There is an art and science to seating arrangements in commercial office design. When done well, they’re almost invisible, by which we mean there are no awkward layouts or pieces of furniture sticking out everywhere…just streamlined, beautiful, inviting chairs and lounges. The seating should feel natural and welcoming to guests, employees and stakeholders. After years of designing and furnishing commercial offices, we’ve noticed three key seating layouts that will work for any office regardless of your industry.
When you arrange two larger seats facing each other, you have a design that’s perfect for important one-on-one conversations, sales meetings, meet and greets, informal interviews, and more. Using collaborative seating that is designed with acoustic fabric, you can soften external noise and distractions while focusing on each other. The deep seating and wraparound backs keep visibility to a minimum. Don’t be surprised if you can close deals in this seating arrangement more easily than in a cold conference room.
The Focus Group
Small groups can solve problems quickly when they feel relaxed and at ease with each other. Instead of an upright table with uncomfortable chairs, recreate a living room vibe for your employees with strategically-placed couches and cozy chairs or benches. Measure the square footage of the space for four to six people and allow for side tables or occasional tables. By arranging a three-sided or four-sided layout of couches or chairs facing each other, you’ve now created a small meeting space that offers impromptu creativity and problem-solving among the group.
As open offices and larger spaces prevail, one of the true luxuries of a commercial workspace is privacy. Whether in reception or a sea of modular desks, a busy hallway or an employee lounge, a private place to sit and relax can be difficult to find. That’s why we recommend that you find opportunities to implement the Soloist. A Soloist is a seat such as a chair or lounge that offers privacy shields using acoustic flaps, walls, or enclosures. This also reduces noise and distractions. This kind of layout can also be great for taking phone calls or simply taking a break from the hustle and bustle.
By implementing these three seating arrangements, you’ll provide your employees and managers with options to fit their work activity. This way, no one will be struggling to find a “convenient” place to sit and talk–there will be plenty of spaces available.