No, I don’t think the “normal” open office space is the best. Normal, regular, run of the mill, open office space tends to be rows and rows of identical desks crammed into standard office spaces with some meeting rooms around the edges. And there never seem to be enough meeting rooms.
There are two problems with that – firstly many of us do lots of different types of work across a working week and it assumes that the standard fixed desk and chair is the right environment for all of it. The second problem is people are all different and have personal preferences and the standard open office space doesn’t give any options for individuals.
“Agile office” design is what I think is best. What Agile does is provide lots of different types of seating (and standing) working space in an office so a user can choose where and what type of place they want to work on depending on their personal preference, the work they are doing at that moment and even just their mood. It leverages technology in that for many of us now, our technology does not fix us to a desk – our laptops and phones move with us so we can take them around.
So an Agile office space will have traditional looking desks and screens, but it will also have quiet corners and nooks, maybe special places to make phone calls from, special places to work quietly, lots of places to meet and collaborate and places to read, write, create and think. It’s a much more diverse type of office environment and I think it creates a much better experience. We cover a lot of this in the book in the chapter on Workspace, hope you enjoy it when it comes out.