We have spoken about sustainability and workplace design mimicking remote workspaces such as hotel lobbies or your own living room. The time has now come for dynamic flexibility. Don’t worry, we didn’t understand what it was the first time we heard it either. After this article you will be a whole lot wiser about this huge trend for 2020.
It feels like we have seen the word flexibility painted on the walls for quite some time now. And for all the right reasons, of course. Creating alterable spaces is just smart. First of all, it opens up the possibility to fit more tasks on less surface and gives your coworkers the chance to be more creative. But that’s not all of it!
It all started a few years ago...
… when dynamic spaces became popular. Dynamic spaces are pretty much what we explained above. It’s multifunctional spaces that can be transformed (at least a little bit) based on need. For example, it could involve personal flexibility in the form of adjustable desks so that you could perform tasks standing up or sitting down. Or it could be a larger form of flexibility such as desks on wheels or big green and moveable dividers so that you could change a whole room based on the need. If you work in an office now you’ll probably recognize this. It has pretty much become the new normal.
The dynamic evolution
The flexibility trend is no longer what it was though. It has become more of a dynamic movement. This movement has meant the death of bulky, big and heavy furniture which, if you can recall, have been the identifiers of flashy offices in the past. The sole purpose of dynamic flexibility is to not let physical factors determine what space can be used for. It’s meant to embody agile working.
What is it then? Well, it’s multi-functional, lightweight, moveable and ergonomic elements that can quickly transform the space into what you need this specific moment. To paint a better picture it could mean having a room that in seconds could be transformed from a conference room to a podcast studio or quiet working area. Or why not a production spot?
What does it take?
Do we realise this might sound almost impossible? Or at least super expensive. But the truth is, it’s not. The reason behind this trend is split in two, like most other trends. We already mentioned the one about agile working. But the second one is actually financial. See, it’s about making the most of this valuable piece of real estate that you have. Having changeable environments actually gives you more possibilities for less money.
Jumping on this trend shouldn’t be done without thought though. It’s about changing your mentality – something that doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t just throw in some desks on wheels and expect something to change. This trend is human-focused instead of task-focused. Which means it entails trusting and asking your coworkers to create the space they need. That allows them to change the space based on what they’re doing. And you suddenly have an office that enables many more tasks and meets many more needs.
What we’re trying to say is these trends might be focused on design but they are so much more. It often means you have to change the way you think about things or the way you are used to working. With that said, it is worth rethinking old habits sometimes and if the design inspires you it’s definitely a sign you should start.
Curious about ABW?
Read about our transition to an activity based workplace and (hopefully) get inspired!