What are flexible workspaces and why do we need to use them?
Increasingly, there is talk about how having a funky, engaging office design can motivate your employees and improve their productivity. As a result, more and more companies are investing time and resources in creating bespoke, branded spaces.
But even if your office has been professionally designed and decorated to create this motivating vibe, you still might not be getting the most out of your space.
As technology continues to increase our flexibility and mobility in the ways we work, our office spaces should be designed in such a way to reflect this. The days of being married to your single desk area are at an end.
Whether you have a designated office space, or are just renting one a couple of days a month, it can be incredibly worthwhile to remove any rigidity to your working environment, though the use of hotdesking and communal work areas.
By creating a fluid, flexible space that can support the new ways of working, you will use your offices better while actively facilitating your employees’ productivity and well-being.
So, why is it a great idea to make your office a flexible workspace?
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Since the rise of laptops, tablets and smartphones, there has been a large decrease in the amount of F2F interaction at work; usurped by emails, phone calls and instant messaging.
But an article around workplace design in the Harvard Business Review, collected some key performance data. They found that F2F interactions were some of the most important activities in the office.
Moreover, their data suggests that creating those chance encounters and unplanned interactions, improves performance between employees. By having unassigned desks and more communal work areas, employees are more likely to move around throughout the day, working in different places and facilitating interaction and collaboration between one another.
Additionally, this can more easily accommodate your flexible workers too, when they come to work at the office hub for a day or so, helping to make them feel included and supported.
Having a flexible design to your office also has an important impact on an individual’s workday too. Specialists Herman Miller conducted a study on comfort in the workplace and found that employee comfort directly affects their efficiency, productivity, job satisfaction, retention, wellbeing and at its most basic level, the employee’s health.
Creating flexible spaces that allow employees to be more mobile and change their surroundings, or at least have a say on where they decide to work, can create really positive results in terms of employee engagement and connectivity.
If you find that your company has a lot of flexible or part-time workers, it makes little sense to keep rigid desk allocations. Adopting ideas such as working in hotels, hot-desking or simply having unassigned workstations, can maximise your spacial efficiency for the times your employees are in the office.
The way this helps reduce cost is by cutting down on the amount of real estate needed to accommodate your workforce.
This is particularly applicable if you find yourself with rows of empty, allocated desks, due to home or flexible workers. Cut the allocation, create a flexible alternative and save money on unnecessary space.
There you have it. Flexible workspaces have a range of benefits to both employer and employee, including the increase in employee comfort, well-being and productivity, which results ultimately in better, more viable businesses.