‘Modern rituals for the workplace’ is a book full of inspirational objects and situations to facilitate social encounters at co-working spaces and network meetings. Designed specifically for networking purposes, it ties in with the new way of working and focuses on inspiring ideas that make it easier for people to start a conversation or connect with potential peers.
The way we work is changing. Companies everywhere are rearranging their offices to stimulate creativity, innovation and interaction. Flexible workstations arise, allowing freelancers to work and connect with others. But how effective is this new way of working and what could be done differently to enhance the sought-after effects?
I was invited to research and develop new concepts for the new way of working; an assignment carried out by Eindhoven municipality in the Netherlands.
“A book as a source of inspiration filled with objects and situations to facilitate new encounters at flexible workstations”
To fully understand this new way of working, I tried working at different workstations for a week. Soon it was clear that these spaces don’t necessarily function as intended. Because almost everyone wears earplugs while staring at their laptops it still remains difficult to start a conversation or build a new network.
By observing several workstations I found that due to the freedom of freelancers a lot of the social rituals related to the classic workspace, such as talking over coffee or carpooling, are non-existent at flexible workstations. So in order to facilitate these kind of encounters I came up with alternative situations and objects, which in the end resulted in a series of concepts.
“I started creating new rituals in flexible workspaces by inventing objects and situations that help people to connect, interact and share ideas.”
The book was presented during the Dutch Design Week 2013 and gained a lot of attention. A tested version of one of the concepts was a great success. This inspirational book can really help connecting people and make it easier for socially awkward people to start a conversation.
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