Many of us spend more time with our coworkers than our significant others.
That's a depressing thought, especially if you're in last place in the office fantasy league. It's a tradeoff, though. Long hours spent in the office and miserable commutes pay for Thursday's sushi, next month's trip to the Caribbean and Junior's college tuition.
At least one company, though, is imagining a way to spend more time at the office. Japan home-design giant MUJI recently teamed with architect Go Hasegawa to present a series of stacked “micro-apartments” at Beijing Design Week. Their vision? Introducing these apartments to MUJI's Shanghai office, which could allow employees who commute from up to three whopping hours away to stay the night at the office when necessary.
muji (4 images)
Gut reaction? Seeing coworkers putz around in pajamas does not sound appealing. And that's fair. But Hasegawa's concept elegantly interlays private and public spaces. Each coworker would have his or her own “bedroom,” basically a stilted box with a bookshelf, massive bed platform, fan and storage areas. While waiting below is a sweeping kitchen — ideal for communal cooking, not just brown-bag lunches — along with a dining table, restrooms, a common area and washing machines.
Basically, it's a lot like college ... if college were designed by a famous Japanese architect and outfitted with source materials that'd make HGTV blush. And that might be a practical avenue for the more progressive American companies to pursue. For younger, single workers looking to put in a few more hours each day and avoid sitting on a freeway or waiting for a delayed train, on-site micro-apartments could be a great way for a company to simultaneously encourage efficiency and camaraderie. Just divert some funds from the nap pods budget.
For more information on the concept, you can follow Hasegawa on social media here.
Images from China House Vision, MUJI