During the course of the Covid pandemic, a large number of organisations transitioned from office-based working to operating remotely in order to reduce the risk of transmission. This strategy helped ensure that footfall within the workspace remained minimal and prevented areas from becoming too populated.
However, with many organisations now looking to encourage their people back to the office, a hybrid approach has been developed, whereby employees combine their time between home and the office. While this has been deemed a highly effective strategy, it has come at a cost. The rapid onset of the ‘Zoom’ generation may have proven its worth in efficiency, but it has denied office-based workers the opportunity to socialise and collaborate on a more personal level.
It is likely that some form of hybrid working is here for the foreseeable future. With so many organisations unsure of what their real estate portfolios will look like in 12-24 months, many are now considering how to effectively redevelop their existing workspaces whilst maintaining the flexibility that enables them to quickly redeploy as required. It is a process that can be daunting, but in adopting an organisational framework, you can remain confident that you are taking the appropriate measures.
We have a number of suggestions for making your office agile and flexible. Our range of furniture ensures that companies have the flexibility and confidence to create agile and contemporary workspaces for their people without the requirement of expensive constructional work.
Zoning furniture has become increasingly popular within office environments as a means of creating individual space without the need for building fixed partitions. Whilst traditional methods of construction are functional and efficient, they offer little in the way of flexibility. They are expensive to build, expensive to remove and often require permissions from landlords and Building Control to both construct and remove. Standard office partition systems often cannot be reused once they are removed, rendering them completely inflexible for regular workspace changes.
If you wish to take office zoning to the next level, Palisades offers endless configurations for creating demountable divisions. This allows for the simple and attractive division of space into zones and neighbourhoods for specific working styles, without building walls. By incorporating many of the accessories available, different levels of privacy can be achieved depending on the requirement of the space.
One of the key reasons to bring people back to the workplace has been to enhance team collaboration and culture. Gone are the days of asking employees to sit at a sterile white workstation from 9-5, instead the days in the office are expected to be for team meetings and brainstorming sessions.
With this in mind, the furniture systems need to be able to be easily reconfigured to suit a multitude of different requirements. From a small team meeting to a large company "town hall" event, the ability to be able to quickly and easily change the space is paramount.
An excellent example of this is Away From The Desk. This soft upholstery based furniture system is designed to answer the rapidly changing needs of the workplace as we migrate away from personal desks with their fixed and tethered technology towards shared, collaborative spaces and furniture. It incorporates a huge range of modular pieces that can be easily moved to create a workspace that will support many different tasks.
For the ultimate in flexible collaborative seating, the Huddlebox tiered seating solution enables you to utilise existing space, corners and build upwards thus saving on floor space. It can be scaled to accommodate any number of staff with a choice of eight simple modules. It is a great option for safe collaboration areas and enables you to adhere to social distancing measures. For extra comfort, seat pads and cushions can be added in a variety of colours to add a fresh, organic look and feel. Cubby’s offer much needed storage space and bring some of the environment into the office using biophilic design.
The last few months have seen a huge increase in the development of office pods and booths. These highly flexible furniture systems create acoustic offices and meeting rooms without the need for building traditional office partitions. There are many benefits of such systems, a few of which are detailed below:
Reduced need for expensive M&E changes - many of the pods come with integrated lighting and ventilation, reducing huge amounts of cost in building offices/meeting rooms.
Minimal dilapidation costs - as these systems are demountable, they can be simply dismantled and relocated to new locations without the huge expenses typically associated with office dilapidations.
Inherently sustainable - many of these pods are now being constructed from sustainable materials, as opposed to the unsustainable materials used in traditional office partition systems.
Some excellent examples are seen below:
With the constant need for companies to change and adapt, modular and reconfigurable office furniture solutions are priceless. Our flexible options can help you to create collaborative and safe workspaces which, in turn, support the health and well-being of you and your employees.
Agile working is all about creating a space that provides choice, and with our many fantastic options that is what we can offer you.