Flexible offices are becoming more and more popular these days. You may have heard of them and/or you’re considering moving your business to a flexible office space. However, you’d like to know about them before taking the plunge.
We understand and have created this article to explain what a flexible office space is, and how they can benefit your business.
What is a Flexible Office Space?
A flexible office is one that creates a dynamic work environment and are similar to a traditional office. What does that mean? A flexible office space includes the same things as a traditional office including office furniture, computers, desks, and more. However, with a flexible office, the arrangement is more unique and creative.
A flexible office space may include different “zones,” where people can work in different ways. For example, one area may be more traditional for those employees who need quiet and focus to work effectively. The office may also include a flexible area that can be set up as workstations, but then be rearranged to create a presentation area. This is what office flexibility is all about—the creative use of office furnishings and office space.
Flexible Office Elements
In a flexible office environment, you’ll find several elements that make the practical, as well as functional and attractive. Here are some of the most common flexible office elements:
Breakout spaces: are meant to be used as a place to take a break; however, they can also be rearranged to provide a collaborative area for teams to come together and work on projects. These areas are usually noisy, but the spaces help teams to get a lot done.
Open plan layouts: flexible offices are based on an open play layout, which has no physical barriers. This concept makes better use of the space and can save a company money by getting double use of the space. The office space may include modular furniture that can be used in different ways, moveable office equipment and more.
Quiet zones: these are areas for employees who need to work in a peaceful, quite space. These may include the use of privacy pods, small areas that are sectioned off by sound proofing walls and dividers, and more.
Shared resources: these include copy machines, break room, and other office machines/tools. Everyone has access to these. Instead of buying separate machines for each floor or department, the shared resources are used by everyone. This is another cost-effective benefit of a flexible office space.
These are the basic elements you’ll find in a flexible workspace. While it sounds like the office could be crowded, in most cases there’s plenty of room for everyone. Of course, that depends on the size of the space and the number of people working in the space.
The Benefits of Flexible Workspaces
There are many benefits that come with flexible office spaces including:
Employees choose: in this type office, employees have a chance to choose where they’d prefer to work. For instance, if an employee is on a team, then they may want to work with the group in collaborative area. For those who need quiet to work, they can take their computer and move to the quiet zone. In other words, employees can move to a place that helps them focus and be more productive.
Cost effective solution: when you make the move to a flexible office space, you’ll find it’s not necessary rent additional space for meeting rooms, breakout rooms, and more. Instead, everything is in one office. The company saves money by using only the space needed. They also save on not having to buy as much office furniture, office equipment, save on utilities and more.
How to Create a Flexible Office Space
If you’d like to create your own flexible office space, there are some things you’ll need to consider. It will be necessary to create different zones and areas in this large space.
1). Avoid creating lanes: stay away from the urge to use long tables where employees are forced to sit closely to others. This is setting yourself up for trouble from the start. It takes only one case of flu or a cold to pass to others, for one thing. For another, employees’ may not be able to focus in that type of setting. Instead, create workstations with no more than 2-4 people.
2). Create quiet zones: this is essential and may require adding a wall or some other type of barrier. The quiet zone is needed for those employees who need privacy and a quiet area to work. You can consider the use of privacy pods, individual small offices, and more. Employees should not be allowed to chat, make/take phone calls, and more.
3). Use soundproofing: an open, flexible office can be a noisy place. So, you may need to consider adding sound proofing materials to reduce this disruptive issue. Avoid hard flooring, and instead consider flooring that reduces sounds. For those areas that are used for collaboration, it may be necessary to add sound absorbing panels to walls.
4). Use modular furniture: modular furniture is perfect for a flexible office space. It’s furniture that can be used one way, but then made over to work in another way. This might include desks that can be pushed together to form a conference or presentation table. It can also mean creative storage options. Most of all, modular furniture needs to be moveable and adaptable.
5). Provide several types of seating: this is another element that’s common in flexible office space. Here, opt for ergonomic seating such as office chairs, comfy sofas, and more. They should also be adjustable when it comes to office chairs.
If it sounds a bit overwhelming to consider creating a flexible office space, and if the price of redoing your office is prohibitive, then why not consider an office business centre?
These are extremely popular and come with a wide variety of benefits! These include an all-inclusive monthly payment that covers everything. And we mean everything! In addition, the leases are also flexible, meaning you won’t be tied down to a long-term traditional lease.
If you’re interested in a flexible office space, then contact us today! We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions, and work with you to determine if our office business centre is a great fit for your business. We believe we can offer you the perfect flexible office environment today!