Many progressive organizations have long adopted flexible office space and scheduling. Simultaneously, many other firms have resisted, believing that it would damage their company culture or productivity. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated organizations to utilize flexible office spaces as the most efficient method to meet their workforce’s requirements.
Understanding Flexible Office Space
Flexible office spaces or flexispaces create dynamic environments that consist of all traditional office elements, i.e., desks, chairs, phones, computers, organized in a versatile manner. The concept utilizes a single workspace as a team office space, a conference area, a project operations area, etc., as needed.
Flexible workspaces are scaled to accommodate the varied requirements of workers. Such workspaces may mean including several flexible work areas in an office or having the entire office floor function in a flexispace design.
Elements of flexible office spaces include open-plan concepts, breakout spaces, quiet zones, touchpoints, and shared resources.
Flexible Workspaces before COVID-19
Before the pandemic, many companies avoided adopting flexible office spaces despite the employees’ willingness. The reasons for this reluctance included fears of reduced productivity and sales and reservations about ill-utilization of office workspaces. However, some concepts of flexispacing incorporated in workspaces included:
- Creating coworking spaces with modern, open workspaces and amenities like snacks, gyms, etc.
- Applying hot desking where all workspaces were unassigned and employees booked seats on a first-come, first-served basis but might not have allowed all employees to get the desired seats.
- Applying office hoteling which allowed for better planning. However, this required employees to reserve workspaces in advance, giving them less flexibility, making seat reservations at short notice trickier.
Flexible Office Space during the Pandemic
The pandemic has resulted in more organizations adopting flexible workspaces in the following manner:
- Allowing employees to work from home or work remotely
- Opting for desk hoteling, enabling employees to book workspaces in advance or on-demand. It combines hot desking and office hoteling, allowing employees flexibility and enabling employers to plan seating requirements.
- Applying improvised hot desking and enabling multiple employees to use the same workspace at different times. Typically they can sit on a different available space each day, allowing employers to ensure employee safety.
Benefits of a Flexible Workspace
Office flexibility allows employees to operate from their preferred type of workspace. They can collaborate on a project in the project space and move to other work areas as per their schedule. Flexispace puts all functional workplace types in one place, providing a convenient workspace to employees while combining the best of single concepts and remote working.
How do flexible office spaces help to enhance teamwork?
To create a productive, flexible workplace culture, employees can take the following steps:
- Define different workspaces and explain them to employees.
- Let your workforce realize the benefits of teaming up in a flexible office and working in the newly assigned work areas.
- Give them time to adjust to the versatility.
- Either create all types of spaces possible or have adaptable, multifunctional office spaces.
- Ensure easy access to workspaces for employees.
Creating flexible, successful, and sustainable office spaces
Some key points to building successful and sustainable workspaces include:
- Allow your employees the option to work remotely.
- Use the correct technology to facilitate simpler desk reservations.
- Organizations that need additional space but may be unable to get a long-term lease can opt for coworking.
- As offices reopen, employees can allow employees to customize, control, and safely connect with their workspaces.
How can QuickFMS help to implement flexible workspaces better?
Hot desking is one of the major flexible workspace trends that many employers are implementing. QuickFMS is a cloud-based facilities management software that includes hot desking software. This tool enables organizations to resourcefully organize and restructure their infrastructure to ensure maximum efficiency and performance.
It offers greater flexibility to employees, ensures less wastage of office space, reduces clutter, and can potentially reduce an organization’s real estate expenditure. This flexible workspace tool can enhance teamwork between employees while simultaneously ensuring office space and employee safety. Schedule a free demo of our hot desking software now!
Amit Prasad is the founder and managing director of SatNav Technologies and has business interests in a wide range of IT products. SatNav Technologies is an IT products company focusing on cloud based map data products and a pioneer in GPS, FMS & LBS Technologies. The product suite includes SatTracx in-the-field location based solutions and A-mantra in-the-office facilities management solutions. QuickFMS from a-mantra is a cloud based facility management system which enhances organization’s efficiency.