16 December 2017
The design of your office should not only be pleasant for the eye. It should thrive your employees’ creativity, improve the communication and exchange of information inside the “ company’s community.” A lot of people are still negligent towards the importance of the interior design, which is quite aggravating taking into consideration the fact that many studies had been carried out in this field.
Having your office designed with taste, it will improve your employees potential, stimulate their mind, in order to work more creatively, as well as encourage spontaneous collaborations in the workplace. Those are the things which are certainly needed in company which wants to achieve the best results.
First of all, we should focus on the term “agile office” itself, which may seem quite foreign. According to the Cambridge Dictionary agile is an adjective “used for describing ways of planning and doing work in which it is understood that making changes as they are needed is an important part of the job.” In other words, agile office is a place when the management and organization is also agile. It means that the workplace and the management and organization of the work influence each other on every level. What is more, all of these features should be considered opened to change and novelty.
How to create your “agile office” ?
Firstly, give yourself few days just for observing the different patterns of your team’s work. Notice the way they cooperate, communicate and socialize with each other if they do it at all. Then, take your time and think about changes which would be essential in your office. If nothing comes to your mind, below we compiled a set of useful tips for creating an agile office just for you :
An open space concept
Space arrangement has been a top trending topic in recent years. Many experiments conducted in this field show that open space arrangement not only is beneficial for your company, it also improves communication and enhances transparency. The lack of face-to-face contact prevents people from having a proper conversation so that you should take all of the partitions down.
Another idea for easier mobility inside the office is providing the computer station at very desk. This arrangement would allow your employees to move more freely around the office and at the same time provides more opportunities for socializing with each other. Moreover the workstation to play its role must be not only functional but also comfortable. Comfort and tidiness go hand in hand with better work results and mind clarity. Invest in furniture of a good quality, even customized ones which can easily be joined together in case of projects.
Single floored offices are also a great contribution towards developing good social interactions. The spacing between work stations should allow workers to move around comfortably and at the same time without disturbing others. However, the office should not be limited to desk. Think of something more exciting and extraordinary. Bean-bags, standing desks or bouncy balls will deliver a boost of positive energy around the office and provide an escape from boring office station which can be seen everywhere.
Beside comfortable chairs, open space and friendly atmosphere, the office of your organization should be a place where the best ideas are about to be created. The agile office should provide a space for creativity, brainstorming, passionate teamwork and socializing as well as for formal meetings, solitude and relaxation. All those factors combined together will boost your firm’s statistics and your employee’s dedication to work.
When it comes to planning and creating new things, there must be a place to put all of these great ideas on. Glass boards, white boards or walls covered with paint on which a person can write will be a great addition to your office design. Those tools have two big advantages: Look trendy and serve the purpose. It is so simple, isn’t it ? What is more, the addition of big TV screens is vital for visualizing the most important data, backlogs and statistics.
The open space is a key to developing an agile office, however, creating a space for small meetings, conferences and private calls would be essential. Cozy, quiet room is a good place for holding conferences to which everyone has an easy access. Furnish it with comfortable chairs and pictures and everyone would be more then pleased to spend time in there.
If you want your employees to socialize and collaborate with each other, reduce the number of coffee machines in your office. One coffee machine will “force” people to encounter with each other, talk or exchange opinions. The flow of information within the office will become smooth and easy and people will stop being strangers in their workplace.
As far as agile approach is concerned the concept of disrupted ergonomics is at the forefront. Above mentioned change as limiting the number of coffee machines to one should be applied to other equipment in the office. One printer ( do not apply it to one computer though!) or one Xerox machine would trigger natural interactions. When strolling through the office to get to the printer or coffee machine, one will be forced to talk with others or at least catch an eye contact with co-workers. It will create more friendly and open atmosphere.
Eating. The need which must be fulfilled by every human being. In your office people not only work. They eat, drink, snack and talk. They need time for a break. Having a spacious and cozy kitchen where everyone can sit comfortably and consume their meals is a thing which cannot be neglected. It can be called kitchen, cafeteria or kitchenette. Equipped with proper tools it can serve as a place for social interactions, relaxation and reflections. Consider it as a small Cafe or bistro when your employees and you can relax, eat, drink delicious coffee or tea, read a magazine and forget about work for a moment.
Another useful ideas would be an outdoor space or an entertainment room. Many researches have proven that allowing your mind a little break is also a moment when the greatest ideas are born. The outdoor space (if possible!) may be a balcony or a terrace where people could inhale some fresh air, get a boost of vitamin D and clear their minds. If there are people who need other types of relaxation, here comes the entertainment room. It can be equipped with pool table, PlayStation, darts or TV with comfortable couch to sit on or even lay down. Sometimes people need to release the tension, anger and frustration connected with difficult projects or unpleasant clients. The place where their emotions can be expressed freely without taking one’s anger out on others is worth having.
The final thought should consider the design of the office itself. Should it be all white? All Black? Colourful ? It is up to you to decide, however, take into consideration whether your workers would be happy to work in such interior for 3 or more years ? Bright colours may cause frustration and lack of concentration so you have to be careful. You may hire the professional interior designer or a Feng Shui specialist who will help you with visualizing and arranging your ideas. Don’t worry, not everyone is gifted with spatial imagination and artistic soul. Having a little help, especially from the professional, can bring positive outcomes and bring you closer to adopting the agile approach you have always wanted.
We are more than sure that applying all those tips during the arrangement of your office, will bring many positive results and working conditions in your organization will also improve.