Flexibility: the new watchword in office design

Office designLuckily, the days of formal office cubicles and fixed workstations are gradually becoming a thing of the past. Today, an increasing number of companies are beginning to shift from traditional, ‘one size fits all’ office designs to environments that allow employees to choose where and how they work. As well as improving job satisfaction and boosting employee engagement, a versatile and dynamic office space can lead to increased business performance. Let’s take a closer look at why flexibility has become the new watchword in workplace design.

Alternative work zones

As corporate giants like Google have shown, the key to an engaged, driven workforce is an office that reflects the need for both collaboration and privacy. The most effective way to put this into practice is to provide a variety of flexible work zones, including open and private spaces. While open plan designs can be great for encouraging interaction across teams, secluded spaces are needed when it comes to knuckling down and focusing on individual tasks. Not only can offering a choice of workspaces work wonders for employee morale, but it can also help to enhance productivity and boost your bottom line. For ideas on how to create flexible work areas in the office, peruse blogs or magazines, or head to specialist sites such as http://www.furniture-work.co.uk/.

Encouraging impromptu meetings

In recent years, many of the most successful businesses have decided to do away with assigned workstations in favour of a more dynamic set up. These so-called ‘hot desking’ policies, where employees aren’t given an allocated seat but can choose to sit where they like, are designed to encourage people to mingle with colleagues from different departments and have impromptu meetings and discussions. Highlighting the benefits of these flexible work settings, a study by M.I.T found that 80 per cent of the best business ideas come from chance encounters and casual interactions rather than formal meetings. When done right, shared workspaces can promote collaboration, stimulate new ideas and inspire creativity.

Blurring the boundaries between work and play

If you want to create a motivated, efficient workforce, you’ll need to think beyond the traditional office set up and start breaking down the barrier between work and play. While it might sound counter productive, providing a range of recreational areas where employees can leave their desks and escape stressful work demands with a refreshing change of scenery can go a long way towards improving workplace satisfaction. Whether it’s a games room or a relaxing break-out area, offering flexibility and variation within the normal working schedule and allowing staff the chance to de-stress and socialise with colleagues can actually improve concentration levels and make them perform better in their roles.

If you want to enhance worker morale, bolster productivity and stimulate creativity, now might be the time to incorporate flexibility into your office design.

Image attribution: Designed by Vu Dang Khoi

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