In Aristotelian ethics, Eudaimonia is the condition of peak human flourishing or living well.
And for many of us, working in beige, open-plan offices or ecru cubicle farms sets the scene perfectly for us feeling the exact opposite!
So if you’ve got the golden opportunity of designing an office from scratch, really nailing down the physical environment can ensure that conditions are genuinely conducive to producing excellent work and contributing to good mental and physical health.
The architectural concept of the Eudaimonia Machine was developed by Professor David Dewane and it posits that the perfect office comprises a linear series of rooms which we move through while gradually entering more focused mental states associated with different tasks, until finally reaching the environment associated with ‘deep work’.
Sounds cool? here’s how to implement it in your office!
The first room in the series, The Gallery is an inspirational, open space where employees and visitors can see finished examples of the type of deep work that your firm produces.
This doesn’t necessarily need to be a dedicated space, but it should be relaxed and social, and might even double up as a reception area.
Struggling for inspiration? Take a look at these reception design ideas from The Receptionist.
A casual, social area which is one step further into mental focus, The Salon could double as a café or canteen, but should certainly contain comfy sofas and provide access to excellent coffee.
This is a creative, collaborative space where you can brainstorm the early stages of projects, chat about anything that gets you fired up, browse the web for inspiration and jot down ideas.
The space where all finished work is stored (in physical or digital form), The Library contains all the copiers, scanners and computers necessary to collate all the raw materials needed for a new project.
You might also have tables and whiteboards here to help you lay out plans and processes in physical form. The design can be contemporary or traditional – take a look at this piece on the world’s most beautiful libraries from The Guardian to get your creative juices flowing.
The Office Space
Designed for the low intensity activities in a project, The Office Space will contain a board room and traditional workstations used on a hotdesking basis.
Admin staff might also be present in this space to help creatives and producers optimise their working habits, productivity and efficiency.
The space where the ‘magic’ happens, The Chamber is a six by ten foot cloistered space surrounded by soundproof walls – it’s where the deep work happens.
To make this room work, buy a solid portal from the likes of Oakwood Doors and close/lock it. This isn’t a social space, but the area where your most skilled staff employ a laser-like focus on the tasks that make them, and by extension your firm, exceptional. Your setup might contain a series of chambers, but the principle remains the same in each.
So that, in a nutshell, is the Eudaimonia Machine – have fun setting yours up!