The traditional office model and a Monday through Friday schedule may be the right choices for some businesses, but many companies and employees are embracing alternative workplaces and technologies that allow for more flexibility. By bucking the rules of what an office space should resemble, companies are finding new ways to expand, and workers are better able to accommodate their personal needs. Maybe one of these new workplaces will be right for you.
The Agile Office
The goal of an agile workplace is to move away from cubicles and offices and move toward collaborative spaces that each employee and team can navigate efficiently. Every space will look different for each company, but every agile workplace typically needs an open floor plan and designated workspace zones. These zones allow for specialized tasks, including collaborative spaces for brainstorming and problem-solving, quiet areas for individual work, and private spaces for phone calls and video conferences.
With this focus on collaboration, you can cultivate a team-driven atmosphere where your employees solve problems together and churn out ideas at a faster rate. And, by designing an environment that will allow workers to select their setting based on their activity (the goal of the activity-based workplace), “‘work’ becomes an activity rather than a place,” says Martyn Freeman, the managing director of the facilities management business Mitie.
The Coworking Space
Coworking spaces lend offices and floating desks to professionals of all kinds, from freelancers to startups. The goal is to provide an engaging workplace that accommodates the needs of independent workers. However, they also serve as a low-risk space to develop a satellite location for your business. A few years ago, Benay Enterprises opened a new post at Think Tank CoWorking in Portland, ME in order to reach a new business demographic without having to immediately pay rent for a brick-and-mortar office building. In that time, we’ve also been able to enjoy one of the biggest benefits of a shared working space: near constant networking with our fellow coworkers.
If you’re looking into expanding your business, coworking spaces might be the most affordable way to get your finger on the pulse of a new market.
Lastly, the most flexible workplace of all is the cloud. This technology allows employees to access a shared server – all the folders, files, and data they need – from anywhere they have an internet connection. This untethers employees from a physical location and grants them the choice of where (and when) they work, and it enables you to use your physical office space more efficiently.
Additionally, employers of cloud-based businesses are able to cast a wider net for potential hires because candidates will not be restricted by their proximity to a specific location. “Being a remote-first company allows us to invest in top talent without being restricted by geography,” says Becca Van Nederynen, the head of people operations at Help Scout. With such an increase in the applicant pool, employers will have the ability to make better hiring decisions.
Whether you redesign your company’s layout, test new waters with coworking, or set your workers off on their own, these new workplaces will bring you great employees and even better ideas.