Flexible offices can be an excellent way of increasing employee productivity, satisfaction, and well-being. It is well-known that offering more flexible opportunities can help them be more inspired and creative. Thus, they will be more likely to collaborate and give the best of themselves on diverse projects.
Flexible workspace designs aren't new. These organizational models have been around for several years. Even if the well-known 9-to-5 workweek has been referred to as obsolete several times, many employers are reluctant to change their ways and insist on working with the same archaic model. Despite these beliefs, the benefits of flexible work arrangements are evident.
A flexible workspace solution can help your company receive that "boost" you've been looking for for some time now. The transition from an organizational model to another can indeed be tricky. Still, in the end, the adaptation process will be worth it, and your employees will start feeling better as they complete their daily activities in an environment that promotes well-being and collaboration.
For today's article, we'll present you with multiple flexible office space designs that may be worth considering implementing at your company. Although all companies adopt the base models according to the company's needs, it is necessary to take into account a "base" that allows you to have an idea of what could work best and the practices you should avoid. The flexible working model isn’t perfect; it comes with advantages and disadvantages that all employers must take into account before implementing it.
Here you have five flexible workstation design strategies that can help your company improve its current state and acquire a better position in the long term.
1. Decentralize the headquarters for a larger list of choices of where to work
According to studies, commuting is one of the biggest concerns of workers in the post-pandemic world. Utilizing the same building for all your activities may be the safest choice here, but given the circumstances, it can also be another source of stress for your employees.
However, the problem is not impossible to solve. What you can do is to allocate your company transversely through satellite office hubs. Thus, the workforce members will be able to commute by walking or on the bike, for instance.
Statistics say that at least 96% of the Manhattan population lives near a WeWork location. So cutting down the commuting time and choices can be an excellent start for a flexible office space design. It is also an excellent way of reducing pollution and complies with the United Nations' sustainable development goals.
2. Improving the workflow may increase employee satisfaction
The preferred office organizational model should be a direct response to the workforce's workflow.
The IT department and the marketing team work in different ways, which means that their flexible office space designs should be accustomed to their unique operations and need to be effective. So it's not only about office equipment; it is also about movement, needs, and other unique actions individual to each department.
For instance, any art department involves a high level of collaboration. Thus, this team will need an open space free of obstacles where they can get full access to all the equipment they need efficiently.
On the other hand, a human resources office may need a long corridor that provides them with enough privacy so that every interview or meeting can take place without interruptions or distractions.
Other considerations worth considering include the following:
- What kind of materials and colours may help increase the workflow? For instance, blue is often associated with productivity. However, colors are also used as identifiers, not only for aesthetic purposes.
- If you need a quiet, tranquil space, perhaps you may need to implement carpeting flooring. It is known that carpeting dampens sound.
3. Provide multiple work options
Flexible office space designs work best when the company offers a hybrid office layout. This way, based on your policy, your employees will be able to alternate between attending the headquarters and working from home if their position allows them to. Analyzing the organization chart to figure out what positions are eligible for remote work is necessary before considering this solution.
One of the main concerns of employers when it comes to remote working is that they won’t be able to measure each employee’s efficiency. However, multiple sources describe that companies should be focusing on productivity instead.
The above scenario is possible when you encourage and provide the employees with opportunities of where and when they decide to work – either near their homes or at home. It is important to build a bond with your employees based on trust. You can start by allowing them to choose the best option when it comes to the location they prefer for their work.
4. Provide greater mobility
Although this shouldn't be a problem in modern offices, it is quite remarkable how certain workplaces struggle to provide a trustworthy wireless internet connection to the whole building. There are multiple factors to take into account here – such as concrete, brick, or other materials that may obstruct the Wi-Fi signal.
You can solve this problem easily by implementing Wi-Fi signal extenders so that each employee can enjoy uninterrupted internet access as they continue with their daily responsibilities.
If you have people working from mobile devices – like tablets or their smartphones – it would be best to provide the workforce with chairs or tables with integrated power sources that allow them to continue working on their devices without losing vital minutes trying to find them a power outlet.
When your flexible office space design promotes mobility, it will be easier for your employees to foster creativity.
5. Use a different organizational model
If it’s inevitable for you to require the presence of most of the workforce at the headquarters at the same time, perhaps a hybrid working solution like office hoteling or hot-desking can be the answer to most of your problems.
This flexible office space design way, people will come and go from work to the workplace as they comply with their work hours or activities. Hoteling allows you to maximize space usage, while hot-desking is more appropriate for larger enterprises.
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