Both companies and employees seek to increase their productivity by making changes to their environment without disrupting us. Making the right use of the workspace is one such small change that has a significant impact on employee performance.
When designing workstations, the focus should always be on employee comfort. These should not only have all the indispensable elements for their daily work, but also create an environment conducive to the exercise of the activity.
To sum up:
- Open plan space and flexible furniture are essential to make the most of an organization’s workspace.
- A workspace must guarantee power supply and internet access for its collaborators.
- The decoration should be minimalist and functional. Aesthetics take a back seat.
- Technology allows space optimization and can be used to reserve common areas.
The benefits of an organized workspace
The way companies are organized and operate has changed radically in recent years. Many workplaces offer their employees the possibility of operating under a hybrid model in which face-to-face attendance is not mandatory.
This new system has forced organizations to make a number of changes in order to adapt. New offices do not need to accommodate as many employees as before, but, on the contrary, they must be optimized to meet new needs.
Before choosing a workspace, you need to ask yourself:
- How much space is really needed?
- Is it possible to carry out the same activity in a smaller space?
- Is it possible to reconfigure or expand the space if the organization’s needs change?
The answer to these three questions will help to make the most of an organization’s workspace and reduce uncertainty in the face of possible changes.
In modern offices, there is no room for cubicles and partitions. Open plan spaces are more necessary than ever. Shared desks occupy a large part of the workplace floor space and the number of private offices is reduced to a minimum. It is increasingly common for middle and senior management to be integrated with the rest of the employees.
Within this new organizational system, there is an increase in the number of common areas. These are not only used for workplaces, but also for relaxation, which is essential for the mental health of workers.
Another of these new shared spaces are the meeting rooms. These must be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to support the meetings held there. Both internally and with customers and suppliers.
Technologies and connectivity
This new organizational flexibility in the workplace implies the implementation of new systems to make use of them. There are technologies that work through Augmented Reality that make it possible to check the real-time availability of these workspaces, meeting rooms and even parking spaces.
Thus, new technologies have become in recent years a basic support for the organization of companies. Artificial Intelligence makes it possible to anticipate the occupancy level of an office and act accordingly. This function was at its peak during the first months of the pandemic, allowing workplaces to maintain a safe distance.
The advent of digital devices has also reduced the consumption of paper and other supplies. This has meant that less physical space is needed to perform the same professional activity.
Another aspect that makes it possible to take advantage of the workspace is connectivity. Offices require electricity and a permanent Internet connection. The challenge is to guarantee these supplies while reducing the number of cables in work areas. Chairs and tables with charging access allow for easy concealment.
The concept of the desk as such has also changed with the implementation of hybrid work. The trend toward shared spaces has eliminated the presence of fixed workstations. Still, employees tend to always sit in the same place, if possible. Either out of personal preference or to be close to the rest of their team.
These continuous tables make it possible to accommodate a larger number of workers, in less space. It also favors collaboration between members of the same team and across teams within the organization.
This new desk concept requires a large number of power outlets to connect equipment. Not having enough outlets causes confusion and forces workers to search for one, taking time away from production.
Less is more. In today’s workspaces, the laptop has replaced the desktop computer. This change not only gives employees the flexibility to work from wherever they want, but also helps maintain order in the office. Employees remove their equipment at the end of the working day.
To prevent them from having to carry their devices with them at the end of the day, lockers are being installed. Each person can make use of an individual space to store not only their equipment but also their personal belongings. These are usually located outside the work rooms to avoid constant staff traffic.
Furniture and layout
It is essential to have several well-differentiated work spaces. Sometimes the same room may be divided for several uses. In these cases the type of furniture used creates different islands that have different uses. These should be arranged so that users intuitively know the function of each area.
Often partition walls are used to better mark the separation of spaces. These are usually on one side only and are easily transportable to be moved if necessary. In these new environments, these elements contribute to order and allow the work space to be used more efficiently.
In the new hybrid offices, storage spaces are mobile. Although digitization has meant that we need less equipment, this furniture is still necessary. The paradigm shift has caused them to reduce in size, adapting to new needs.
A trend that also makes it possible to make the most of the workspace are adjustable tables. These can change their surface according to the needs of each moment, unfolding when more space is needed.
Although creating a serene atmosphere in a workspace increases productivity, flexibility and functionality should take precedence over design. The operational function of the elements of an office takes precedence over aesthetics.
Decorative elements should not hinder the work of employees or make it difficult for them to move around the space. It is essential not to overload work areas with unnecessary elements; everything must have a function and a reason for being.
New spaces for new times
Companies are constantly looking to optimize the use of their resources to be more efficient than ever. Making the best use of work space is one of the most commonly used strategies to reduce unnecessary costs. Doing more with the same, or even less.
To achieve this, open-plan spaces are essential. Flexible furniture is also gaining prominence, as it can be adapted as needed and easily transported.