One office design, six kinds of meeting spaces: BrowserStack’s workplace strategy for collaboration
Not all meetings are created equal – so why should all meeting rooms be designed the same?
As companies move towards collaborative work structures, meetings are no longer just formal boardroom conversations. Today, a quick chat over a water cooler may be just as productive as one that takes place around a conference table. However, when designing their meeting spaces, many organisations fail to take such casual interactions into account.
While planning out the modern office design for BrowserStack’s Mumbai office, Space Matrix kept this in mind. BrowserStack is a company that offers developers the most reliable cloud-based testing platform for web and mobile browsers. As a tech-driven firm with a rapidly growing workforce, collaboration and teamwork is key to the company’s success.
Space Matrix’s workplace design strategy came out of the understanding that BrowserStack's dynamic workforce needed a space that would give them the freedom to take on multiple roles and activities, without compromising on transparency and collaboration. Based on this insight, Space Matrix explored the design possibilities stemming from a conceptual glass box. They wanted to recreate the transparency of a glass box, as well as its ability to take on multiple functions.
Following this design concept, the design team decided to offer employees a space for every kind of interaction — no matter how many people are involved or how quick or informal the meeting is. The idea was to create an environment that would keep people engaged without feeling stifled, similar to a design office.
After familiarising themselves with the way the employees work, they incorporated six different kinds of meeting spaces into the workspace design. Take a look.
1. Phone booths
The smallest of six meeting spaces, phone booths are meant to accommodate a single person at a time. These snug booths are ideal for employees who need a quiet, private space to step into when they have a client call or a phone interview.
On entering the booth, employees will find a comfortable sofa to sit on, and a table suspended at an optimum height to hold their laptops, notebooks and perhaps a cup of coffee. Done up in bright colours and featuring soothing overhead lights, these minimalistic spaces are perfect for quick calls and short meetings.
2. Meeting booths
For face to face meetings involving more people, employees can head to the stylish meeting booths. Larger than the phone rooms, these open booths can seat up to 4 at a time and are ideal for quick brainstorming sessions or casual catch ups with one’s supervisor.
The vibrant colours and chic geometric patterns on the walls exude an informal, friendly vibe. The soft lighting and wooden accents make the space warm and inviting. The turquoise seating booths are comfortable and soothing to the eye, while the colourful cushions add an extra touch of cosiness. Some of these booths have wide-screen TVs that an employee can hook up to their system if they want to support the ongoing conversation with a quick, informal presentation, so it is designed as a place with workplace technology.
3. Step seating
In the modern workplace, not every meeting is formally organised and scheduled. Sometimes, colleagues get chatting and come up with a brilliant idea, or hit upon a creative solution to a problem. To enable and encourage such impromptu interactions, we created the step seating area.
This is an open, informal seating space designed on a step-like layout, where employees can make themselves comfortable. To give it a chic, welcoming atmosphere in line with office design trends, the designers at Space Matrix added in bright accent cushions, colourful coffee tables and potted plants. Large and centrally located within the BrowserStack office, there is enough space here for multiple small groups to collaborate. Alternately, since it accommodates big crowds, this spacious area can also be used for town halls when required.
4. Brainstorm zones
BrowserStack’s teams prefer taking a collaborative approach in the face of a challenge. When time is of the essence, and a particularly creative solution is required, colleagues need to come together in a comfortable, inspiring environment. They need a space where they can sit for longer durations, without it feeling stifling or monotonous.
That’s where the Brainstorm Zones come in. Designed in soothing hues, and with a warm wooden finish, these zones are semi-private spaces where people can focus without feeling like they are shut up in a room all day. The colourful, lightweight stools and chairs keep the area dynamic – they can be easily moved to accommodate more people who might want to join in the discussion.
5. Informal meeting rooms
For informal client meetings, longer team discussions, and planning and strategy sessions, one needs a cosy, cheerful space that has all the functionalities of a meeting room. It needs to offer some degree of privacy, but ideally should not feel like it is completely closed off from the rest of the office.
The informal meeting rooms in BrowserStack are designed keeping these parameters in mind. They have single glazed glass walls that offer acoustic privacy without compromising on the open feel of the space. The cushy sofas, armchairs and upholstered stools let people get comfortably settled in for longer discussions. The exposed brick walls, eye-catching cushions, rugs, and funky artwork give the rooms a stylish café-like vibe. Even the whiteboard – a meeting room staple – is shaped like a speech bubble to give it a cool twist. Of course, these informal rooms are workplace tech-enabled to facilitate seamless collaboration.
6. Formal meeting rooms
For management meetings, formal client discussions and confidential sales and target conversations, we have meeting rooms that are designed with a more conventional approach. These rooms are closed off with glass walls to afford a higher level of privacy. Further, husk board ceilings have been used to absorb sounds and give the rooms a better acoustic quality.
Since these rooms are at the heart of the company’s decision-making processes, the décor is kept understated. Minimalistic white brick walls feature sophisticated artwork. The furniture is classically elegant with muted colours and wood tones. The space is evenly lit from above so that nobody at the conference tables finds themselves in the shadows. Since reports and charts may be frequently presented here, these meeting rooms are fully tech-enabled, with a wide-screen TV and adequate data and power grommets.
Material Used :
1. Flooring - Interface carpet
2. Ceiling - Husk Board
3. Fabric - D Decore, Yamini fabrics
4. Wallpapers - Muraspec
5. Stone - Grey William, Black Marquina
6. Heritage tiles (cement) - Bharat flooring
7. Tiles - Somany, Kajaria