New trends imagine alternative work environments in which each team member has a smaller workstation, but all the workstations are put into a wagon train formation. In addition, the conference room is in the middle of the workstations where team members are just close enough to overhear each other and they’re buzzing with project ideas in each station and in the center space. And when when privacy is paramount, doors can be utilized on the smaller work stations.

By applying some basic knowledge about how people interact, space planning can restore that feeling of the entrepreneurial garage without sacrificing privacy. For instance, instead of everyone having an 8-by-9-foot workstation, what if they were designed as 8-by-8-foot stations? The saved 1-by-8-foot strips could be put together to create a pint-sized enclave with a door with two pieces of lounge furniture, a table, a laptop connection, and a phone connection that is shared among five people. This creates a space where team members go when they need time to look through notes, write notes, or do research on their laptop computers. To make private phone calls, employees move 20 feet out of their stations into this private space and shut the door.