Rising Popularity of Agile Workspaces
The word “agile” in business has become harder to define in recent years. It used to define computer software, but now it is even used to define work and workspaces.
The concept of agile working has begun to include more general notions of flexibility around how we look at all kinds of work. The same term is now used to define new and dynamic office layouts that support this style of working. An agile work environment overcomes the traditional office with several multipurpose shared spaces that give employees the liberty to work where and when they choose.
What is an Agile Workplace?
Agile workplaces are spaces intended for maximum flexibility. They enable employees to work how, where, and when they pick and provide them with the technology and tools they require.
The agile concept is about producing higher levels of output in quality and quantity of work.
Employees in agile work environments are often not limited by traditional 9-5 work timings, and they are free to work remotely.
In agile workplaces, the majority number of employees don’t have assigned desks, and some teams may be placed in designated groups of workstations. Usually, workers are asked to choose whatever setting they might find appropriate for their work.
- Soft seating areas may be ideal for informal meetings, group discussions, or just for enjoying breaks.
- Quiet spaces may be appropriate for private study, and intensive focus on complicated tasks and issues.
- Iso-stations may be designed by staff passing through a work area, schedule checking, just for quick logins, last-minute review of meeting notes, etc.
- Lounge tables or tables may be used for team project work and quick meetings.
- Small and large meeting rooms are used for meetings with clients.
- Standing workstations may be provided, too.
Why is agile working so popular?
Multiple business goals have escalated the ever-increasing popularity of agile workplace designs in the world.
Corporate leaders have found that it’s logical to adopt new ways for workplaces to function that can effectively affect impact staff retention, creativity, productivity, collaboration, and general wellbeing.
Augmenting use of office space has also become a top priority for companies trying to manage against increasing lease rates, facilities, and utility maintenance costs.
And, green-minded business leaders have extra motivation for decreasing space as a way to achieve reduced environmental impact while giving a satisfying environment for employees at the workplace.
What are the benefits of agile working?
Today’s agile workplaces provide quite an array of benefits for employers and workers, including:
- An unparalleled amount of flexibility and individual liberty for employees. Workers have their pick of multiple locations and types of workstations that suit their ongoing activities and preferences.
- Builds a company culture that produces high levels of satisfaction with regard to the employee experience. That means longer-term retention, recruiting costs, revenue losses, training costs, administrative costs, quality loss, decreased productivity loss, and other expenses for employers.
- Agile workspaces encourage freer communications and association. That frankness can lead to a more integrated culture, which encourages creative and quick problem solving, increased productivity, and greater well-being for employees.
- Employees feel empowered, trusted, and valued with the liberty to manage themselves and their style of working.
- Employers with agile workplaces find it easier to recruit top talent.
Often, agile workplace designs need less square footage than more conventional layouts, which means decreased leasing costs, utility costs, and maintenance costs.
Who is it for?
The agile approach to workspace arrangement is suitable for companies in which the focus is on productivity instead of attendance.
Agile is focused on ultimate employee convenience and comfort, to encourage optimum productivity. Particularly in companies that benefit from the association between employees within and across departments, agile provides a great solution.
For those looking to promote an inclusive culture, or that want to throw off traditional limitations on workers, like assigned locations, hours, seating arrangements, etc. to encourage maximum performance, agile is suitable.
What are the challenges of turning your workspace into an agile workspace?
Most organizations, especially large companies can’t just flip a switch and transform into an agile work mode.
Conversion includes a company-wide change that can take some time. Turning a company’s culture from traditional to agile will prove more challenging for some businesses than others.
Include the team in creating and implementing the plan. Office arrangements and styles and employees’ ways of using the available spaces will differ from one company to the next.
Remember to achieve the change proactively. Using a counseling approach can be the main difference between a smooth transition and a chaotic, confused adjustment phase.
Agile office design includes implementing lots of freedom and flexibility.
How to get started?
Starting on any office design project begins with conversing the plan with your staff and getting them on board for the transformation.
Get input from all team members, so that their ideas can be taken into consideration and eventually incorporated. Conduct one-on-one discussions and team meetings to discuss ideas and advice from staff.
The finalized design plan should encourage agile working, through creating components such as:
- An array of workstation settings
- Areas that promote the probability of casual encounters and conversations
- Ample spaces for concentration, formal meetings, and collaboration
- An environment that promotes flexibility
When it comes to taking the leap to agile working, start with asking WHY WHO and HOW. If you answer these questions, the process of designing your WHERE will be effortless.