The Rise of the Agile Working Environment

Jo Horbury
The principles of agile working environments are re-shaping office landscapes around the world. Advancements in technology mean that in order to work we no longer have to be tethered to the desk, the rising influx of millennials in the workspace combined with a growing understanding by businesses of the influence that office environments have on the productivity and happiness of the workforce directly influencing ROI, are driving the change.

This understanding has seen a move away from traditional, ‘one size fits all’ patterns of office design, namely the bull pen, office cubicle and open plan office space.

The answer? Empowering the employee. Agile working environments support flexibility and autonomy by creating spaces tailored for all types of work and the different ways that people work best.

But what characterises an agile working environment?

Agile Working Environment Characteristics

An agile work place is an environment that:

  • Creates different areas that suit alternative styles of working
  • Integrates the physical and digital to allow flexibility in working environment
  • Encourages interaction by providing areas for collaboration
  • Has efficiently planned space to optimise area usage
  • Gives staff autonomy, freedom and flexibility by providing choice over where and how they work
  • Has design spaces that reinforce culture and brand to staff and external visitors.

By creating spaces for different purposes people can focus, collaborate, socialise and be creative when the time is right. Furniture can be used to achieve the desired effect, such as using:

Soft Seating – Can be used for creating informal spaces where people can have non-formal meetings or just socialise

Huddle Pods – Are ideal for creating spaces for small teams to collaborate but also an ideal setting for private study and privacy.

High Tables – Create spaces for team meetings and support project work.

Breakout Areas & Tea Points – Are areas where chance and informal meetings can take place and provide a space where employees can go to reflect, relax and socialise. By having areas to relax, your employees can re-charge meaning when they are working their focus is fully focused on the task at hand.

In order to maximise the success of the agile working environment it should be underpinned with a workplace strategy that looks into the needs and requirements of employees to perform their work activities.

It is important to note that having a proper IT infrastructure is key. Flexible workspaces and mobile workforces require instant internet and WiFi access. If there isn’t adequate IT planning to support a new office layout, it will make the rest of the design void.

If you would like to know about how we can help you with your new office design then contact us today. Building Interiors have expertise in crating office spaces for clients that are underpinned by strategy to maximise productivity and deliver ROI.