Over the years, office design has changed dramatically. Decades ago, cubicles were the defining elements of workplaces. But then the millennials came. They yearned for better social connections with fellow employees, and so the partitions were taken down, laying bare an open-concept layout. But then the noises came, as well as the stressed-out Baby Boomers and well, the equally frustrated millennials. Employees longed for peace and secure collaboration, and so the open-concept layout was redefined, giving way to a flexible workplace. It’s the new norm in many offices, and it’s here to stay for a long time as it accommodates different work styles and employee generations. If you’re planning to make the switch yourself, here are the must-have elements of a flexible workplace:
Break up your large rooms and dedicate areas for different purposes. If you set up tables with chairs in rows, that space can only be used as a dining area. But if you enclose grouped furniture in booths or pods, it can be used as huddle rooms for informal team meetings, retreat areas for stressed employees, or phone booths for private conversations with clients. If booths or pods seem unlikely, glass partitions can be a more economical choice. Just make sure to use acoustic panels in the areas to facilitate better sound control. If you’re in an office space for lease, make sure to ask the property manager about the limits in renovating your space. If you’re planning to move, look for an area that will give you greater freedom for remodeling.
These are one of the hallmarks of a flexible workplace. With wheeled chairs and desks, you can maximize further available floor space and allow employees to move around freely whenever they need to huddle. Movable partitions can also help in reconfiguring the layout of the office quickly based on work demands. Aside from movable furniture, you also want pieces that can be adjusted by height. By letting workers sit or stand whenever they want, you’re creating not just a flexible workspace but also a healthy one. Sitting for long periods can lead to serious health problems. With adjustable furniture, employees will have the option of shifting movements from time to time, maintaining their well-being.
The flexible workplace can accommodate different work styles precisely with the help of technology. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize a stable Wi-Fi connection throughout your space. Software for internal communications is also a must. This will allow employees to work together even when they’re at different work booths. Power up your conference rooms with essential tech devices, like LCD projectors, agile writable walls, and functioning outlets. The latter is very important. Consider adding them to your movable furniture.
In the end, the trend of going flexible in the workplace is here to stay. With the primary function of supporting various work styles and employee generations, the versatile office environment might be more than a trend. You can seek the help of an interior designer if you feel uncertain.