As the semblance of pre-pandemic life returns to our lives, our work schedules also require a return to work. But in these times the question arises: Has yesterday’s workplace matched today’s requirements, especially in view of the numerous experiences we learned after more than a year of working from home and which we appreciate today? Swiss furniture company Vitra suggests that it can be with that Vitra Club office.
The Vitra Club Office is the furnishing brand’s answer, which was developed at the company’s headquarters in Birsfelden near Basel for its own Research & Design team – an attempt to reinvent the office with a focus on camaraderie and cooperation, shaped by feedback and observation the home office during the pandemic.
“Those who go to the office today and in the future do so consciously – to meet colleagues and experience a feeling of belonging and appreciation,” says Nora Fehlbaum, CEO of Vitra. “The common mission and the organizational purpose should be discernible. So it has to be more than just a job. An office today has to offer added value. If an office has no character and the colleagues there hide from each other, it is better to save the commute and stay at home. “
In other words, the Vitra Club Office should inspire an ideal to create a more sociable and adaptable atmosphere in which people really want to work and invite the “spontaneous exchange of knowledge”, as Christian Grosen, Chief Design Officer at Vitra, did Team currently occupies the club office.
“I have to go to the office” is often never said with the same enthusiasm as “Let’s go to the club!”. The Vitra Club Office was developed to change the perception and dynamics of the workplace and emphasizes how the furnishings and the atmosphere that characterize them can influence productivity, attitudes and general employee satisfaction.
Divided into three different zones, the first area of the Vitra Club Office is a public area that is comfortably furnished with seating that encourages spontaneous meetings and informal collaboration. Furniture like the brand’s alcove [shown below] Developed in collaboration with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, offer the option of using an integrated soft partition that can buffer noises when entering or leaving a conversation, while the Soft Work sofa system is more conducive to outdoor conversations. Functionally adaptable storage and organizational forms such as the Dancing Wall designed by Stephan Hürlemann give additional functional flexibility.
The second offers a modest level of privacy, one optimized for breakout and more formal collaboration with flexibility in mind. Furnishings such as the Dancing Wall by Vitra, the Stool Tool and Tip Ton are all easy to move and thus allow flexibility for team projects and brainstorming.
And finally, the third is to offer employees a space for seclusion and privacy that is protected from interference and takes on the appearance and the best features of the home office.
It is hoped that more companies will take a flexible approach to working in the office versus working from home, allowing employees to work in an environment that is not only optimal for productivity but also for long-term health and satisfaction. The Vitra Club Office could provide the framework of an office that feels a bit more like home, underlines the advantages of working together and justifies the commuting that goes with it.
Photos by Eduardo Perez for Vitra.