Rigid office workspaces are largely a thing of the past. In fact, there’s been something of a renaissance movement within modern office design that promotes key criteria required for creating a beautiful, bold multi-purpose workspace capable of delivering on several fronts. If you’re curious about reformatting your office space with this ideology in mind, or seek to create a new one from scratch, then we invite you to read on.
First, we’ll examine the philosophy behind flexible workspace design, before touching on ways to apply it for your office. The idea is simple – to boost productivity by creating a multi-purpose office capable of adapting and changing at will to tackle several challenges at once. Think it’s impossible? Let’s find out.
THE KEY TENETS OF FLEXIBLE WORKSPACE DESIGN
Contrary to popular belief, workspaces don’t need to be rigid and uniform with clearly defined team spaces. Flexibility is applied in modern office design via several criteria, including:
1) Modularity – that central principle upon which flexible office design is built on. The core reasoning behind modularity is to create a workspace that can be reconfigured and redeployed at will for any purpose, whether it’s dealing with a large project, or accommodating a growing team. Modular office furniture plays a big role here, giving employees what they need to shift their work patterns while still remaining efficient.
2) Technology – a must-have when it comes to drafting up unbeatable flexible workspaces. Integration of technology includes everything from powerful Wi-Fi and rock-solid server infrastructure, to tech-based local and remote conferencing tools that can bring teams together regardless of where they are in the world.
3) Scalability – the art of always thinking ahead, especially when it comes to future growth. All businesses go through this over time, but it usually involves a drastic restructuring of the office in order to deal with rapid scaling. Flexible workspaces take a proactive approach by deploying solutions that can be utilized over time, in real-time.
4) Multi-Functionality – the end goal of a flexible workspace. If it’s doing just one job, your office won’t be hitting all the marks. For instance, the break room is no longer just the break room, but a potential work area. Similarly, hot-desking has replaced static desking layouts to lessen a company’s footprint, while accommodating a diverse roster of team members with varying skill sets.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT FLEXIBLE WORKSPACE DESIGN
So, you’ve learned the reasoning and rationale behind flexible workspace design. Pretty simple, right? Now it’s time to ask if you’re ready to implement this ideology for your office. The answer is probably “yes,” but the “how” will depend on a lot of factors such as square footage, team size, and type of business. Here’s some universal criteria that all companies can take into account, right now:
1) Zoning – the act of designating specific areas of the workspace to deal with different needs. Sure, there’s the main office floor, reception and break room, but what about crafting multi-purpose collaborative spaces, private work rooms and focus zones for people to utilize when needed? You won’t lose anything through zoning. In fact, it may work to your advantage in ways you hadn’t realized.
2) Modular Layouts – a method of utilizing your existing square footage in creative ways to achieve a truly flexible office environment. Instead of four walls and a series of rooms, think open concept with modular partitions, glass dividers and furniture that can create a sense of cohesion, while still providing options for employees who need a quiet place to escape to, or a conference room for brainstorming. Those are just two ideas. There are lots more!
3) Fluid Workstations – a must-have for creating true flexibility within your office. Once again, modular office furniture plays a huge role in determining how employees and their respective teams can customize their work environment for better productivity. Not only does the cool factor promote employee happiness and mental well-being, but it’s also a great way to inspire and motivate teams.
4) Mobility – a solution designed to ward off the boring, humdrum and outdated workspace concept. Think mobile white boards for brainstorming, modular chairs that can easily be folded and stored after a major event, or storage units that can easily be moved around when the flexible office is reconfigured. Here, change isn’t just necessary, but an absolute, unavoidable constant. That’s part of the fun!
Flexible workspaces are quickly becoming the mainstreamed mainstay of the business world, and there’s no negative attached to that. Not only do they foster enthusiasm and workplace pride, but they’re also designed from the ground up to motivate and inspire employees to become more productive. Banishing rigidity in favor of flexibility makes all the sense in the world, and any company can take advantage of the benefits.
How will you go about designing your own flexible workspace? Why not hold off and give Sensyst a call, instead? We’re the experts when it comes to integrating true, bona fide flexibility into the office environment, and we’ll work with you to make sure that it reflects your branding and company culture from the floors, all the way to the ceiling. The rest is up to you!