Unlike traditional offices with fixed and assigned desk positions, workers in a flexible office space can choose the area of the office that best suits their work style. A flexible office space is designed to provide workers with a variety of different places and ways to work.
Flexible working is a term used to describe any working pattern that falls outside of traditional office hours or locations (i.e. working in different spots around the same office, working from home or at a remote desk, or working part-time or staggered hours).
Workers who have the flexibility to work in different areas of the office are able to spend more of their time and energy doing great work, and they’re generally happier and even more productive than their seat-specific-bound colleagues. They have the option of sitting outside on a cool morning for a zoom call, typing up documents from the couch, collaborating with a team around a conference table, or working at the kitchen table while having a snack.
Not only does flexible working provide individual employees with the option to work in a way that suits their specific needs and tasks, but it also helps companies reduce costs by maximizing available space. With fewer people in the office at any given moment, it becomes easier to create common areas where teams can spontaneously come together and collaborate, or for workers to spin off into quiet zones with a laptop to concentrate on a particular task.
There are a number of basic elements that you’ll find in most flexible spaces that promote versatility and collaboration.
Versatile office spaces. An existing office can be transformed into different layouts.
Open-plan designs. The open-plan office concept is a fundamental aspect of the flexible workspace, allowing for free-flowing collaboration between disparate departments.
Quiet areas. Unfortunately, a side effect of open-plan office design is an increase in ambient noise. Having a quiet area can allow an individual to break off to work on tasks individually. For instance, NuvoDesk offers an open space in a quiet corner of the building and private, sound-insulated phone booths to accommodate workers when they need to focus without interruptions.
Adaptable workstations. Flexible office space often includes non-traditional styles of workstations. Standing desks in common areas promote the idea of moving around to use the space in different ways. In relaxed corners of the office, such as coffee bars and reception areas, comfortable chairs and natural lighting create flexible and inviting spaces where people will want to work.
Shared amenities. When tethered to a single spot in the office, people naturally tend to store the things they need to get things done on and around their desks. A flexible space centralizes these resources and makes them available to everyone who needs them. These shared utilities can be things like office supplies, printers, and snacks, or entire spaces, such as conference rooms or informal common areas.
A flexible workspace removes many of the barriers to productivity presented by a traditional office workspace. All the work is done in a stationary space, from collaborating with coworkers to working on individual tasks to meeting with clients.
With a flexible office space, people can choose a workstation that makes the most sense for the job they’re doing at that moment. That could mean working from a laptop in a quiet area where they can concentrate, using a casual shared space to catch up with other team leaders over coffee, or using a conference room to collaborate with a large group. A well-designed flexible workspace gives employees the breathing room they need to do their best work on their terms.
A good office layout is one that optimizes for safety, comfort, and functionality. A flexible office space enhances productivity by providing teams with access to the shared spaces and the resources they need to get things done. When workers are supported by an office layout that fosters creativity and responds to their changing needs, they find it easier to meet their objectives.