Office concepts are the basis for the design of office space . They offer basic solutions for functional requirements, represent values of the organizational culture spatially, structure the work processes and form the framework for their adaptability. They influence the effectiveness and efficiency of organizations and, through their specific space economy, the building costs, the second largest cost factor in the service sector alongside personnel expenses. Office concepts are also part of the quality of life of people who work in offices.
In principle, the different office concepts can be implemented in every type of office building , but differ in their requirements for fire protection, technical equipment and interior fittings. It is therefore advisable to coordinate architecture and office concept at an early stage.
The Uffizi, planned in Florence in the 16th century, is the model for the office concept that is most widespread in Germany . Almost 500 years later, central corridors, in which closed offices with one or more workplaces are lined up, are typical of cell offices. Cell offices offer the individual individuality and opportunities to retreat. Double rooms are most common in cell offices.
Open plan office
Open-plan offices are the Office concept preferred in the US and the UK. Attempts to introduce them accordingly in Germany have been considered to have failed since the 1980s. Since then, group rooms with a manageable number of workplaces have been set up instead of large rooms with a few hundred workplaces. The advantages in terms of space economy are offset by the disadvantages of limited individuality and, above all, the stress caused by acoustic disturbances and air conditioning. Group offices work when the technology is permanently maintained and the advantages of flexibility are used.
Combination offices have been established as a compromise since the 1980s. The concept was developed in Scandinavia with the intention of combining the advantages of open-plan offices and cubicle offices - hence the name - and at the same time largely avoiding their disadvantages.
In combi-offices, standardized single rooms are grouped around a communication zone in which communal facilities such as copiers and meeting facilities are housed and which also access the rooms. Glass walls between the offices and the communication zone enhance the previously dark corridors with daylight. Since every office has a lockable door, concentrated work is possible, while the glass walls to the communication zone promote transparency and neighborhood (“see and be seen”). Due to the standardization, the single rooms offer individuality and are still flexible. In its pure form (only single rooms) the combined office is the most uneconomical office concept. The space efficiency increases and exceeds that of other office concepts if, in addition to individual offices, other office shapes and parts of the central zones are used for workplaces.
The business club concept arose from the need to better utilize expensive office space through flexible use, since work with people, which is increasingly replacing automated processing, often leaves many offices empty for days. Business clubs often provide the spatial environment for desk sharing .
A spatial model are the business lounges in airports and train stations, which offer coffee tables, desks and informal seating next to each other for relaxing, working and conferencing. The second spatial model is the traditional British club , in which there are neither desks nor offices, but a fireplace, library and a relaxed atmosphere. This is enough as a meeting point for members in different professions, roles and daily routines, which have nothing in common but the social affiliation to an institution that promotes personal success.
Instead of personal workplaces, business clubs therefore offer a variety of workplaces that are used from time to time depending on the activities and work style. According to the concept, employees choose a place of work that suits their current job and serves their productivity. Membership in a spatially and socially manageable neighborhood, the club, which differs from the traditional office through its informally designed ambience, takes on the role of the personal workplace as “home”. The flexibility of the office concept should support the flexibility of its users and the processes.