Helping organizations rethink the Blended Workspace of the Physical and Digital

“For organizations in a collaboration economy today, productivity depends on the quality of thinking, and not so much on efficiency. The blended workplace is the starting point of innovation for organizations that believe in being distinctly different,” asserts Parthajeet Sarma, MD of iDream Advisory Services. iDream Advisory Services (www.idream.in)  is a workplace strategy consultancy, where they help organisations both with a running workplace or if one has a new workplace coming up.

For 17 years, this boutique firm has been boosting employee productivity by helping organizations rethink the blended workspace of the physical and digital, resulting in an improved bottom-line. They handhold organizations in their quest to be distinctly different, using space as the starting point of innovation.

Here is a feature on the firm’s own office co-created and designed by the in-house design team, led by Parthajeet Sarma. Parthajeet Sarma completed his degree in Architecture from Sir College of Architecture and went on to pursue MBA from Calcutta University. He is also a Chevening scholar (Oxford University) for science & innovation. His entrepreneurial journey began in 2003 and is known for being a proponent of deep research into science and human psychology, being able to draw a connection with organization’s bottom line. He is an author of best sellers around this topic.

Every square inch of the office has been optimized and almost every space in this office has double duty and is a hallmark of creativity, both in terms of design and the creative atmosphere it lends to the users. A good amount of imagination and several space-savvy design choices has made the most of every precious inch in this workspace, located in Mumbai. 

The designer has used multilevel staggered workstations in order to accommodate more occupants without flouting regulatory restrictions of headroom for the users of the space. While the space at the lower level is dedicated to functions like accounts and design which require privacy, the space above is for the marketing and projects team.

A good amount of storage space has been created behind the monitor space in the lower level, having concealed pull-out table spaces with the monitors completely camouflaging the storage behind, to be transformed into tidy workstations. The white palate and white task lights keep the space from feeling cramped.

Taking advantage of vertical space, one complete wall has been dedicated for storage. This ingenious storage unit conceals several office essentials including a printer, a wet pantry with a concealed water purifier, steel trolleys for storage of utensils and crockery, shelves for storage of cleaning essentials, space for a refrigerator, and also a small work station. Although narrow , extensive use of mirrors on the storage shutters creates the illusion of space & light and breaks its monotony. The mirrors are also often used for communication among the teams seated in either level.

Instead of trying to squeeze a traditional desk into the cabin, a floating foldable table with wall-mounted storage units on both sides was introduced. This gives the cabin an ability to transform it into a multi purpose space, usable when the need of such a space need arises during a Christmas party or the traditional Diwali prayer rituals of India. The colour palette in this space is earthy and subtle to give it a formal touch during client visits.

Space under the stairs, have been utilized as drawers, primarily to store items such as material boards and catalogues for easy access by the design and projects team members, to be picked while venturing off for client meetings.

The water storage above the wash room and the access to it, led to the creation of a small and productive space, away from the daily distractions and just above the cabin. Two bean bags and a fixed seating space once again doubles up as a break out space during lunch hour, while also being the perfect place to get some focused work done, letting ones creativity shine at other times. The solitude in this space during work hours is ideal, particularly when writing.

Most surfaces in this office are glossy, with an extensive use of mirrors, glossy laminate finishes on vertical surfaces, and a glossy tiled floor, making the office very easy to clean, and today it is therefore Covid 19 friendly.

The vertical split of space at 3 levels ensures that different groups can work in their own nook. Here social distancing is maintained in the Y axis; an unexpected first.

Despite the size of the office and the multi utility of the entire space, this office neither feels cluttered or cramped. It is completely independent, and users are not dependent on any public services like wet areas and toilets. On the one hand it offers space which is free from distractions and allows one to focus completely on the task at hand at the same time it caters to extroverts and their need for interactions and remaining connected. The end result is an impressive space both in terms of functionality and aesthetics.

Heres how Parthajeet sums it up, “We firmly believe in allowing ideas to bounce off each other, leading to Eureka moments. For, chance always favours the connected mind,” and the office space is definitely a reflection of this belief.

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