The Enclave: A Modern Office Must-Have

We’re big advocates of creative collaboration and the spaces that support that mode of work. But few workers can thrive in an all-collaboration-all-the-time environment. 

People crave balance at work. In between project team meetings and group sessions, they need comfortable solo spaces where they can escape to catch their breath, make a phone call, gather their thoughts or do quiet, focused work. 

These short-term retreat spaces give workers the change of pace—and of posture—that often stimulates new ideas and leads to better conversations down the road. 

And for mobile workers, a private oasis is exactly what’s needed as they grab a few minutes to prep for the next meeting. 

Meike Toepfer Taylor, a former Coalesse design researcher, calls these enclaves “ready refuge places where we can hide if needed.”

Office designers aren’t blind to the need. More and more, they’re incorporating private enclaves in the modern office as counterpoints to lounges, work cafés, project rooms and other group or public spaces.

Research backs up the need for private breakouts that promote focus and rejuvenation. 

“There’s mounting evidence that the lack of privacy is causing people to feel overexposed in today’s workplaces,”said Donna Flynn, who leads Steelcase’s WorkSpace Futures research group. Along with giving people easy access to their colleagues, companies who practice collaboration also need to give workers “the time and places to focus and recharge,” she said.

In the end, these getaway spaces—whether fully enclosed or simply tucked away off the beaten path—are more than just a place to kick back. 

They’re vital alternative workspaces that meet the need for a variety of environments to match workers’ varying needs. 

  Coalesse Hosu Lounge Seating in an Office Enclave.

Between meetings and problem-solving sessions, people often need time to be alone and let ideas percolate. Hosu Lounge Seating, with its convertible chaise foldout, offers a relaxing personal space to refocus and rejuvenate in the middle of a hectic day. 

                                                                   
Coalesse Millbrae Contract Bench with a Free Stand Table 

A peaceful corner can be the breakaway space workers need to build balance into their day. This welcoming space features the Milbrae Contract Bench and Free Stand portable work surface.

      Coalesse Hosu Lounge Seating in a Private Enclave at Atlas Holdings

This private nook at the Atlas Holdings headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut, floats above a communal area, providing a haven that complements the open space below. The enclave features a pair of Hosu Lounge chairs. Design by HLW & Workwell Partners. Photography by Chris Cooper. See more photos from this space in Inc.com’s “World’s Coolest Offices 2015.” 

Filed under: Design Inspiration

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