Blogs & Thoughts

Craic'n Community

It’s a pity last week’s BCO Next Gen event (hosted at Tsunami Axis’ Glasgow home, sponsored by SPACE) was cancelled at the last minute due to Covid. For one thing, it was to be a welcome return to in-person events. It was also to be on the theme of ‘community’ and was being held on St. Patrick’s Day – it was destined to have been a great event with lively discussion.

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  • Authors Chris Carr & Lucy Galloway
  • Date 23 March 2022
  • Read Time 2 minutes

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy the ‘craic’ however – we Scots thoroughly approve of the sentiment and no doubt have a similarly evocative word for it [answers on a postcard please]. Craic also applies to the workplace; we want it to have little bit of life.

Had the event gone ahead, what might we have talked about?

Given the venue and the wonderful furniture on show at Tsunami Axis’ show-office, some of the discussion might have focused on the types of spaces and furniture settings required to create or support a workplace community. What are the right environments for people to come together? What pieces of furniture are available to allow you to customise space (being able to go from mini groupings to full-blown gatherings)?

Someone might have asked about the technology requirements in these workplace community spaces. Town Hall style events often have a presentational aspect to them, so a ceiling-mounted projector or wall-mounted monitors might be just the job. What about the A in AV? Around Christmas time we have a film night in our Glasgow office, so a good sound system always comes in handy in the workplace. Do we need a DJ deck? Ask Neil Hemingway at 360 Architecture and he’ll undoubtedly say that every workplace should have one!

Building a community in the workplace is more than just a numbers game though – a simple product of X people attending Y events does not equal a workplace community. You need a critical mass of the right type of people to create a positive atmosphere.

A word of caution about forcing people to engage. Not everyone is comfortable with the concept of community – for some perfectly acceptable reasons. For every ‘life and soul of the party’ there are others who would run a mile at being coerced to participate in community – or team building. Is it a workplace community if it intentionally excludes people?

A community has to be welcoming to everyone. That can be a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity.

So, to go back to the question in the event title, ‘What does community look and feel like in the workplace today?’ When the rescheduled event comes along (or indeed the twin-event in Edinburgh takes place on 7th April) it will be interesting to hear what people say. In my no-designer mind, the physical ‘community spaces’ will be the same types of spaces we saw yesterday, but the people who inhabit these spaces are now very different. We’re a little more demanding, we want our workplace to be a little more engaging, and we’re likely to place a far greater emphasis on design.

Chris Carr, Associate Workplace Consultant

Chris arrived in workplace consultancy following stints as a scientist in the USA and a tour guide in Greece. He is passionate about the interaction between people and the workspaces they inhabit. Over the past six years, he has worked with numerous clients to help them envisage more effective and engaging spaces.
Lucy Galloway Head of Interior Design

Lucy Galloway, Head of Interior Design

Based in the Glasgow office, Lucy works in the Consultancy & Design team advising and supporting organisations throughout Scotland. You can contact Lucy directly at