Did you listen to what your mother told you?…. “Learn to think.” Your parents will have encouraged this in you from the day you were born. Learn from the world around you to solve the problems you face. And, after that, act. Take the necessary steps and finally, perhaps with a little daring, push yourself to new heights. Thinking, doing and daring: These life lessons can be a starting point for a workspace, which, thanks to modern techniques, can now be equipped to meet our needs.

This blog post is written by Mark Halbmeijer, winner Shaping The Office Contest in the Functionality category

Through automation of our workplace, the needs of the contemporary office have shifted towards process optimisation and the prevention of problems. This is the thinking part of work. Employees come to the office to ‘think’, often together with their colleagues. For example, they share ideas to solve problems and transfer knowledge. An inspiring environment contributes to this. When it comes to actions, you are doing your work where the circumstances are best suited. This ‘doing’ can take place in the office, but also elsewhere. For example, why should a customer care employee spent eight hours per day sitting in a cubicle at the office if he or she can sit in their own garden with the right digital connectivity, headset and an iPad in their hands? Perhaps they will even accept a lower salary in return for this flexibility? In such a case, a person comes to the office mainly to share experiences and discover mutual new insights – thinking rather than doing. We must “dare” to organize our work in different ways. Why do we teach secondary school students to work independently and then revert back to the level of primary school at work, even after our employees have completed a master’s degree? Within an organization, we must dare to trust each other, otherwise you are better off do everything yourself… Can you imagine that?

The role of storage in the working process
You need the right source materials to solve problems, and these are often the physical elements that you have collected or created. In addition, there are digital resources which must be carefully stored, to avoid the dangers of viruses and hackers. The storage of this information, however, must meet the ‘instant need’ mentality of the modern world. The storage – physical and virtual – should be available in the office whenever we need it. The accessibility of physical information is a leading consideration in a modern office.

Accessibility can be achieved by making the storage system integral to the system of work. No one wants to spend money on costly office space storing material that is only accessed infrequently. Why don’t we use the ceiling instead? With current IT available, we can plan where and when we need our storage, and control it at the touch of a button. In fact, why is there no storage consultant present from the start of a project, just like fire, structural and health and safety consultants? The client will know the kind of storage they require, and if we don’t honour those wishes from the start, we will end up with a solution that is not suitable for anyone.

About APTO
Of course, these are all wise words, but at APTO we also know we have to work hard every day to make the most of the new techniques. APTO is an architectural firm that launched at the start of the revolution in office working trends – the new way of working. Our approach combines concept, strategy and flexibility. A good architect is like no other – capable of pulling together a concept and using this as a basis for a design, business case or execution of a project. In addition, it is essential as an architect to consider the overall feasibility of a project, including planning, budget and scheduling. If we can’t manage it on our own, we seek the right specialists for assistance. Even though we at APTO still need to take some steps in our working processes, the important thing is always to give it your best shot. Hence, this blog was written in San Francisco at 11:00pm on a mobile phone while lying in bed…