How to Use Office Design to Promote an Agile Working Environment
As modern work culture changes, many businesses are moving away from traditional methods of working and adopting new methodologies. An increasingly common shift is the change to agile working environment, which not only boost employee morale, but drastically improve productivity and efficiency.
What is agile working?
According to Paul Allsopp, Founder of The Agile Organisation, “Agile working is about bringing people, processes, connectivity and technology, time and place together to find the most appropriate and effective way of working to carry out a particular task. It is working within guidelines (of the task) but without boundaries (of how you achieve it).”
To put it simply, agile working means giving your staff the power to work however they want, wherever they want, and whenever they want, as long as their work is completed within the appropriate deadlines. Rather than having an office full of people sat at the same workstation day in, day out, your employees could move around the office, choosing the best place to carry out their particular task in the most effective way.
These methods of working have significant benefits for business. When staff are empowered to work in a way that best suits them, efficiency and productivity will go through the roof.
Your staff will naturally feel happier and more trusted in an agile environment, leading to an improved enjoyment of their work and increased morale.
Believe it or not, agile working can also have health benefits for an employee of a business. It involves a lot more moving around between workstations, and avoids your staff being sat still in the same chair for 8 hours straight, which can significantly impact both their physical and mental health.
Since agile working is seen as a modern and innovative way to operate a business, it also has the benefit of being a great way to attract (and retain) the top talent within your organisation.
But how do we implement these methods, and how does office design lend a hand to adopting agile methodologies?
How to Use Office Design to Promote Agile Working Environment
In order to adopt agile working within your business, you need to create the right environment. We’re firm believers that the right office furniture can improve productivity, and when these practices are applied to an agile office, the results can be outstanding for businesses.
A common practice in agile office design is to divide floor space into different areas based on functionality. For example, you could have a private area for people to work quietly and independently, a collaboration area for people to share ideas and brainstorm, formal meeting areas for client presentations, and dedicated breakout areas to refresh and recharge. Your employees would then move between these areas throughout the day, finding the most comfortable and suitable place to complete the task at hand.
For quiet work areas you could make use of traditional desk layouts, or even implement individual pods to allow staff to concentrate and work productively without distraction.
Areas for collaboration must be designed to facilitate sharing ideas effectively. Informal seating areas allow for creative discussions to occur in a relaxed setting, giving groups a feeling of freedom and inspiration that couldn’t be achieved by huddling around a single computer screen.
Presentation areas such as meeting rooms and conference spaces require a higher level of formality than collaborative areas. Furniture in these rooms should reflect brand identity, be high in quality and fit for purpose. Integrating AV technology allows for seamless presentations and makes it much easier to get ideas across to clients. And, by using modular furniture, your meeting rooms will be flexible enough to change them depending on their use, meaning your employees have another great space to work in when meetings aren’t taking place.
Agile environments are becoming increasingly popular, and it is easy to see why when you consider the benefits to both businesses and employees.
As more and more businesses move to adopt this way of working, it’s worth asking yourself if your business needs a shake-up and whether agile working could benefit you.
If you need some help implementing your agile working environment, make sure you get in touch with one of our office fit out experts on 0115 9257898, and let us transform the way you work.