Taking a cue from the restaurant sector, “community tables” are making appearances in office lobbies, corporate cafes and meeting spaces. It’s a movement that represents something of a change in values – towards a more residential, familial workplace that encourages open communication and the building of relationships.
The Community Table: A Co-working Element
As you may already know, a co-working office consists of multiple areas, each with its unique function to make for a desirable co-working experience. The community table is one of them.
The name may give you a hint, but if you haven’t caught on it’s a table that has no one owner or user, that can be used by anyone and everyone. The community table can be used for a variety of purposes and people can invent their own uses for it.
In an office, the community table is a natural place to gather and exchange stories and ideas.
While such large, shared tables do reflect this particular cultural moment – when people are seeking more interaction at work and in public settings such as restaurants and hotels – the community table has been a meaningful object for centuries, a symbol of kinship or alliance.
Today, the table emerges as a relevant feature of an evolving workplace that exhibits many of the characteristics of a home, a place that’s more relaxed, more congenial and collaborative than traditional offices.
Minimal yet warm, the well-crafted wood table is one that alludes to the domestic environment and is informal, collegial and collaborative. Like the simple ALKI table, a community table invites people to gather together, and serves as an architectural anchor for workers to converse while sitting or standing.
It is important to create comfortable and functional spaces that allow your creativity to flow. Sitting with colleagues around a communal dining table allows us to feel like we’re part of a team, and fosters a connection with our physical workplace. The community table is an invitation to design your workflow to suit your day.
This can be a great way to bring people together, provide with more flexible working space and much more. It’s a design feature that’s not regularly talked about when office design is discussed, but it’s benefits are boundless.