“Flexible workspaces” or “flexible seating” has been trending for a while. But breaking them down they seem to have been more of a buzzword than an actual true trend. Until now – flexibility has never been more needed.
It might seem as the workplace is always under construction. From the action office to the open floor plan – one thing that is for sure, is that what’s considered as best practice will change over time. The past years we have been talking a lot about flexible workspaces and how to work from home. This has, however, not been particularly grounded in reality.
Until February 2020 only 3,4% of the total workforce in the US worked remotely full time. And even if modern and early-adopters have tried to implement some type of remote work policy, it seems like we have a hard time to break from assigned seating and the nine to five structure. Until now.
2020 and the pandemic
“Desperate times calls for desperate measures” a Greek physician once said. And will we not describe the work-from-home movement that followed with the COVID-19 virus as a desperate act when looking back on the past? Maybe. We’re still in the middle of the storm, but let’s take a moment to think about how this will influence the way we work going forward.
The chance of us going back to work full time in-office is probably quite low. According to experts, remote work will to a certain extent be the new normal. We will probably not be entirely remote though – the last months of WFH has definitively made us miss both our workplaces and our colleagues. But, the time spent in the office will by all means decrease. This doesn’t make it less important though. Keep on reading and we will tell you why!
Flexible working is finally happening
For us that have been talking about activity-based working and hot desking for years this is exciting news. We have discussed the pros and cons of remote work before, so let’s not mention it here. Instead, let us discuss how we need to change our workplace to make it ready for future demands.
The new role for the workplace will be to serve as an arena for collaboration and interaction. It will be where we meet up our colleagues and discuss ideas, make decisions and socialize – just like always. But the difference is that the in-between work might take place elsewhere. This means that the design of the workplace will be more important than ever. Collaboration areas as lounge spaces, meeting rooms and other in-official meeting space will play a huge part. The same goes for flexible seating areas with bookable desks that employees can book for the hour or the day.
Prep your office for future days
As with all shared resources issues can occur. As our COO Johannes says:
"For many organizations, this transition has caused employees trouble with finding a seat and a lot of time is wasted searching for free space. We see a lot of similarities with this new situation as we do with other shared resources, as meeting rooms. It’s the same problem with double bookings and ghost scenarios."
This is however easily solved with the right solutions and tools. Here is what you need:
1. Wayfinding tools
Solutions as Meetio View helps you visualize your office. Employees can easily find free spaces to use. Floor plan maps gives you an instant overview of your meeting rooms and free seating areas, so that both visitors and employees know where to go. Filter tools let you find the meeting room for your needs.
2. Desk Management Tools
As Johannes mentioned above – finding a seat can easily become a bottle neck. With a desk management solution as Meetio Desk you can book your desk directly or in advance with Meetio Personal. The pucks make it easy to visualize the status of the desk so no one can steal it once it’s booked. Meetio Desk is also ideal for other shared resources as phone booths and non-official meeting spaces.
3. Remote Tools
Let your employees keep the office in their pockets! Meetio Personal, as mentioned above, lets your employees book resources from their phone. Also, we will surely be more careful not to touch common surfaces in the office in the same extent as before. This is not an issue with Meetio Personal since you don’t have to touch anything but your phone.
When we finally return to the office the last thing we want is hassle and complications, right? Make your workplace ready for homecoming now and be sure to harvest the crop!
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