We call our new work life Agile Workspaces. Why? One Size Does Not Fit All in the office environment – welcome to the new way of doing things.
The traditional working method in an office environment was the basic sitting at a desk and chair.
New Work Methods
New work methods and technology has increased our choices, rather than replacing tradition.
We have created various mood settings to enable modern, flexible, efficient and cost effective workplaces for people that will facilitate new working practices, improve service delivery and act as a catalyst for change.
Statistic show that workplaces which allow employees to have ‘me space’, tailored to the way they work have many benefits.
As the pace of change within the workplace shows no sign of abating, we have evolved our furniture placement to reflect this.
As part of this process we have studied results from a global Gallup workplace poll, which asks employees how and where they would prefer to work and how they feel they could optimise their productivity, the results of this survey are quite illuminating.
It’s All About The People
There are a lot of experts involved in the design of office interiors, but … who asks the people who use the office?
Home From Home Office
In years gone by a ‘one size fits all’ approach to office design was the norm. As decades have progressed, so too have the options available to companies especially when designing the ‘home from home’office.
Agile Workspaces and Collaboration are the new methods of working.
These new methods cater to our generational and individual working styles.
In our previous article ‘One-size-does-not-fit-all’ we spoke about different generations in the workspace and noted that every office is filled with individuals who have their own preferences and unique approach to the working day.
Further to this, we wanted to evaluate the current approach to office design. The aim was to establish how we work, relating to tasks we undertake every day and how we differ individually.
Let’s Dispel Some Workforce MythsAgile Workspaces
How Do People Want to Work?
Privacy remains a huge concern for all concerned – an issue that has been exacerbated as floorplates have become larger and divides broken down.
Fact— 81% of employees would prefer to be alone when speaking on the telephone.
Hot desking, mobile working and standing desks have become widely accepted by businesses. Breakout
spaces with a domestic feel are fast becoming a common sight within the workplace.
Fact— 41% of people would prefer the option to change their working height.
It is universally accepted that teams find better solutions faster than individuals. Harnessing collective
knowledge and focusing it through collaboration is the key to future success.
Fact— 71% of people prefer not to sit at a desk or meeting table when sharing ideas.
Our greatest insight was that the biggest influencers over preference are age and seniority. As an extension
of this, there is a natural discord that has developed between the older generation – which is used to a territorial way of life – and the sharing economy that younger employees have become accustomed to.
Fact— 62% of the workforce in an office is over 35 years old.
PRIVACY – BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Distractions are acknowledged as being a key and increasingly important issue within the workplace, as businesses strive to encourage greater collaboration with their workforce.
Our survey illustrated that in relation to our use of the telephone,our desire for privacy was even greater. To combat this, people are resorting to other forms of messaging — avoiding making phone calls — which can often be counterproductive.
Our Privacy Solutions
We have multiple solutions to create acoustic and visual privacy areas within an agile workspace.
VEE Acoustic Seating
Posture – Are You Sitting Comfortably?
What is clear from our research but also from trends we witness within the workplace, is that posture can influence our behaviours.
Posture, and equally importantly – having a choice of posture, is a fundamental defining factor in creating a positive and productive working environment, appropriate for the task and activities being undertaken.
Collaboration – Work Together
Harnessing collective knowledge and focusing it through collaboration is the key to future success. However, open
environments and layouts can create some challenges for organisations with increased noise and distractions. In
striving for more collaborative working, layout and planning is key to ensure organisational goals are met.
Demographics – Bridging The Gap
While the design industry has focused heavily on the influence of millennials in the workplace, the proportion of 18
to 34 year olds in the average office accounts for just 34%. Moreover, ONS figures suggest that the ‘35 and overs’
will continue to make up the majority of office inhabitants in the United Kingdom economy for the next 10 years.
There are a multitude of ‘buzzwords’ and phrases being coined, however the simplest and most common term we’ve
come across is the ‘Agile Workspace’… Whether we have an assigned or shared desk, we are all working in an increasingly agile way, utilising appropriate areas for individual tasks.
So, what do Agile Workspaces look like?
It’s all in the planning. If the concept of Agile Working has become widely accepted as best practice, how can it be
applied to any building or project? Using our block planning approach, it is relatively simple to segment a building
floorplate, irrelevant of its size and shape. By respecting the integrity of the building’s structure, this allows furniture to be ‘zoned’ and simplifies the integration and power and services. This approach to modular planning allows for greater flexibility in the future.
In response to how people want to work, together with the concept of agile working, we can create any setting around 5 activity based categories that help maximise the efficiency of any office space.
Our designs create a series of environments that are focused on the activity to be carried out.
This gives individuals the freedom to migrate around the office utilising the furniture setting that is most relevant to the task being undertaken.
Spaces for shared resources and storage. A centralised location for printers and consumables such as paper, cartridges and recycling stations. A way to manage both visual and acoustic distractions.
Open and welcoming spaces where colleagues interact and have a little down time to replenish their energy. ‘Refresh’ areas range from large canteens to small spaces where colleagues can grab a coffee.
Personal space where staff can concentrate and be productive. ‘Work’ includes areas for intense concentration, ad hoc touch down spaces, or places to kick back and be creative.
Informal meeting spaces for large or small groups where ideas can be exchanged and developed.
‘Share’ areas are less formal than traditional meeting rooms, perfect for a quick brainstorm or one to one.
Formal space for presentations and important meetings. Areas where people are inspired, pitches are won, decisions are made and plans are put into action.
- Using the Grid
- Working with different generations & new technology
- Designing Agile Workspaces around activities all contribute to a culture of …. Wellbeing – From We to Me.
A Health, Happy Workforce
A healthy, happy workforce is a vital component of a productive, successful business. Employee costs, including salaries and benefits, typically account for a large portion of a business’ operating costs, therefore anything that impacts on their ability to be productive, should be a major concern.
What may appear a modest improvement in employee health or productivity, can have a significant financial
implication for employers. A ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work. Instead, empowering employees to
tailor their environment to increase their own productivity can reap rewards in terms of satisfaction and performance.
With all things considered, the biggest benefit of all is that:
Organisations with highly engaged employees report a 22% increase in profitability
MAKE A NEW WORK LIFE!