A lot has changed in the office landscape, even just in the past five years. Businesses are downsizing office footprints in favour of remote working and hot desking. Many companies no longer need designated desks or offices for staff members as agile working becomes more convenient.
These changes have paved the way for more flexible office furniture. Instead of set desks, many businesses now opt for hot desks, where staff members can come and go. They also incorporate break-out spaces for more informal meetings or work.
However, is this new trend for flexible furniture conducive to workflow?
1. A More Suited Working Environment
Without the traditional parameters of desks and workspaces, staff are freer to work on their terms, where they please. Thanks to flexible furniture, this may be on a bar in the kitchen area (near a coffee supply!) or over in a break-out space on a sofa.
For many companies, this new flexibility has increased overall employee sentiment at work. Employees like having the ability to work in conditions that suit them best. Not everyone is productive at a traditional desk. However, it is up to employers to build a trusting culture around flexible furniture.
There has to be a common ground where managers can trust their teams to work whether that’s at a desk or on a sofa in the kitchen. Those that do, find that it positively impacts workload as staff are in environments that suit them best.
Now, this is a key element that can sometimes be forgotten when it comes to choosing flexible furniture. Whilst beanbags and swinging chairs may look great, are they actually comfortable to work on for eight hours?
Yes, staff are free to move around and it is up to them to decide where they are most comfortable. However, after years of educating people on how to sit ergonomically, this can all easily be forgotten when staff can work on less conventional furniture.
Uncomfortable working conditions can lead to a whole host of health complains so if you do opt for less conventional furniture, be sure to remind staff of the importance of good ergonomics. Encourage them to move around the office during the day, preventing them from settling into positions for too long.
Get this right and flexible furniture can positively impact workflow.
3. Change Office Dynamics
Another way flexible furniture can positively impact workflow is by changing up office dynamics. Instead of having to use a formal room for meetings, flexible furniture enables teams to catch-up in more informal settings.
Whether that’s for one-to-ones or team brainstorming sessions, making use of the different areas and furniture in the office can liven up more traditional meetings.
Aside from meetings, flexible furniture also means that employees can mix more. Having the ability to hot desk and work in different areas enables people to sit next to someone new each day. Hence, staff members mix more, improving cross-team communications and overall dynamics.
4. Space And Cost Savings
One of the more obvious reasons for opting for flexible furniture is that it reduces space requirements, cutting down overheads. Businesses that don’t require designated desks or offices are downsizing quite dramatically.
Between working from home, being out on the road and hot-desking, staff no longer require the set-up they once did to be productive. Incorporating flexible hot desks or long tables where people can sit with a laptop means that the overall footprint taken up by one employee can be reduced quite significantly.
To Sum Up
When it comes to improving workflow, flexible furniture has benefited many businesses. Having the ability to work in an environment or set-up that suits them best means staff members are more productive and satisfied in general.
It is important, however, that ergonomics are not forgotten about and that staff are comfortable. When incorporating new furniture, remember to remind staff about the importance of ergonomics.
If you’d like to learn more about how flexible furniture can positively impact your business, we’d be happy to help. Call us on 0115 697 1705 or visit our contact page.