Designing for Flexible Spaces



Evolving Workplaces 

The nature of work is changing. And so is the terminology surrounding it. Do you know what “hot desks” are? How about “pods”? They are both relatively new phrases that came about as a response to a new workplace that’s flexible and dynamic. Read on to learn about the new type of work that’s evolving and some approaches you can use to support it.


Supporting Flexible Environments 

Space IQ explains the benefits of establishing a space that is versatile: “Flexible workspaces make a company more adaptable to the challenges it inevitably faces: workplace costs, occupancy, operational demands, and worker support. Because a flexible workspace is whatever it needs to be for whomever is using it, it instantly becomes an asset.” It all means that when change happens, a flexible workplace is agile enough to go with the flow.


Spots to Create 

The Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) offers these suggestions on how to create a flexible workplace.

“Enable Informal Social Interaction:

  • •   Provide multiple places to meet and greet.

  • •   Consider providing informal workspaces in cafeterias, hallways, sitting areas, and other spaces that can easily be reconfigured.

  • •   When designing cafes and coffee nooks, locate them centrally along well traveled pathways to encourage use and interaction.”

This is where that “hot desk” phrase comes in. It’s an open desk that temps, consultants, and visitors can use easily.


Spots to Focus

The other side of the coin in creating places to foster collaboration is to provide pockets for focus and quiet. The article goes on to list these suggestions:

“Support Individual Concentration:

  • •   If open spaces such as pods or bull pens are used, provide attractive acoustically conditioned rooms for individual concentration as needed.

  • •   Locate concentration booths close to work spaces.

  • •   Zone space for range of quiet and interactive needs.”

This is where that “pod” concept comes in. It’s an enclosed space with improved acoustic buffering that aids in focus.


Space Division Furniture

Waddell has an incredible product called Pallet Mobile–a wall on casters that can delineate space. Supporting today’s workflow in open offices, Pallet Mobile rediscovers the need for configurable work solutions, abandoning the one-size fits all approach. Pallet Mobile is the perfect solution for team members without a permanent desk or for those that need to create temporary walls for space division.


Agile and Adaptable

No matter how you configure it, one thing is for certain: flexible workplaces pay off in their agility and adaptability to change.