More and more, today’s workforce yearns for mobile office environments. And so, employers have responded by creating a flexible office space that, among other things, lets their employees know they value a balance between life and work, inspire greater creativity, and improve productivity.
But what is a flexible office environment?
With the rise of remote workers and contractors — as well as start-up environments — flexibility can mean a lot of different things. And so businesses must pay attention to the vital details of their office design, such as the desks and chairs that fill the space.
Here are seven specific things to consider when designing a mobile office environment:
1. Seating Design
Consider a new type of office chair that acknowledges the phasing out of assigned seating with the rise in a mobile workforce. Rather than looking at seating that offers all-day comfort, look for office chairs that provide employees instant comfort that adjusts automatically during their limited sitting times.
2. Customizable Desks
Swap out your static desks for ones that are height adjustable and on wheels so teams can customize their work stations and easily reconfigure to collaborate throughout the office.
3. Moveable Partitions
Look into adding partitions on wheels to create temporary private rooms in your office for breakout sessions and meetings. These dividers can serve dual purpose with whiteboard surfaces to support impromptu idea mapping and aid visualization.
4. Staying Connected
Be intentional about the reach of your wifi connection and location of your electrical outlets, in order to promote connectedness anywhere in the office. Flexible planning should encourage active use of a variety of spaces, and make it easy to do so. Make electrical outlets visible and accessible for employees to easily plugin before when device batteries die. Also, make them plentiful to eliminate any interoffice spats over the monopolizing of minimal outlets.
5. Communal Workspaces
While private spaces are important for employees to focus, there also needs to be ample space for communal lounges and collaborative workspaces. Collisions in the workplace often result in new ideas, positive results, and an overall happier team environment.
6. Personal Space
Accessible solutions need to be considered for stashing away personal items, such as bags and coats, as well as files or materials needed to support workflow. Understanding users’ needs will allow for designer programming and planning to infuse the space with ideal storage options, whether it be assigned lockers and filing, department filing, or day use storage.
7. Consistent Branding + Environmental Design
Use strong brand language and images in your wayfinding signage throughout the office, as a way to enhance your brand messaging and engage employees as they come and go. Additionally, when aiming to design a productive workplace that supports flexibility and increases satisfaction, give your employees the empowerment to make some selections throughout the design process — or at least share their input at various moments along the way.
. . .
At Carson Design Associates, we use our Space Utilization Study as part of the workplace evaluation to help companies who are looking to transform their space to support a mobile or flexible workplace. We start by gathering information specific to our clients’ goals, including onsite observations, surveys, and employee interviews. We then seek to uncover a comprehensive picture of how people interact within the office environment in order to better understand:
- Work styles
- Functional requirements
- What’s working
- What’s not working.
Finally, we combine this data with our experience and expertise to design a mobile workplace solution that excels at solving our client’s organizational needs.
If you’re curious about learning more about designing a mobile workplace, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to help!