For agile working to be successful in a business, it is essential to provide a variety of work settings to enable employees to choose a location that best enables them to tackle the task at hand. Each zone in an agile office has multiple uses and works harder than a traditional office, making the most of the floor plan and minimising the space required.
With up to 5 generations spanning a variety of job functions within a business, it is important to provide familiar workspaces for those who need them. If possible, look to reduce the desk size to minimise the amount of space required for this type of working. This is also the perfect time to consider upgrading to height adjustable desking, which not only has health benefits but also improves the flexibility of the space.
Perfect for short term activity that requires a desk, touchdown spaces offer a more relaxed environment to work from than a traditional desk and can double up as informal meeting or collaboration space.
Although designed to be used for short periods of time it is still important to provide easily accessible power sockets so that staff can plug in laptops and phones.
Focus spaces or study booths provide employees with a place to escape the distractions of the open plan office for short periods of focused work or study. These spaces are often soundproofed to facilitate concentration and are also useful for employees who may be working on documents containing sensitive or private information.
Informal meetings can often take place in a booth, pod, or in a more traditional table and chairs format that is out of the way in the open plan office. The majority of meetings don’t actually need to take place behind closed doors and whilst it is important to strike a good balance you may find that you need less traditional meeting spaces as informal booths and pods ease the pressure on the formal rooms. Booths and pods typically have a smaller footprint than a meeting room which can be an added bonus when planning your office.
In most organisations traditional rooms are still required for more formal or private meetings, but these spaces can also be agile. Using the space available to its full potential is key. For example, where a boardroom may only be used once a quarter, why not divide this space with an operable wall and use it as two smaller meeting rooms for the rest of the year? It is also worth considering installing meeting room booking software to minimise time employees waste looking for a spare room.
Tea points situated in carefully considered locations throughout the office offer the perfect spot to grab a coffee and relax. Soft seating mixed in with dining furniture of various heights allow these spaces to double up as informal meeting or collaboration spaces. This is a nice area to introduce things like table tennis or a games console, which can help to improve employee relationships and is also a great location for personal storage lockers.
Whilst canteens are used for dining only, work cafés are designed to be used throughout the entire day. As well as dining, this area could be a place to work on your laptop, hold an informal meeting over a coffee, or if the furniture is moved to one side, could be used for ‘town hall’ style meetings and announcements.
These spaces are specifically designed to aid collaboration between employees in a creative, flexible environment. Collaboration or innovation zones often utilise loose furniture which can be reconfigured to suit different needs as well as technology to present and display information and whiteboards to record ideas and notes. Planning these zones in central, open areas can encourage others to join in with discussions.
In an open plan office, it can be difficult to find somewhere to take a private call without nipping into the stairwell or taking up an entire meeting room, but this issue is resolved by providing soundproof phone boxes throughout the office. These can range from very simple pods or hoods for short one to one calls, to solutions that include a small table and a stool for longer calls. Considering installing meeting room booking software to minimise time employees waste looking for a spare room.
This speedy quiz will give you an idea of how agile your office is currently, as well as a little advice on how you can make your work environment more flexible and forward-thinking.
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