In our last article, we talked about why embracing the evolution of offices is important for businesses. But what exactly does this new way of working look like?
The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘agile’ as ‘able to move quickly and easily’, something in which we were all forced to do in March 2020. But how is this translated into office design?
The agile work environment focuses on flexibility of space and thinking.
Before the pandemic employees typically worked between a dedicated desk and a meeting room. Now due to Covid and with the introduction of hybrid working, companies need to update their offices to make the best use of space and make sure employees feel safe.
This should be more than just moving desks apart or putting plastic screens up, it is an opportunity to rethink the fundamentals of function and design within your office so that it can align with your company’s core values and business goals.
As each company is unique and different, their office design should be the same. There is no prescribed form or shape that an agile workplace must take, but it should offer a variety of different spaces that employees can move freely between depending on their needs at a specific time. These can include some of the following;
Open Plan Area
- This is the centre of the agile workspace methodology, with an open concept floor plan. This encourages communication between employees making things like collaboration, engagement and interaction much easier.
- These are areas or pods that are all about encouraging focus and concentration. This is for when employees have a specific task that they need to have intensive focus for. It might be a private booth or zone away from general office noises where someone can collect their thoughts and concentrate.
Touchdown/ Hot desk / Iso-stations Areas
- This is a space where someone can easily and quickly set up their laptop to fire off some emails, schedule checking, logins etc. It can be a workstation, standing desk or long table.
Meeting pods / rooms – small and large
- For more formal meetings in which employees need a space to work in a group or meet with clients.
- A space for employees to use for more informal meetings, discussions or to take a break. A more relaxed approach would be taken in these areas, with the likes of lounge chairs or booth seating.
Outdoor space, if possible
- If you have the ability to use some outdoor space for employees this can have a very positive impact on mood. Change of scenery and connection to nature boosts productivity and happiness. Of course, in Ireland you would need the ability to quickly take cover too!
At Think Contemporary, we have designed a large number of office spaces throughout the years, and designing agile and hybrid work design models is one of our passions. We love coming up with creative functional solutions that look amazing. Director and Head of Commercial Design, Anthony Buggy, sees this new phase of office design
“..an exciting opportunity, one in which companies can think ahead and offer strategic solutions for their business and for their employees.”
If you’d like to hear more about agile work spaces or discuss your existing office space please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.