Present-day educational environments have come far from rows of front-facing single desks, where students are urged to sit up straight and take notes from the blackboard, having to endure that cringe-worthy chalkboard noise as the teacher writes out sums in scribbly handwriting. The traditional classroom structure is viewed as incredibly old-fashioned nowadays, and like offices, classrooms and educational spaces have evolved into collaborative and diverse environments.

While some learners – and office workers – enjoy independent work, the choice and opportunity to collaborate has been introduced into design in both the workplace and classroom. In classrooms, groups of tables are a common approach, in where communication and relationships are encouraged to boost productivity and happiness in students.

In offices, this is translated into co-working areas, open-plan layouts and communal desks, which have a world of benefits for many workers. The push for team-building and collaborative work is replicated from the classroom to the office, with structures and design similar.

Schools also promote practical learning as opposed to comprehensive, textbook-type work. Offering outside lessons for science etc. and school trips to get out of the classroom provide experience and variation for children to learn and be creative. Offices may also provide the option to work outdoors in communal spaces or offer corporate outings, escaping the sometimes-draining desk setup, as well as providing the benefits of a change of scenery and different way of working.

The choice of space in offices and schools goes further; schools - places of higher education especially - offer a variation of spaces to spend breaks or study-periods to suit all. In the college I attended for two years, a large, open-plan style library was available to study in, which would sometimes be quite noisy, as well as  a separated dedicated ‘quiet study room’ for those who didn’t work well in the open-plan space. A further lunch-time ‘hub’ was available, where people enjoyed lunch or breaks for socialising, but also could use a laptop or desktop computer to get some work done in a relaxed setting. The choice on offer allows a suitable working space for every student and their preferred working style.

Offices have come a long way from the boxy cubicle-farms and the variation of workspace is similar to how modern schools are laid out. Open-plan designs allow collaboration alongside smaller meeting areas, lunch-areas and spaces for independent working available in most modern offices.

With millennials soon to dominate modern offices, coming out of these collaborative educational environments into the office, they’re likely to have preferences of working space and methods, and used to the choice and freedom in where to complete their work. This familiarity of environment is likely to boost productivity amongst employees, resulting in a strong workforce in the office. 

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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