Why is there so much importance put in flexible office designs these days? What is the big deal about it? The old-school offices where spaces are closed and that have cubicles that prevent people from working together are disintegrating. These office set ups deter collaboration. People in offices are working teams more often. Flexible work spaces encourage problem-solving and mentoring and information sharing. In order to set up a flexible office designs that makes it easier for people to collaborate and work in teams, there are several factors that must be considered.
One of the first things that you must consider when setting up a flexible workspace is the furniture that you use in that space. Furniture must be easy to move around. That means that desks and office chairs should have wheels to make for easier moving. Other furniture that you might want to consider having in an office should be set up in a way that divides spaces but keeps the room open at the same time. Bookcases and file cabinets should still be easily accessible, but they don’t have to be in the middle of the room. You might want to keep these large-scale office furniture pieces towards the edges of the room. When you’re working towards more Flexible Office Designs, try to purchase furniture that is lightweight and made from lighter materials. Also, look for furniture that has wheels and can be easily moved around the room. Chairs are not the only office furniture that comes with wheels! Some office spaces that have adopted a flexible design implement casual seating, too. Couches, comfortable chairs, and side tables encourage people to gather in groups where they can brainstorm in a more creative and casual work area.
It is important in offices that have a flexible workspace that there is appropriate lighting for every area of the room. Most of the lighting should come from windows, as natural lighting will always make it easier to work. However, you will need to look at additional lighting sources. Consider using a variety of lighting sources, instead of one focal source. You should have overhead lighting that will give adequate light to large areas of space. You should also have portable lighting such as lamps that can be moved from desk to desk. Having different sources of lighting will make it easier to make sure that people have the light that they need to work whether they are working as part of a team or as an individual.
Computers and Technology
If you want people to be able to work in different spaces of the office, it is important that computers that they work on be portable. Therefore, try to set workers up with laptops that they can move around when needed. Flexible office spaces must have flexible technology. Also, you might want to consider supplying office staff with tablets like iPads. iPads and other tablets can be great for working as part of a group and doing brainstorming and collaborative activities. The apps that are available on tablets can make it easy for people to share their work quickly.
Finally, make sure that your electricity sources are easy to use. There is nothing worse than having staff with laptops that cannot reach the electrical outlets because they are too far from the walls. Instead of only setting up electrical outlets on the outside walls, consider installing electrical outlets in floors, too. This will make it easier for people to access electrical outlets where they need them and it will prevent long cords from reaching across the room. When people have to reach across open spaces with their cords, it can be a safety hazard.
Consider Private Spaces
Even if the focus of your business is team work and collaboration, there will be times when people need to have a quiet space to work or make important phone calls. For this reason, you may want to have smaller, private spaces that are sound proof and set up for working. Some businesses that have adopted flexible office designs have small rooms for this purpose. They are not usually very big but they have everything that is needed. The rooms should have phones, a place to set up the workers’ laptops, and adequate electrical outlets. When setting up this room, you will want to ensure that they have adequate lighting sources. Since the rooms will not likely have natural lighting you should make sure that the lighting is adjustable for the worker’s preference. Avoid overhead fluorescent lighting, which can be hard on the eyes in such small spaces. Also, be sure to provide the rooms with proper ventilation. No one wants to work in a small room that they can’t breathe in! Open office designs create an environment where ideas are shared more willingly. Employees feel like they are part of a team. The office becomes a place that they are happy to work at and productivity increases substantially.