From the Open Office to the 'Coffice': Liqui Group Reflects Upon the Evolution of the Hybrid Office

The Future of workplace design. Blending Coffee Break Vibes with Productive Collaboration

26/05/2023 - Liqui Group, the multifaceted and award-winning British design practice with studios in London, Horsham, and Los Angeles, presents its reflections on the paradigm-shifting phenomenon of the hybrid office, introducing the intriguing notion of the "coffice"– merging the conviviality of the coffee break and the dynamism of collaborative work.

The design of the workplace has long been a subject of attention. As early as 1906, Frank Lloyd Wright recognised the significance of employee comfort and well-being in his iconic Larkin Building, where he harnessed natural light, improved ventilation, and created built-in office furniture, demonstrating the importance of design for the organisation of the work environment. Wright's Johnson Wax Building, completed in 1936, pushed the boundaries even further with its progressive concepts of open space and organic forms, amplifying the importance of natural illumination and a harmonious connection with nature to foster creativity and well-being.
The Liqui view on the Hybrid Office 2

The Liqui view on the Hybrid Office

The advent of office cubicles in the 1960s, inspired by Robert Propst and Herman Miller's visionary Action Office system, revolutionised office layouts. Although it eventually became associated with monotonous space, the cubicle represented a substantial step forward in accommodating individual needs within a shared workspace.

In the late 1990s,  the Google offices emerged as one of the trailblazing tech workplaces, with the company's understanding that cultivating a distinctive and innovative work context was conducive to creativity  and employee well-being. Its deliberately informal and flexible layout echoed the startup ethos and accentuated the value placed on collaboration.

Liqui observes that the real game-changer was the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating a process already in act. Remote work became the mandatory norm, shedding light on the advantages of flexibility and an improved work-life balance. Contrary to popular belief,  employees demonstrated their trustworthiness and reliability, proving that productivity need not decrease while working from home.
Flexible working by Liqui 3

Flexible working by Liqui

To attract and retain top-tier talent, employers must adapt to this new way of thinking. The hybrid office is where employees meet for collaborative activities like meetings and brainstorming sessions, while remote work is the domain for individual tasks. Liqui points out that effective hybrid office design should accommodate diverse work modes, presenting social areas, enclosed spaces, secluded nooks, and well-appointed conference rooms. By limiting the number of static workstations and implementing "hot desks," companies can maximise the spatial potential of the office. Strategic placement of common facilities, like printer stations or centrally located high tables, engenders chance encounters and nurtures an environment conducive to creativity. The design and layout of the hybrid office must embody the realisation that work extends beyond the fixed desk, and that often creative ideas are generated during a coffee break in a vibrant hub, where openness and privacy seamlessly merge – the concept Liqui dubs the "coffice."

Flexibility and well-being are two indispensable aspects of hybrid office design, corroborated by studies from HR News and Microsoft. In fact, the Microsoft Work Trend Index cited by Liqui reveals that 53% of employees now prioritise their well-being compared to the pre-pandemic era, stating that ccompanies that prioritise these areas will see heightened productivity, as employees can make the most of their workdays regardless of their location.
Liqui group reflects upon the evolution of the Hybrid Office 4

Liqui group reflects upon the evolution of the Hybrid Office

Liqui underscores that investment in four crucial domains – design, hardware, software, and culture – constitutes the bedrock of a successful hybrid office. A human-centric design approach emerges as indispensable and should include well-designed furniture, acoustics that harmonise with the space, lighting schemes that foster an environment of well-being, and greenery that invigorates the senses. Such design fosters collaboration, creativity, productivity, and staff retention, leading to increased employee engagement and happiness, ultimately benefiting the business's bottom line.

Liqui Group on Archiproducts.com
Office Design of the Future according to Liqui 5

Office Design of the Future according to Liqui

Office Design of the Future according to Liqui 6

Office Design of the Future according to Liqui

Office Design of the Future according to Liqui 7

Office Design of the Future according to Liqui

Office Design of the Future according to Liqui 8

Office Design of the Future according to Liqui

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Tumblr Share on Pinterest
Save to:
Follow us on