Aesthetic Values at “KARKHANA” with Sachet Manandhar
Not every company can offer choice to employees on the same scale. But all organizations should carefully consider what they can do to give employees the spaces and tools that enhance and support their workday tasks as well as corporate goals. Choice is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, it’s specific to the organization and its needs. And one organization that believes in the aesthetic value of the workspace is Karkhana located in Gyaneshwor. Karkhana is an education company and maker space with a unique approach to learning. The teachers – engineers, designers, artists, scientists – turn the classroom into a lab for discovery. We had a talk with Sachet Manadhar, the Chief Operating Officer at Karkhana and discussed why workspace is important for productivity. Here is what he had to say about their workplace.
To start with, one of our co-founders, Sakar had this space and this house for a long time. So, it made sense that Karkhana shared a room in this space with another organization named Galli Galli in its initial days. Slowly, the growth and development of Karkhana we had to expand so we decided to operate the whole facility ourselves. The buildings that we have are older than a hundred years and after the earthquake The third floor had to be taken down and the remaining floors were reinforced and renovated, while retaining the traditional look and feel. As per our work and the work environment we needed to have an office that balanced out. So, we have an open workspace which is divided to three categories according to the noise level.
Creating different workspace environments within one office adds great flexibility, so, everyone in the office can work according to their work preference. Having quiet areas, collaboration areas and sometimes even game areas can really help us to perform at our best. It’s about having choice to work in a way that best suits the task on hand. If anyone wants to do research for some work or read a book then they can choose their preferred everyday room. We used to have few members in our team while starting out but now as the work is growing.
we had to hire a lot of people so the space we had was not enough. We have shifted to an extra floor which will add as a lounge area, the operations room and the innovators club. We have an open environment that will make people to feel at home which makes for an increased productivity. Our working space is not just for utility, it should sum up as an experience and also a good one. That is how we get motivated to work.
The classes we design are also all based on the activities that are done by the students. We had all our tables made at a friend’s firm and added in our own little improvisation to make all the table tops to work like a whiteboard. Ideas can come in any moment and we have the habit of scribbling things on our desks. This applies to both students and teachers or anyone who is brainstorming. We try and incorporate such kind of designs that evoke creativity.
We never decided on cubicles or assigned desks and chairs instead, we wanted a shared workplace that would encourage face-to-face interaction, idea sharing, opportune interactions, and informal meetings. A work environment with few assigned desks, cafés, loungestyle seating areas, and plenty of relaxed gathering spaces both inside.
WORDS:SHREYA SANGROULA | PHOTO:PRITAM CHHETRI