Be careful with hot desks and make space for chance encounters… - Spaceoasis

Research & Thinking

Not just a pretty room…Our research-informed design means every aspect of every space is there for a reason. Our spaces aren’t just beautiful, they work brilliantly. Here we share our research and thinking to help shape your ideas.

Be careful with hot desks and make space for chance encounters…

words of advice from architect and graphic facilitator Giuseppe Boscherini.


Former Creative Director of Workspace for the Centre for Building Research Establishment (CBRE), architect Guiseppe Boscherini is a sought-after designer and facilitator specialising in co-creation workshops that yield uniquely innovative and tangible outcomes. We asked him to share his thoughts about creativity, collaboration and what people are looking for in their workspace.


Chance encounters

“Whether it’s for social or business purposes, people thrive on interaction. Google promotes social encounters in its workspaces to counter the solitude of coding, so it dots cafes and breakout spaces around its offices to enable chance encounters and places to ‘touch down’ with a colleague. It’s important to have these informal spaces to strengthen your networks and refresh your thinking.”

The millennial skills co-operative

“It’s fascinating to see how the younger generation are creating their own way of working; just look at companies like Liquid Space in San Francisco and Workspace Group here in London that offer super-flexible office space. You can rent a desk in amongst a bunch of other people and you see millennials almost setting up a guild-style environment where people of all different disciplines come together, co-working under one roof to share expertise. There’s a huge variety of skills working together without an overarching corporate structure, it’s like a skills co-operative. They are very self-motivated, they’re looking for a more liberated way of working. It’s the future of work.”

It’s still about status

“People naturally desire status to mark their individual achievements; they want territory and often that means their own desk. When you ask people what they want it might not be a fluid, hot-desking environment because that doesn’t accord them any status so it’s important to understand and acknowledge the career component of being at work.”

A new generation of event space

“There’s a lot more thought going into spaces for events that are less formal but at the same time highly structured, choreographed and curated. If you’ve got a room full of high flyers you have to make it unquestionably worth their time. A lot of the creative sessions I run incorporate movement to re-energise participants and theatre to engage them. They leave exhausted but happy and fulfilled, having given it their all to achieve tangible, worthwhile outcomes. So, the environments in which these very intense sessions happen have to be up to the challenge, they have to be agile, flexible with excellent power and data connectivity. The QuantumBlack Client Lounge is a good example of this; it’s a space that works really hard and is used for many different types of collaborative working.”

Identify your ‘happy’

“If you want to change your workspace you first have to think: what is my happy? Am I looking for greater productivity? More creativity? Better health? More profit? Increased staff retention? Once you’ve identified where greater ‘happiness’ lies you can start to think about how to achieve it – but you must have a clear set of goals at the outset so you can design the right solution.”