How flexible working is influencing the traditional office

Flexible working is becoming a staple of modern business as companies and employees strive to reach a better work-life balance. The aim is to create a more productive workplace through better morale, teamwork and individual performance.

This starts with a change in mentality from everyone on your team but you also need to reinvent the workplace to create an environment that makes it easier for staff to hit targets. Flexible working has changed the way businesses think about office design and you only have to look at major brands like Google and Apple to see how drastically things have changed over the past decade.

The rise of dedicated workspaces

The mention of Google and Apple offices probably conjures mental images of open workspaces and quirky features like slides and games rooms. That’s great in terms of creating a more collaborative space and boosting moral but what about those times when your team members need to get their heads down and make things happen.

The best examples of modern office design incorporate a range of dedicated workspaces for their staff:

  • Focus space

  • Collaboration space

  • Team meeting space

  • Relaxation space

  • Telephone conversation space

  • Concentration space

  • Inspirational space

As UK office design agency Office Principles explains: “Activity based working in a building is really characterised by different environments, different spaces and different settings for people to either concentrate individually or to collaborate with a couple of people together.”

There are times when your team needs to be creative, times where they need to collaborate and times when they’re better off working alone. People work in different ways as well and your team members are going to be more productive in certain working environments more than others.

This is the basis of office design for flexible working.

A stronger focus on psychology

The shift towards flexible workplaces means design choices are made with a heavy emphasis on the psychology of your workforce. The notion that happy workers are productive workers has been proven by countless studies to the point it’s no longer a cliché. However, workplace happiness is only one aspect of your psychological considerations for modern office design.

Here are some other things to consider

–          Create a sense of space with layouts and furniture

–          Invest in comfortable furniture

–          Let as much natural light as possible into our workspace

–          Use glass walls to make light go further

–          Add plants and touches of nature

–          Add art and creative works

–          Stick to minimal designs and use colour to your advantage

–          Maintain a clean and tidy workspace

–          Make your recreational areas a genuine break from the office

It’s important you understand how small details such as colour, the use of curved vs straight lines and lighting affect human psychology. You also need to back this up by making sure your team has all the tools they need to do the job and consider ergonomics – from the furniture you use to where certain work tools are located around your workforce.

Flexible working revolves around the notion that workers are at their best when they enjoy their job. Modern businesses know how important employee satisfaction is but it all comes down to improving productivity, attracting a higher quality of job candidates and holding onto your best staff for longer. This all starts with creating a workspace that allows your employees to be the best workers they can.

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