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Smart Ideas for the Reconfigurable Office

The adjustable meeting room from Optima makes use of smart glass partitioning solutions from Smartglass International.

Flexible workspaces are not a new phenomenon. Many offices contain at least one multi-purpose room, but with the return to office life post-Covid and the rise of hybrid working, many businesses are now thinking more creatively about how they utilise floorspace. As businesses look for new ways to reconfigure existing space, we look at how innovation in glass partitioning can help.

There is no doubt that working from home has proven popular in recent years. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many employees were forced to operate remotely, which also revealed some fundamental truths about office life, namely that shared workspaces are an important hub for innovative and collaborative working.

Reconfigurable office space is one way to embrace these benefits without investing in permanent office infrastructure. After all, if there’s one thing recent events have taught us, it’s that change is constant. But how can building designers realise innovative new office layouts capable of supporting diverse working styles without the cost of a full office refit or relocation?

Smart Glass Partitioning

Glass partitioning has long been a solution for reconfiguring office space. With such versatility in design opportunities, glass partitioning offers unique and distinctive workspaces for brainstorming, professional presentations, focused individual work, and more.

Optima’s Adaptable Meeting Room (AMR) partitioning system is one such glazed solution delivering flexible office layouts without the permanence of traditional glazed walls. These freestanding meeting rooms and pods can be designed to fit within any space. This enables office designers to create – and subsequently reconfigure – a range of neighbourhoods, each tailored for different uses.

From collaborating to private working, the Adaptable Meeting Room can accommodate a host of diverse work styles. Beyond their intrinsic modularity, these innovative meeting room systems also offer another advantage in the form of adjustable privacy.

Customisable Privacy

Unlike traditional glass partitioning which can be difficult to configure without the addition of blinds or curtains, the Adaptable Meeting Room utilises smart glass to provide instant privacy without blocking light.

To this end, Optima’s innovative freestanding office units can feature switchable glass panels, capable of transitioning from transparent to opaque at the flick of a switch. The panels, which are manufactured by Smartglass International, make use of a Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) technology to achieve this stunning effect.

As a result, smart glass partitioning integrated within the Adaptable Meeting Room can be instantly reconfigured, transitioning from transparent to opaque in just 0.1 seconds. What was once a breakout area, for example, can instantly become a private meeting room. And with total control over which office areas are screened from view, businesses are free to create new spaces that align with their evolving needs.

Sustainable Solutions

AS the Adaptable Meeting Room demonstrates, flexible workspaces that can be reconfigured using innovative, circular and reusable design solutions offer a clear advantage for the future of the office.

A full office refit can be expensive, but with a modular, adaptable solution, it’s possible to upgrade your office space – either by changing privacy settings or reconfiguring partitions – enabling you to meet changing requirements without an expensive overhaul.

In addition to these cost benefits, a reusable partitioning solution also offers further advantages in the form of increased sustainability. The AMR is designed around reuse and versatility, so not only can it be moved around to facilitate changing internal layout requirements, but its modular nature means the AMR can easily and quickly be demounted, relocated and reinstalled to move with your business’s needs, extending the lifecycle of the AMR and offering a long-term office solution for clients.

Compared to traditional drywall partitioning, this reconfigurable meeting room innovation is made from Hydro CIRCAL, the lowest embodied carbon aluminium. In addition, the AMR has been developed with reusability in mind, so it can be reused time after time through Optima’s Reuse Service and in line with circular economic principles.

Little wonder that AMR is compatible with various sustainability assessment schemes such as BREEAM, SKA, and LEED as a more environmentally conscious way to design and build the office space of tomorrow.

Smart glass partitioning solutions from Smartglass International integrate beautifully with Optima's Adjustable Meeting Room design.

Employee Well-Being

As a final thought on the merits of smart glass partitioning, it’s worth noting that Optima’s Adaptable Meeting Room’s unique designs also comply with the WELL Building Standard.

This performance-based standard is focused on features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being as an important part of a structure’s sustainability.

Natural light plays an important role here by minimising disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm. For office workers, that means reducing the amount of artificial light to improve productivity and mental well-being.

With its switchable glass panels, the AMR automatically supports increased use of natural light by flooding internal spaces with daylight. Even when the panels are set to opaque to create a private space, employees can enjoy a light, bright working environment that reduces eye strain, headaches, and migraines – ultimately ensuring it rates highly against environmental performance indicators.

Adaptable Offices: A Smart Solution

As the workplace evolves over the coming years, the reconfigurable office will only gain traction. With reduced installation costs and sustainability benefits, it can be installed and altered quickly and cost-effectively to create flexible workspace designs. Adding smart glass to the mix elevates the potential of this solution still further, with customisable privacy and positive outcomes for employee well-being.

As a solution for both commercial and residential spaces, Privacy Smart Glass from Smartglass International delivers the functionality of a private space without blocking natural light. With the application of just a small electrical charge, it can change instantly from transparent to opaque for total user control.

For more information on how smart glass could enhance your latest project, or how the technology is used to support Optima’s Adaptable Meeting Room innovation, get in touch with our expert team today.

Download Smartglass Brochure

Discover the possibilities of switchable smart glass to create multi-functional
spaces that adapt to users’ needs at the flick of a switch.

Download Smartglass Brochure

Discover the possibilities of switchable smart glass to create multi-functional spaces that adapt to users' needs at the flick of a switch


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