There has been a shift in the format of the workplace, from a traditional set-up to a more flexible way of working. What do the changes in workspace mean for how we work and what we expect of a workspace? In what ways can I take advantage of these changes?
The Workspace Malaise
We’ve all been through it, in some way or another. You already prepared 4 or 5 writeups about this same topic before. You’re at the same office, at the same desk, on the same chair, as when you wrote them. Your head is in your hands, and your eyes are darting across the office space trying to find some hidden inspiration.
You decide to head out to a coffee shop nearby, maybe you’ll find the inspiration you need. The place is packed, and after 30 minutes of listening to meaningless conversations and absently switching tabs on your laptop, you decide to close everything, and enjoy a cup of coffee while your workday wastes away and productivity falls to the shape of a doughnut in more than one way.
The Future of Workspace is Flexible
The time where you have to work from an assigned desk is coming to an end. Gradually, businesses are realising that the workplace, work environment and work atmosphere is not detached from the employee. The prediction is that in some countries, Flexible Workspace will represent 10% of office stock. You don’t make your employees happier by taking them out for drinks once a month (although that doesn’t do any harm either!), you make them happier by allowing them to enjoy work when they’re at work, and making the workplace one which inspires creativity and productivity.
Situation 1: The Conventional Office Space
You’re at a black and white office space from the 80s and the atmosphere is just that; black and white. The moment you walk in, you scan every face you can barely see from the dividers. They all have one thing in common: that bored stare, the non-commital typing and lack of motivation. One of them gets up, groaning, one hand on his back and another on his forehead – there was little understanding of the importance of Office Space Ergonomics back in those days. He drags his feet all the way to the team leader’s desk, which is only 5 steps away from his but still takes him an inordinate amount of time and travelling. The team leader is slumped on her executive chair, staring at the screen with the same monotone look. The employee scratches the back of his head while at the same time saying “Hey…uh, do you mind if I take tomorrow off, I got a thin-“, before the employee finishes his sentence, the team leader mutters a quick “Uh-huh”, and the employee rushes back to the desk.
Oh and one more thing: there is a thick cloud of cigarrette smoke which fills the lungs and eyes of the dead-straight aisles between the office cubicles. This is the 80’s afterall.
Situation 2: Serviced Office Space (a BUSINESSLABS allegory)
You go up the stairs and find yourself in front of the glass door to BUSINESSLABS Serviced Office Centre. The receptionist greets you with a smile. You make yourself a coffee and meet a guy who works for a company housed in a serviced office space next to yours. You chat a bit about your respective jobs and you walk on, into your separate offices, greeting the freelancer graphic designer using the coworking space who’s doing some design work for your company; you met at one of the many networking events held in the Coworking Space. You sit down at the desk closest to the glass panes, where the sun is shining gently on your desk front, gleaming on your yellow mug. You start racking your brain to figure out how to finish your next piece. You look at the team leader, who is typing away fervently, and glance back longingly at the Business Lounge behind you. Mustering up the courage, you walk up to him and ask: “Do you mind if I work from the lounge today? I can concentrate more there.” He looks up at you and says, distractedly: “Yeah, I mean it’s included anyway.” You happily walk to the lounge, laptop in hand, and take a seat at the one-to-one booth, next to the windows. You close the curtains, plug in some music and the inspiration flows organically.
Do you see it?
Flexibility and Well-Being at the Workplace is Important
A business must show that it cares for the people it employs, providing a space that is conducive of productivity and is beneficial to their mental and physical health. In a world like today’s, jobs are plentiful and people have options. Therefore, workplaces are pressured to give that extra little something; flexibility, stimulating conversations, ergonomic seating and design.
Collaborations, Connections and Stimulating Conversations are Key
The key to keeping people productive is talking! The more you intermingle with various people working in various industries, the more ideas will come to you, the more confident you will feel in talking about different industries, in describing what your job is. In a coworking, serviced office space such as BUSINESSLABS, you find exactly this. Imagine a lounge, full of people with different backgrounds; prominent figures in their respective industries, all discussing ideas, sharing experiences, collaborating to each other’s mutual benefit, creating value and generating new and exciting business ideas among themselves.
Headspace is Conducive of Productivity
At the same time, you won’t want to be around people all the time, unless you’re happy with daily productivity-doughnuts. You need a private space to help you shut off the outside world; a one-to-one booth with noise cancelling curtains, a meeting-room, if you want a world of your own, a board-room if you need it. Spending an hour in a private space will allow you to look at the fixed office space from a new perspective.
Get Started with Flexible Workspace
Are you convinced? Well, it’s not tough to convince someone who’s been through – or is currently going through – the effects of rigid work-space arrangements and/or one or two coffee shop debacles! As for the next steps, you should get to know a little more about Flexible Workspace, Serviced Office Space and Coworking Spaces, and consider making your move to one such centre, or at least, file a request to gain the freedoms which Flexible Workspace makes possible.