Flexible Workspaces

How Flexible Workspaces are Revolutionising the Way People Work

With the pandemic showing no signs of being gone, flexible workspaces, although present for a considerable amount of time, are finally receiving the long-overdue attention, recognition, and spotlight they deserve. This situation, however unfortunate to many, has become a pivotal point in the evolution of the office and workspace concepts.

Far from the traditional office setup prior to the pandemic, the flexible work setup has been introduced. And with that, company employees and workers have realised that effectively finishing work even outside the walls of their conventional office is, indeed, possible.

This has provided them with a legitimate work and life balance. Hence, even if the pandemic goes away soon, few people seem to want to return to the ‘old normal’ of work. This is why many companies are adopting flexible workspaces to transition to what is now known as the ‘new normal.

Unlike the conventional office spaces before, flexible workspaces offer both the functionality and comfort that workers have now become accustomed to. Flexible workspaces are designed to meet many, if not all, workers’ specific needs.

Different Workspaces and Their Types

Hot Desks

Best for individual workers and employees who do not have permanent workstations, hot desks are made available as needed. They are strategically located across the workspace and are utilised to provide support to these workers.

Aside from them, in-house staff and even visitors are also welcome to use hot desks.

Open Plan

As opposed to the usual cubicle or closed-door private office, an open plan concept allows workers to work in an open working space where they see each other at a glance. Gone are the walls that prohibit them from socialising. Hence, the collaboration of ideas and interactive communication is made easy.

While this setting has been shown to encourage and maximize creativity, this kind of setup is disadvantageous to those who prefer to work alone or in a quiet environment. Because it is an open space setup, ambient noise is also almost inevitable. There is a lack of privacy, too, as your every move is made visible to many, especially to your bosses.

Consequently, for the latter, an open office space setup is advantageous because they get to monitor and supervise their workers. This drives the employees to devote full attention to their work, giving them renewed motivation and thus getting the work done.

The Best Part: Socialising

The Worst Part: Lack of privacy

Private Offices

Private office spaces are ideal for people who function better in a quiet and isolated environment, away from others. These are the quiet areas where interruptions are strictly prohibited to encourage focus and better productivity. Not much interaction takes place and you enjoy a quiet space on your own.

When the type of work you are dealing with requires confidentiality and privacy, then private offices are made available.

The Best Part: High level of privacy

The Worst Part: Not much interaction with colleagues

Cubicles

The most common office-setup pre-pandemic, cubicles are a compromise between the benefits and drawbacks of an open space setting and a private office.

They can both enjoy the privacy they needed with the three walls that separate them from their colleagues. But, these barriers can easily be overcome if they want increased interaction with their colleagues by just standing or taking a few walks.

They have the liberty to enjoy their own space and can easily communicate with other employees.

The Best Part: Able to have your own space

The Worst Part: Limited privacy

Coworking Space

Coworking spaces allows people from different fields of business to function together or cohabitate. It is mostly accessible at all hours of all days of the week, offering them complete flexibility in terms of when they want to work.

This setup is popular among remote workers, digital nomads, and freelancers who take control of the time they spend working. Diversity is very much seen in this kind of workspace setup.

The Best Part: Diversity

The Worst Part: Not suitable for large business

What ensures workspace flexibility?

Furniture

Ensuring that the pieces in the office are high-functioning and encourage productivity is critical in a flexible work setting. This furniture should be high-functioning and conducive to mobility. It is not simply throwing a chair and desk at every open space available.

It is providing pieces such as rolling chairs, standing desks, and other furniture options in the quality that caters best to the employees’ needs and comfort.

Architecture

Design and office layout is another big factor in imposing and encouraging flexibility in a workplace. Not only should architecture support functionality, such as having large and small collaborative spaces, but it should also inspire creativity. It should also be built for comfort which includes having to allow plenty of light and depth.

Furthermore, another architectural must-have that was given light recently is safety. Given the pandemic, office designs should also cater to the safety needs of the employees and workers. This does not only allow them productivity but also peace of mind and well-being.

Control

Especially on office space layouts, control and governance are a must-have in a flexible setting. As much as this setup encourages collaboration, it can also easily stipulate chaos and unsolicited noise.

Hence, it is necessary to establish rules that would maintain peace and organisation of the space. These could be rules to ensure the smooth running of the workspace which would benefit everyone’s productivity without hurting their freedom to communicate and collaborate.

Technology

The smooth function of the computers, televisions, AV carts, device chargers, and other equipment should be the least of the worries of the employees and workers. To ensure maximum productivity and less downtime, power, and any other pieces of equipment should be secured.

Any malfunction on this equipment, on the amenities, or of anything else that workers should have smooth access to would impact negatively on the workflow.

Agility

Without agility, flexibility cannot be established. Everything in a flexible workspace should be fast and quick transforming. That is, when one worker gets out, another one with completely different needs comes in. And regardless of how diverse this employee is from the others, a flexible workplace must be able to cater to this worker’s office needs the moment they get in.

Thus, flexible workspaces should be easy to alter or turn back to baseline in case the next occupant sets a completely different set of expectations and need for work.

Roles of Flexible Workspaces That Revolutionise The Way People Work

Ability to expand or shrink operations easily at a fraction of the cost.

Ready access to all necessary work equipment.

Opportunities to personalise and incorporate your branding in a flexible workspace are minimal.

Because leasing terms are flexible, you don’t need to be present in the office daily.

Flexible Workspace is The New Norm

With workers preferring the convenience and flexibility that working remotely has introduced to them, the chance of returning to the traditional office setup doesn’t look likely.

What’s left to them is to adapt and respond to the demands of these workers and employees by allowing them continuous access to the ideal work-life balance. And flexible workspaces are giving them a favour for getting the job done.

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