no one likes a grubby bean bag.