The past decade has seen a remarkable change in the way we think about the traditional office. The rise of remote work, changing working dynamics, increased use of technology, and the need for adaptability have all made their mark on how we design and build our offices. At Niche Projects, we’re much closer to this change than most, so we see it unfolding in real-time.
We work with businesses and organisations all over Sydney, designing and constructing high-quality workplaces for high-quality operations. And many of these businesses elect to create a more flexible office. This comes with plenty of benefits for their organisation and of course, their employees. But what exactly is a flexible office, and what does it look like in 2023?
What is a flexible office?
In essence, a flexible office is a workspace that gives employees a range of different options when it comes to how and where they work. It caters to a flexible workforce, meaning employees who spend some or the majority of their time working from home, or elsewhere. A truly flexible office should be adaptable, and cater to a wide range of working styles, activities, and people. The wellbeing of employees is a key feature in every truly flexible workplace.
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What are the features of a flexible office?
It all starts with the layout. At the moment, we’re seeing a great shift toward adaptable spaces that cater to a range of different working styles. This type of design tends to utilise a more open-plan layout, as has been very common over the past twenty years. However, there is more use of partitions, both fixed and temporary, to create different working areas and environments.
Technology integration and connectivity
A flexible office makes the most of modern technology and connectivity. We live in a digitally-driven world, so every business should be making the most of the applications and hardware available. The seamless integration of this technology is a hallmark of the flexible office in 2023. Smart office systems feature wireless charging, top-line video conferencing facilities, and cloud-based programs and apps are perfect examples of this.
Activity-based working or hotdesking
Employees who have the ability to choose where they work are more productive. This is why hotdesking and activity-based working are at the forefront of the modern flexible workspace. Spaces should be offering ergonomic workstations, and should be designed to cater for specific purposes, such as team collaboration or quiet, individual working. This kind of fluid approach ties in perfectly with a workforce that works from home regularly, as the personalised desk is no longer a necessity.
Inspiring spaces and breakout areas
Inspiration and creativity can be hard to come by in a traditional, static workplace. But a flexible office will inspire and create a more imaginative environment for employees. Some spaces should be designed to relax and instill calm, but others should encourage creativity, spontaneous collaborations, and more informal discussions between colleagues. This kind of activity often results in inspired thinking and better outcomes for your business.
Let’s talk about the benefits of a flexible office
A flexible office will come with many benefits for your Sydney business and your workforce. Namely, those benefits revolve around the health and happiness of your people, and therefore, the productivity of your business.
Studies have shown that workers in an office that provides choice and flexibility are happier than those in traditional offices. When your people are given a choice about where and how they work, they tend to feel more positively about management and the company that employs them. The inclusion of technology, as well as spaces that promote relaxation and quiet working, also greatly contribute to less stressed people in your office. That’s a better outcome for your workforce, and your business as a whole.
More productive workers
When an office is tailored to cater to different people and a variety of working styles, the inevitable result is higher productivity. People will have a better user-experience in the office, meaning their interactions with the workplace itself yield higher, more positive results. For instance, someone who enjoys working in a quiet environment will do well in a flexible office that has an option for quiet working.
Agility and adaptability
A company that utilises a flexible office can roll with the punches and respond much faster than one with a traditional, more static workplace. Sometimes, businesses need to make changes to their workplace quickly, and a traditional office makes this more difficult. If they need to find space for a larger workforce, or pivot working areas to suit new projects, a flexible office will make this kind of activity so much easier.
Looking for expert design and fit out services in Sydney?
At Niche Projects, we’re the best in the business when it comes to office design and fit outs in Sydney. We offer a wide range of top-quality services to cater to organisations of all sizes. Flexible design is just one of those services, and we’re ready to help you.
Get in touch with us today for more information.