Today, employees are more concerned about their office design and its facilities than ever before. At the same time, employers are also paying deep attention to providing ideal office space for their workers to yield maximum productivity. Some employees love to work in a collaborative work environment because they do not like sitting in their separate work stations and working like dummies from 9-5. They prefer interacting with other colleagues while doing work so that they can actually enjoy their work. However, some of the employees are introverts and for them, a private and closed cubicle is the dire need. They prefer privacy so that they can pay attention to their work and give their best rather than wasting their time in chit-chats. These trends have also found their way into the real estate industry and real estate agents and brokers need to take these needs of their employees into consideration.
Thus, it is the role of a real estate employer to design an office that suits everyone so that every type of employee is satisfied with it. The solution to this problem is having an agile workspace.
What is an agile workspace?
As the name suggests, an agile office is a place where employees get flexible facilities in terms of working style and seating. Agile offices are mainly created to foster productivity, boost creativity, and increase collaboration among the team members. A number of researches have been done to find out the impact of agile workspaces on the employees. Results showed that employees who are satisfied with their workplaces are 18% more productive than those who are not. Many of the modern business strategies are now focusing on employee satisfaction, as this is the main factor for increasing productivity. Thus, companies are making agile offices rather than traditional and old-fashioned workspaces.
This article will shed light on some of the agile solutions that are perfect for a modern-day office. These solutions are:
1. Hot desking
If we have a look at some of the top-notch brands in the world, we can see that their office spaces are designed in a non-conventional manner. They prefer a hot-desking style in which the employees’ seating is not fixed and the same space can be occupied by other employees at different times. This is a first-come, first-serve style which is now considered as a contemporary style for offices to boost productivity. The office desks are sometimes vacant because offices are now giving the flexibility to their employees of working from home or going for short vacations and submitting their work on the go.
In an agile office, assigned seating is strictly forbidden as it gives a chance to employees for interacting with a new set of co-workers every day. This hot desking style makes the office look like a co-working space where employees simply walk-in and get to work wherever they find a vacant space.
This concept is adopted by the world-famous company “Unilever”. There are no assigned desks and employees are free to work wherever they want.
2. Common areas, quiet zones, and huddle rooms
An agile workspace is built with the concept of providing maximum flexibility to every employee. Thus these components are essential in an agile office:
Most of the agile offices have kitchens or bars where employees can have a good time together. However, a common area is also ideal where employees can sit and relax with their laptops. It can include a piece of comfortable furniture along with couches and some snacks. Besides providing better comfort to the employees, these areas also increase interaction among employees and are ideal for socializing.
Although agile workspaces do not usually prefer assigned desking, separate quiet zones are also created for employees who tend to get distracted easily. These employees need maximum privacy and an enclosed cubicle where they can work with deeper concentration. Thus, having a quiet zone where five to six employees can work in their partitioned cubicles is an essential component of an agile office.
Huddle rooms are another important component of an agile office. Unlike the formal meeting rooms that have to be maintained well, these are informal meeting rooms for five to six persons. These rooms are ideal for brainstorming and catch-up meetings. They sometimes include video conferencing facilities and other essentials for a meeting room.
3. Making the most of natural light
Agile offices are designed in a way that natural light can make its way inside the office, especially in areas that are mostly used. In comparison to heavy fancy lights, employees get more comfort when they are close to nature. Their mind feels refreshed and they get energized to work with more dedication. According to research, some of the common problems faced by employees like headaches and blurred vision are decreased with natural light. Thus, the floor plan of an agile office is designed in a way that can bring maximum natural light inside the office.
4. Facilitating remote working
The concept of agile offices is to increase efficiency by providing maximum comfort to the workers. Every agile office promotes remote working, as the modern-day employers give importance to the life-events of their employees besides getting the work done on time. The modern concept of getting things done is focused more on achieving results rather than the style of working. Employers are not concerned whether the work is done from home or office. Some agile offices have 80% of remote employees that come to the office occasionally to interact with other employees or with their teams.
For instance, a software development company or a real estate team facing a downfall in its production due to lower employee morale and less engagement can think of revamping its office to an agile working space from its traditional cubicle-based setup. By doing this, as well as allowing the remote-working facility for its employees, the company can expect a significant increase in their productivity.
In short, agile workspaces are a great way to keep productivity levels at their maximum. However, the utilization of good project management tools and setting up a modern digital environment in these offices should also be considered to satisfy the needs of every employee.