Office design is achieving new heights, from coworking spaces to office pods. Now, the concept of the "agile office" is all the buzz - a flexible and productive work environment with different activity spaces.
But how exactly is it conducive to better staff productivity & happiness? Here's a look at why building agile offices is essential for your employees.
Physical freedom is the most important principle of an agile workspace. No longer are employees confined to sitting for hours to work at desks or in front of computers, experiencing physical strain, fatigue and boredom.
The open office is the foundation that allows for standing, walking or sitting while still having desks and computers available for employees when they need them.
Unlike the typical office, agile offices have various dedicated areas that keep employees focused. Each dedicated area is for specific tasks that reflect the development stages of the company's work.
"Out of sight, out of mind" is also important when organizing and separating dedicated areas. Examples of such areas are a resource area, breakout areas, quiet zones, and (for freelancers and remote workers) overflow areas.
Moderation Between Individuals and Groups
One of the downsides to the open office is the tendency for overly large groups. It results in loss of focus, individuals not feeling valued and redundancy of tasks.
The agile office transforms this issue to encourage not only individuals but groups of various sizes. It is the happy medium between the old cubicle-style office and the open office because there's space for both.
Obtain Employee Feedback
Asking employees their opinions on designing an agile office will give you insight as to what could work and what might not work. It is helpful to also compare opinions of the existing open office layout to learn what to keep and what to change or get rid of. Since agile workspaces are customized according to the needs of the business, no two are alike.
Employee feedback is especially necessary for brainstorming. Using a wallboard will give employees the ability to offer their input or keep track of project progress. While physical wallboards are traditional, digital ones are increasingly common for their ease of use and colorful customization.
Get Portable Furniture
Anyone who has rearranged furniture understands the frustration and discouragement of heavy products.
Making sure furniture pieces are easy to move will allow you to quickly change areas or experiment as you need to so you don't have to be stuck with the first layout you try. Another benefit is the opportunity for greater strategic placement.
You can make furniture and tools as convenient as possible for employees and then adjust as needed.
Set Up Secluded Spaces
Individual employees need to have quiet zones: dedicated areas with little noise or interruption in which to think and focus on their tasks. Using a phone is even more reason to have a quiet zone. Groups, too, need breakout areas with soundproofing and possibly partitions depending on their needs.
Spaces for Smaller Groups
Small groups get things done, disproving "the more, the merrier" in groups at work. Employees in large groups tend to experience the Ringelmann Effect, which is when individuals become less productive as the size of the group increases.
Small groups are not only more focused and efficient in communication but every individual feels valued since they are not stuck doing the same task as someone else.
Cross-collaboration Between Groups
In the old days, different groups that wanted to collaborate together had to meet in a conference room or -- if it wasn't large enough -- were restricted to individual communication between them.
The agile office eliminates that problem. Employees can easily team up and collaborate in breakout areas and then move back and forth between them and quiet zones, desks or any other areas.
Zenbooths Can Give You the Agile Workspace You Seek...
It's a fact that most employees are dissatisfied with working in open offices. Not long ago, if business owners wanted to make a better physical work environment for their employees, they would have had to invest in remodeling their existing layout or relocate.
Now there are Zenbooths, which spare them all of that cost and hassle.
Zenbooths are innovative, portable, soundproof office pods. They have a phone booth-style that offers comfortable space for individuals and groups of up to 6 people for efficient and productive individual tasks and group projects.
Employees using Zenbooths experience seclusion from three sides, with the door and ceiling retaining visibility for occupancy and fire compliance as well as to allow natural light in.
Their acoustic soundproof structure eliminates up to 40 decibels of noise from the outside.
The agile office is the newest design concept that allows for greater staff productivity. It gives employees the ability to move around so they can freely collaborate, find inspiration, relax and refresh as they wish.
Zenbooth is the efficient solution that turns an open office into an agile one so that you, too, can reap its benefits. To learn more about how Zenbooths can help you achieve the agile workspace you've dreamed of, contact us here.