Do you ever dream of working in a tree? Imagine it: instead of the electrical hum of that bung overhead light, you get a soundtrack of fluttering leaves. And instead of that sweaty vinyl swivel chair with the weird bump in the seat, you get to drape yourself over a branch, resting your head on a cushion custom-made for you by your new tree-dwelling colleagues (who are birds).
Okay, so I’m getting carried away here. But can you blame me? Office environments can be so artificial, and studies have clearly indicated that views to organic shapes and tones are beneficial to workplace performance, stress reduction and eye health. So even though working in a tree might be a bit of a stretch for most people, there’s elements of the idea that could stand to be incorporated by more office design specialists. Melbourne design nerds, what are your thoughts?
It’s entirely possible that, for some people, the whole white-walled container concept is actually ideal, and it might lend itself well to carrying out certain kinds of work. I’m not completely against it by any means, and there are aspects of it that I definitely rely on in my own work – for example, an internet connection and powerpoints, plus suitable seating (let’s be real; branch-draping is probably not for me when I’m trying to get down to business).
When it comes down to it, high-end commercial fitouts have evolved a lot over the course of my adult life. I suppose it’s the workplaces with more limited resources for overhauling their space that are likely to be stuck with a sub-functional or aesthetically unpleasant space.
There are a few simple and cost-effective fixes for this that spring to mind. For example, indoor plants might help if a green view from a window isn’t in order. There are species that actually thrive in spots without too much natural light and, conveniently, don’t need much in the way of looking after. As far as changing up the office infrastructure goes, lighting seems like a top priority, especially in spaces don’t have optimal natural light. Oh, and a soothing soundtrack of birdsong is just a click away.