Agile Office Layout Principles: A Blueprint for Reshaping Your Office

If you've ever worked a desk job, you're well aware that after a week of staring at your computer, you can't wait for the excitement of a fun weekend. 

Though you may love the work you do, are you always comfortable, energized, and feeling creative? Chances are you answered no to at least two of those questions. 

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We're all humans, and as much as we'd like to feel all of those things 100 percent of the time, it's pretty difficult to do so. Being in the same environment and doing the same work day after day sometimes takes away from our productivity, creativity, and overall happiness. 

When we see the same desk to our left, and the same coffee pot to our right, things tend to get boring and bland. Without the opportunity to have a new, fresh environment, you could lack inspiration.

That's where agile office layouts come in. Let's examine some principles of agile office layouts, the benefits you'll see when you adopt the idea, and even some agile workspace​​​ design ideas. 

    About agile workspaces

    The agile workspace is a simple solution to a noisy, uninspiring, or distracting, workplace. It provides options as far as where in the office you choose to work, and gives you the chance to have group meetings without distracting your neighbor. 

    Agile workspace principles

    The principles of an agile workspace are simple: provide a space for employees where they can go no matter what their needs are - whether it's a quiet zone, a collaboration space or something in between. 

    An agile workspace is a specific layout that supports the needs of individuals, teams, groups, and beyond. The idea is to provide an open environment as a central workspace, and offer smaller, more private rooms for more individualized tasks.

    Portable-office style phone booths​ offer individual space, while larger separated spaces offer the perfect place for groups or teams to meet. The open space in an agile office layout offers a common area for everyone to feel like they're working in harmony.

    Agile workspace benefits

    There are more than a few benefits to adopting an agile office layout. 

    1. You're given a choice: In some careers, employees may feel like they're being held prisoner at their desk. Even if they know they're not doing their best work because of a lack of inspiration, they have no choice but to stick to their normal grind. When the company you work for utilizes an agile office layout, you're afforded the choice of where and how you work each day. This freedom and flexibility leads to higher workplace satisfaction. 
    2. Agile offices keep you free from distractions: Does Jill insist on telling you about her wild and crazy weekend every Monday? Or does the sound of the squeaky front door consistently distract you? If you find yourself easily interrupted at work, an agile workspace is a great option for your company. The insulated walls of small, separate work spaces create a fantastic noise blocking barrier so that you are free from the distractions that plague you at your desk. 
    3. You can make phone calls whenever you need to: Are you waiting to hear back from the doctor about an important appointment? Do you have to schedule your car inspection this week? When you work in an agile office you'll be able to make calls whenever you need to, since you can easily visit one of the designated quiet zones. Private areas in an agile workspace offer a peaceful , acoustic place to make personal phone calls at the office without going outside or into less appealing areas, such as the bathroom. 
    4. You are freed from the humdrum of your normal workspace: When you work in an agile office, you have the option to work somewhere different when you'd like a change in scenery. Whether you want to stretch out in a larger conference room, or lock yourself away in a modern phone booth, you'll be able to clear your minds eye with the opportunities that this office style affords. 
    5. Feel more inspired:  When we're in the same area day after day, we tend to get stuck in a physical routine, but the same is true for our thoughts. With the same surroundings, your thoughts can tend to be stale and you may struggle coming up with that new blog title or product design your boss asked for. An agile workspace allows you to work from a conference room that is near a window, inside a privacy booth, or maybe even at a bar-style desk. 

    Agile workspace design ideas and agile office furniture

    An agile workspace does not mean that everyone's seating is a free-for-all, it simply means that there are options to change up employees' desk spaces when they need to.

    A great idea for the design of an agile workspace is as follows: 

    Create an open working space that has a desk for everyone. This works as their go-to workspace but is also the place that they get sick of. That's where office booths come in. 

    Place office furniture pods around the perimeter of the room, in varying sizes, to offer different options for those who need a change. 

    The phone-booth sized spaces are great for when someone wants their own focused workspace that is free from distractions. The conference-room style spaces are great for team meetings, conference calls, or activities that require more than one person that should be kept quiet for distraction purposes.

    Giving employees options as far as where they do their work can go a long way in keeping them happy, inspired, and on the ball.

    Though the exact design of your agile workspace doesn't need to be perfect, it should have 5 main elements: 

    1. An open space: This space is used for team communication, and allows the company to work together and feel connected.
    2. Breakout space: These large meeting rooms are great for group or team get-togethers and are essentially smaller versions of an open space.
    3. Overflow workspace: This area is for workers that only come to the office every so often. This is a good space for your freelancers or remote workers.
    4. Focused booths: These areas are what we call "quiet spaces," and are where employees can go when they want privacy or the ability to deeply concentrate or focus on a project.
    5. The "extras" room: This is a location where you would find things like the printer and coffee machine.

    How Office Phone Booths Help Achieve Agile Workplace Principles

    If you're convinced that the agile workplace is right for you, Zenbooth​ can help. We offer a comfort booth option for one person, and an executive booth that works as an alternative conference space.

    The features of a Zenbooth work to create the perfect portable workspace, and include the following: 

    • a double-pane insulated glass door
    • a magnetic latching system
    • renewable sound insulation for an acoustic quality
    • safety plexiglass ceiling
    • modular walls and floors
    • quiet ventilation fans for fresh air circulation through the booth
    • two electrical outlets for laptops, lamps, or chargers
    • fast-charging USB outlets for your phones and devices

    If you're interested in getting in on the latest office furniture trends, you can contact us online, or call us at 510-646-8368. Thanks for reading. 

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