Offices are evolving every day, and the adoption of agile work environments has become common for many businesses. An agile workplace is one that offers a lot of flexibility to employees by allowing them to work whenever, wherever, and however they want. Sounds good, right? Who wouldn’t want to work in such conditions?
An agile work environment is not only good for the employees but also for employers because they have been proven to lead to the success of many organizations. This success could be due to increased employee satisfaction, freedom, and productivity, as well as saving on the costs of leasing, utilities, maintenance, and cleaning.
Since employees have no assigned workstations, an agile work environment maximizes the office space by giving employees access to all available areas and resources and allowing others to work remotely. However, due to the lack of assigned workstations and privacy, some employees may have a difficult time working in an agile workplace. Hence, if you are considering turning your ordinary office into a conducive space for agile working, you will need to make some changes. Read on for some office design tips to help you create an agile work environment.
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Office Design Tips for an Agile Work Environment
- Install noise-absorbing fixtures
One of the things you must expect after adopting agile working methods is that the noise level will increase. With the employees not having specific workstations, there will be a lot of movements and noise as they interact with others. All these can be distracting for the employees who are trying to concentrate and could reduce their productivity.
An office design tip to use in order to improve the agile work environment would be to consider installing acoustic wall panels, noise-friendly flooring surfaces, silicone chair leg caps, or baffles to absorb and minimize the noise. The wall panels and baffles don’t have to be boring, and thus, if you want to, you can have some artwork printed on them to make them pleasant to the eye and bring some warmth into the office.
- Create collaborative spaces
The ideal agile work environment should include places where employees don’t have to knock on doors to go in and areas where they can take a break. Such collaborative spaces include break-out areas, lounges, and seating clusters, furnished with sofas, benches, and tub chairs.
Collaborative spaces create a relaxed living room vibe, hence are great for when you want to step away from the intense office atmosphere. Having these spaces in your agile workplace also promotes teamwork and creativity in comfortable areas where there are no partitions. Employees can work in these collaborative areas or use them to decompress after serious meetings or tasks without anyone judging them.
- Create private spaces
Most agile workplaces have an open plan layout and communal areas in order to make everything more accessible and to make it easier for employees to interact with each other. Hence, if you are looking for office design tips to create an agile work environment, one of them is that you might have to tear down some of the cubicle walls and doors in your organization.
However, this is not to say that there should be no private spaces or that one has to work in a communal area all the time, even when they don’t want to. Some activities are best done in private areas, either for the employee’s own comfort or to avoid distracting other workers.
When creating an agile work environment, you have to ensure that you make some private spaces for when employees have to perform tasks that require concentration or want to hold meetings. Therefore, when designing your agile office, remember to install acoustic pods that create ‘quiet zones’ to enable comfortable and productive sessions.
- Use multipurpose furniture
In an agile work environment, functionality and flexibility are key elements. Thus, when sourcing furniture for your agile office, you should choose ones that you can use for different purposes, or better yet, those that can be reconfigured. For instance, you can purchase desks that can double as individual workstations or be attached to form a long table when needed. By adopting these office design tips when creating an agile work environment, you will not only maximize space but also save the money you would have used on furniture for individual offices and purposes.
People spend the majority of their day working at the office. As such, the office should be a place that they look forward to going to, where they feel comfortable working and not a place where they feel like prisoners. Creating an agile work environment is not only good for the employees but also your business. By having an agile workplace, you will reap the benefits of having happy, satisfied, more productive workers. If you want to enjoy these benefits and make your business successful too, starting today, convert your ordinary office into an agile work environment for increased employee productivity and satisfaction!
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