Working in a truly smart manner; presenting the agile office
Hybrid working is radically changing the way we work and organise office space.
Remote or in the office? Fixed or mobile workstation? Open-plan or private office?
There is no single answer to these questions. An office furnishing project varies on the basis of the demands and the characteristics of the organisation in question. There is, however, a new way of organising workspaces that has been gaining popularity in recent years, in particular with companies looking to create innovative and people-oriented environments.
This is the “agile office” concept, an approach to design that aims to create dynamic and adaptable offices in which staff are allowed to collaborate in a productive manner, whatever methods of working their role dictates.
In this new form of office, furnishing solutions are becoming innovative and “reactive”; they adapt, modify and change layout in accordance with relationships with people.
Mobile walls and desks, “open-air” lounge areas, office pods for privacy; in the agile office, the working environment becomes an ideal setting, a place for encounters and exchanges, offering an ideal balance of individual and collaborative space.
In this sense, workers can “smart work” wherever they are.
The “agile” concept is in complete contrast to open spaces and traditional offices.
In the first case, the working environment adapts to the people that inhabit it. In open or so-called “cellular offices”, the layout is “fixed” and leaves no room for flexibility.
In this regard, it is necessary to bear in mind that a change in working methods and office types can also lead to a change in worker needs and feedback.
Privacy, comfort, levels of interaction; a study carried out by the University of Reading (UK) on a sample of workers demonstrates how a change in the layout of an office leads to a change in people’s behaviour.
In general, open offices are considered to be better for interaction, but not so much for privacy. The opposite is the case for traditional offices. Agile offices got the best feedback both in terms of privacy and of relationships.
How is this seen for mobile workers? Differing demands have been identified in terms of relations with colleagues and the need for privacy within the office. Overall, these results demonstrate that the less time a person spends in the office, the more they want to interact with colleagues and “control” their own working space.
As revolutionary as it is, the concept of the agile offices can be applied to any professional context, contributing to improving a sense of belonging in the work place, professional satisfaction and the willingness to embrace organisational change.Back to the blog