The era of the cubicle and the isolated corner office is coming to its rightful end. We don’t live in rigid, artificial environments, and our best work does not emanate from places not conducive to the natural dynamics and inherent creativity of a group focused on a common mission. Agile working is all about creating a flexible and therefore more productive environment.
The idea is as simple as it is functional: by creating different working areas, each tailored to the specific task at hand, you can give your staff the freedom and flexibility to work where, when, and how they want.
Research indicates that up to 60 percent of the traditional office space goes unused on a typical day. Better flexibility and specificity of use not only increases productivity but also realizes cost savings— often as much as 20 percent— by creating a more efficient workflow. When an office has more thoughtfully differentiated working areas, your staff will find greater ease and more freedom to make individual choices. A more intuitively functional workplace fosters creativity, generates more “outside-the-box” ideas, facilitates communication and collaboration across different departments, and thus creates more empowered employees and a stronger sense of shared mission.
Organizations such as Google and Unilver, working within some of the most competitive, high-pressure industries in the world, have discovered that creating a more vibrant work environment is also key to perhaps the most important aspect of successful team-building— it attracts better talent. Extraordinary employees do not want to work in ordinary workspaces.
Benefits of an Agile Workplace
Activity Based Working enables your employees to focus on what they actually do rather than what department they are in. A flexible office space that is adaptable to their needs and activities on any given day means greater focus on the task at hand. Activity Based Working is characterized by different spaces and settings that enable people to concentrate individually or collaborate as a group.
Agile workplaces can include different spaces for focus, collaboration, relaxation, telephone conversations, inspiration, and concentration. Decades of architectural and workplace productivity research has shown the power of creating spaces specific to use; better design not only creates better work, but a more healthful and happier workforce. An agile environment simply provides the correct space for any activity in a workplace.
A workplace becomes more effective and efficient because it supports a dynamic rather than a static workforce; accordingly, the work product emanating from such an environment tends to be more dynamic and creative. The elimination of desk ownership is also more cost-effective and often allows organizations to increase the number of employees utilizing a building or office. Typical cost savings for an agile office space refurbishment is between 15 and 20 percent when compared to a traditional office refurbishment. You save money, time, and space as your organization becomes a place where the future of work is being created each day.