“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”Winston Churchill

Agile working is a relatively new development in workplace design. With many large companies such as Google, Facebook and Unilever employing it’s practices, agile working is changing the modern-day workplace in a big way.

Focused on maximising flexibility, efficiency and productivity in the office, agile workplace design has been shown to:

  • Reduce building costs by up to 25%;
  • Increase staff productivity by up to 25%;
  • Improve overall workplace satisfaction in the office.

What is it?

The idea behind agile working is that work is not a place we go, but an activity we do, and technology has made this possible; laptops and collaboration software are playing a larger role in the workplace than ever before.

For many people, when they hear ‘agile working’ they automatically start thinking of flexible hours and hot-desking – this is wrong. Agile working is a completely different way of working compared to the traditional office set up in that they are essentially split into ‘zones’. These zones are designed to create different working environments, allowing employees to choose where to work, based on their task at hand.

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Matthew Samways

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Zone-out at work

Every office design project is different, and which zones are required in an agile work environment depends on what the company want to achieve.

Some of the more popular zones include:

  • Breakout zones
  • Quiet areas
  • Collaboration zones
  • Touchdown points
  • Telephone booths
  • Resources areas
  • Workstations

Each zone is designed to provide a different working environment; from peaceful quiet areas to concentrate on tasks at hand, to collaboration zones for brainstorming, to touchdown points, ideal for short tasks such as checking emails between meetings.

This setup is designed for maximum flexibility and flow around the workplace. If a member of staff has a meeting with a client at 9am, works from 10:30am-12:30pm on a big project, takes his lunch at 12:30pm, has a meeting with his team to come up with some new ideas for their project at 1:30pm then spends the rest of his day working on the project again, his day might involve using a meeting space, quiet zones, a breakout area and a collaboration zone – each zone set up to create an ideal environment for his requirements.

Touchdown Point Render

The benefits

The benefits of working in an agile work environment are numerous. Some of the highlights include:

Higher efficiency and productivity

Efficiency and productivity are two of the most important aspects in any office design. Through increased flexibility, agile work environments have been shown to increase both.

Better space utilisation

One of the biggest expenses in running a company is office space. With prices rising across the country, maximising space utilisation is becoming more and more important. Agile workplace design is an excellent way of making the most of your workspace and, consequently, more for your money.

Creates an impression

Agile workplaces, when done right, can create an impressive wow-factor in your office. When branding is used creatively, and zones are placed strategically, agile working can create a lasting impression on your visitors.

Increased creativity

It’s a well-known fact that movement in the workplace can increase creativity (among other benefits). Having zones in your office where employees can brainstorm alone or in a group is an excellent way of ensuring your team stays creative and thinks outside-the-box by allowing for movement around the office.

“Work is not a place we go, but an activity we do.”

Is it for you?

Many organisations can benefit from agile working. To discover if your’s is one of them, message us using the contact form below or ring us on 01223 581 185 and ask about our agile workplace design services.

For more information and examples of each zone, please see our agile working page.

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