free-range workspace

The Free-Range Workspace

Office design, like any corporate endeavor, is about change and evolution. The constantly changing dynamic of work is the driving force behind the exciting office design trends and developments we blog about. Coworking spaces boomed in 2018 and continue to influence office design for talent acquisition and retention. The free-range workspace was inspired by the best of the coworking environment combined with the wide-ranging options of open plan office design.

Why? Because it’s all about amenities and choices. In a free-range environment, you get to choose where you want to work on any given day. Just like in the coworking environment,  you are not stuck at the same desk in the same location day in and day out. Change is good. Encouraging face-to-face interaction over email exchanges and fostering the open sharing of ideas and interactive supervision is why entrepreneurs and remote workers love the coworking dynamic. Putting that to work in a corporate office environment provides the same benefits for your in-house team.

Raise Employee Performance

Today’s workforce is more variable than ever. It merges diverse generations, skill sets, and workstyles into one cohesive focus: to grow your brand. Keeping your team engaged and happy is what accelerates that growth.

Coworking spaces work because they provide unstructured opportunities for people to connect or disconnect at will. If you are interested in raising the bar on productivity and employee performance, the free-range workspace is a great solution. It takes the best of the coworking model and applies it to an agile workspace that allows each department to decide what works best for them.

Open plan design still remains challenging for certain departments, like accounting for instance where fewer distractions are better. But even with number-driven tasks, you will find that some employees focus better when there are things going on around them. They thrive on the creative energy.

In a free-range workplace, employees share the space, resources, and sometimes talent but they can also choose proximity. They get to choose where they want to be on any given day or time of day. No one is locked into the same desk in the same location unless they want to be!

Why Design a Free-Range Workplace?

The Free-Range workplace supports the collaborative culture of open plan design. The open environment allows communication and participation between team members on their terms. The benefits extend to all departments and management levels:

  • Entrepreneurs and executives become a part of the community of employees and interns, increasing the connection with management.
  • The interaction and support dialog between peers and supervisors motivates and improves employee performance.
  • Creativity and innovation flow freely because employees are poised for feedback and other useful perspectives and ideas in real time.
  • The constant flow of communication empowers employees to grow and learn from the people they might not otherwise encounter at work.
  • Generational barriers dissolve by attracting younger talent, while still satisfying the needs of all generations.

Things to Consider

If your office already has an open plan workspace that functions well with your square footage, you might just have to do some minor housekeeping and rearranging. If you’re planning to build a free-range workplace from scratch, consider these options:

  • Invest in a well designed open plan environment
  • Provide agile workstations that can work for both meetings and day-to-day work
  • Designate zones for quiet time, activities and similar tasks
  • Supply plenty of desks and counter space at variable heights
  • Create touchdown spaces with couches and lightweight chairs located in multiple locations
  • Add indoor plants and green walls
  • Utilize glass partitions and portable dividers
  • Shift your conference room experience to a coffee bar aesthetic that doubles as a chic meeting point for clients

Wherever you are in your business journey, great office design is the key to a long-range success story. Workplace design plays a vital role in the performance and success of businesses. Every year, we participate in those successes with our customers. We embrace every one of those milestones and the new technologies and design trends that exemplify the fascinating office furniture design industry. In the race to attract and keep top-performing employees, let your workplace design inspire your team and become the reason why they never want to leave.


erikaMEET ERIKA BARNES: Erika brings a lengthy retail management career to her furniture sales acumen. Innovation is necessary to survive this hyper-competitive business environment. Erida can help you find the best solution success with your workplace design. Connect with her by calling 888-910-3769 x131 or via email ebarnes@officefurniturenow.com.