If you consider the various ways in which the workplace has evolved over the decades, you’ll notice they mostly reflect a sense of flexibility. The workplace as we know it today is the result of explosive creativity stretching the traditional rules of the workplace in the past, where hierarchies, social politics, and a general sense of rigidity prevailed. In today’s world, an office has the possibility of looking so many different ways, which may mean it’s time to throw out the stereotypical image of poorly lit cubicles or staggering paperwork piles. Flexible workspaces are the future of offices, promoting productivity and happiness by encouraging the organic exchange of ideas between employees.
When it comes to an office environment, flexibility can look many different ways. But as far as the actual space itself, flexible office space refers to space shared by different people for different reasons, plain and simple. This means that a collaborative style of working called coworking—in which different companies and self-employed individuals work in a shared office space—often takes place in these kinds of workspaces. The businesses or individuals can rent the workspace as they need it, which means there won’t be a waste of funds on space that no one uses or wants. The monotony of returning to the same office at the same time everyday for a 9-5 shift is a figment of the past—members of the modern day workforce want to decide for themselves when and where they work.
Aside from the office itself, making a work environment more flexible may involve stepping out of your comfort zone in other ways. One way is to forge a powerful relationship with new technology in the office, using the newest and most efficient systems to make everyone’s job easier. While the traditional office days saw a clear resistance to technological advancements and, in genera,l to the idea of doing things differently, the modern day office embraces what can increase productivity and make everyone’s jobs easier and more enjoyable.
In this digital age, there is never a shortage of technological help you can get with your office. Slack is an office-wide online chat channel that allows the members of your team to stay in communication with each other throughout the day, or introduce them to Trello, an organization program that allows your employees and you to track progress on specific projects. You could also look in to implementing Kisi, a security system that ensures people feel safe and have access to where they need to be when they need to be there. Plus, setup and installation is simple.
Due to the increased popularity of coworking in recent years, the demand for shared workspaces has doubled since 2013, resulting in fierce competition among shared space providers like WeWork and Knotel. The allure of a shared workspace—increased productivity, flexibility, and the ability to collaborate effectively—is appealing to more people as time goes on, and it’s no wonder why. These benefits also extend to the consumer because when businesses are functioning more efficiently, the product is better. It’s no wonder shared workspaces have increased by 22% over the past 7 years—when managed correctly, literally everyone benefits.
For many people, the workplace is where they spend a majority of their waking lives, when it comes down to it. It would only make sense, then, that we trade the archaic norms of a traditional office environment for a flexible environment that increases the productivity of the workforce and makes everyone happier. Shared workspaces can help usher in the new era of working by showing individuals they can accomplish their workplace goals efficiently and while having fun.