Office Trend Alert: The Community Table, Decoded
More and more, we as employees are emerging from office cubicles into the fresh, modern space known as the “open office.” While it might be scary to leave the comfort of your 6×6 office cubicle, there are some great benefits to working at a communal table.
The Return Of The Office Communal Table
You’ve probably noticed this trend popping up in restaurants and hotels. Long tables encourage multiple groups to sit together, family style. And now, we’re seeing them in the office. However, the communal table has actually been around for centuries. It’s a place to share ideas and connect with humankind. Unfortunately, it fell out of style. In the 1960’s, a new office trend swept the country. Originally designed to encourage independence and autonomy, the cubicle was the primary component office design well into the 1990s and 2000s. Despite the long reign of the cubicle, there were some issues. Many companies started realizing the value in being able to collaborate freely, unrestricted by walls.
Office trends are now leaning more towards balance (always a good direction, really). A combination of private spaces and communal areas is ideal at the office. Lounges, kitchens, and community tables encourage collaboration and spark creativity. They make it easy to hold meetings, brainstorming sessions, and work on group projects. More secluded, private spaces can be used for work that requires focus without distraction.
With electronic communications on the rise, the re-birth of the community table is more important than ever. It’s a reminder that face-to-face interaction is still king when it comes to sharing ideas.
Next time you plan a brainstorming session, consider taking it to the community table instead of hosting a conference call. Have coffee and a team meeting to reconnect and go over weekly tasks. However you choose to use the community table at your office, it’s sure to make an impact on your office culture.