Flexible working was always a ‘nice to have’ when it came to working, and often something that needed to be arranged and negotiated. Now, many employers are looking for employees that are comfortable with flexible working while employees are looking for flexible working as standard. The pandemic has changed many things, but employers realising that a more flexible approach can be good for all have been significant in the world of work. A more flexible approach to work involves a change to office layout, and a flexible workspace to go with your new outlook is going to be essential to ensure you make the most of space and resources.
What is a flexible workspace?
It’s a layout that makes the most of the room available with no ‘dead space’. For example, each employee might not need their own desk. There will no doubt be those that need a desk every day and it could be they need to be allocated a permanent place to work consistently. Others might be adapting a more hybrid approach with a mix of remote and office time, and some might be coming in on occasion. You might even have multiple offices and those visiting from your other locations might need somewhere to work from for short periods to maximise their time instead of just sitting around waiting for a meeting or balancing a laptop on their knees.
Elements of flexible office spaces to meet all of these needs include open-plan concepts, hotdesking areas, breakout or smaller mixing areas, ‘quiet zones’, and the ability to tap into shared resources such as WiFi, printers, and presentation equipment quickly and easily.
How to implement a flexible workspace
Implementing a workplace with more flexibility means a bit of initial planning. Work out:
- Who will be in the office at all times and need their own permanent desk.
- Who will be in the office most of the time and therefore might benefit from a regular desk to use.
- Who is going to be taking a more hybrid approach to work and so might be better in a hotdesking environment.
- How many people occasionally come to the office and would like to be able to use a desk.
- What sort of environment will each employee or department need? For example, sales and marketing might appreciate a chatty, collaborative feel whilst other departments might feel quiet is appreciated to help with concentration and attention to detail.
Having all of this information will enable you to map out areas of your office for the different departments with the right amount of space to meet all needs, with some generic areas that can be used ad hoc.
Run your plan past all of the key people in your office such as managers. It’s unlikely you’ll make everyone 100% happy but they might well spot an issue in the new layout. Once you’re comfortable and confident, brief the team and plan the move.
Essential facilities and technology needed
If people are coming and going, the best quality WiFi will be essential, so that time isn’t wasted when those working flexibly coming into the office and try to set up. It’s also vital so that those using laptop want to make use of printers etc can do so with ease.
Storage lockers might also be a sensible solution to chargers, headphones, and even favourite mugs going missing.
Shared office spaces for flexible workspaces
Many people find shared office spaces ideal for taking a new approach to their workplace. In addition to flexible contracts, shared office spaces can often have the best quality technology and WiFi available and scalable spaces. If you’re looking for a new office space in Surrey to help you roll out a new flexible workspace, get in touch with SEND Business Centre for a tour of our modern and flexible offices available for rent.