So what is a fluid or flexible office design?
A recent trend has seen an increase in office workers prefer to work in various places in the office, compared to only working at one space like their personal office desk. This trend is partly inspired by an emerging workforce, which we wrote about in our blog post on office trends inspired by millennials. Workers are favouring working in small spaces where they can spontaneously meet, rather than working in stiff conference rooms or desk areas. The aim is to create a varied workplace where less time is spent being stationary! Through creating a more flexible, fluid and relaxing office space, this can help to give your employees the independent space they need, whilst still being productive and comfortable. Read our list of suggestions below!
Why are flexible workspaces good for your office?
By creating a more fluid office space, this can allow for a sense of community within your office which can help to aid face to face interaction amongst employees. By having a more flexible office design, this will help employees to want to get out and be active around their office space. They will want to be able to work somewhere else that isn’t just their office desk. This then helps them to speak and socialise with their colleagues creating a better sense of office community.
Comfort in the office effects a person’s workday. Worker comfort affects productivity, job satisfaction, employee retention levels, and even employee well-being! Creating flexible spaces that help employees to be mobile and switch around their surroundings letting them decide what part of the office that they want to work in themselves can yield very positive results in employee engagement and job satisfaction!
There are a number of great ways to bring in alternative work policies to your office. Things like hoteling, hot desking, unassigned workstations and even communal areas help you to utilise your office space and cut costs where you can. For example, according to Herman Miller’s alternative workplace study, it was found that Cisco saved as much as 37% on real estate rent by accommodating more people in the same office space after they incorporated a more open plan seating arrangement in the San Francisco office.
Wondering how to create a more fluid office space?
There are great ways that you can create a more flexible office space that are both easy and inexpensive. Firstly- go beyond the cubicle or put wheels on your furniture. By choosing office cubicles that can be moved and have low walls can help your employees to feel less ‘’boxed off’’ and more independent, helping to bring together elements of collaboration, comfort and focus. By taking full advantage of your office space and turning it into a flexible multi-use space you can use what you’ve already got. For example, use your canteen as a large meeting room as long as you have the correct furniture, like plugs and larger tables to hold laptops. This can really help you to increase employee comfort, well-being and productivity, which in turn leads to better HR practices, better business and happier employees!