You’ve probably heard about agile – a lot. All sorts of businesses are embracing it, from small start-ups to huge corporations.
But just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, here’s a quick recap of agile working: it’s a way to achieve your goals faster while staying flexible enough to take on new challenges. The idea is that staff can choose where, when, and how they work, which empowers them to find the best and most efficient way of getting things done.
This is shaking up the way we design offices. But what does a good agile workspace design look like in practice? What kind of furniture do you need? Where does it go? How do people use it?
Let’s find out by taking a short tour of an agile office. Come right this way.
Variety is the Spice of Agile Workspace Design
As you walk in, you won’t just see one big open-plan space branching off into meeting rooms. There are different areas (let’s call them ‘zones’) throughout the office, each designed for different purposes.
Some of these zones are for getting together, while others are for working alone. Some are for relaxing – others are for bursts of intense activity. Desks are adjustable, so you can sit or stand, whatever’s more comfortable. Some people aren’t at their desks at all, not because they’re slacking off, but because they’re working remotely from mobile devices.
These different zones are vital for pulling off an agile workspace. They give people the freedom and flexibility to work smarter and faster. As you look around, you’ll find out why.
The Right Space for the Right Job
We’ll start at the breakout zone. Here, groups gather around coffee tables for spontaneous brainstorming sessions. Small teams sit at a cluster of comfy sofas, holding relaxed meetings. A nearby wall doubles up as a whiteboard, where team members are scrawling their ideas.
This area gives employees a place to get away from their desks and casually collaborate with their colleagues. They can also come here to take five, grab a coffee, and recharge their batteries.
Around the corner, there’s a quieter zone, where staff can sit in enclosed booths. This zone gives them somewhere to concentrate, hold one-to-one meetings, take confidential calls, or just get away from the hubbub of the office. With a recent report finding that chatty co-workers (80%) and office noise (70%) are the two biggest workplace distractions, having quiet spaces is vital for helping your people stay focussed.
After a session in the booth, people can head straight to the breakout area to chill out. Every part of the office is super accessible. You can move from one zone to another with ease, jumping seamlessly from meetings to solo tasks to water cooler conversations. This is the essence of agile – making it easy for people to choose where and how they work.
Dynamic by Design
So, that concludes our tour. Now you’ve seen some of the ins and outs of a successful agile office. But in six months, this office could look completely different. That’s the beauty of agile workspace design – it’s dynamic. You can improve your setup as your business needs change.
The benefits don’t stop there. An agile workspace can help you:
- Keep hold of more talent
- Enable more collaboration between staff
- Save on rent, because you need less physical space
- Improve employee wellbeing
But be careful. There are also pitfalls you can easily stumble into when transforming your workplace. Learn how to avoid them and master agile design with our agile office report.