Flexible working has become an increasingly popular trend in recent years, with more and more employees being drawn to companies that offer such a policy.
In fact, recent research by My Family Care and Hydrogen revealed that over half (54%) of the 1,587 UK employees questioned said they wanted the opportunity to work remotely.
So, is this the beginning of the end for the office?
With a separate survey by Peldon Rose revealing that two thirds (66%) of workers say they work more productively in the office than when working remotely, it’s safe to say the office is here to stay.
However, as an article by Workplace Insight discusses, it does seem that the trend of flexible working is having an impact on office culture and design.
While you might think that flexible working is resulting in a sea of empty desks, Workplace Insight suggests that it is actually making workers value time with colleagues and want to capitalise on the hours spent with them.
Close relationships with colleagues have a positive impact on employees’ happiness, wellbeing and productivity. In fact, it seems friendships with colleagues could even help workers to focus, with 80% saying it helps them to be more productive.
What’s more, two thirds (66%) feel workplace friendships boost productivity more than personal technology.
Encouraging collaboration with design
- Hybrid workspaces
Today’s flexible employees are used to working in a variety of different spaces rather than being chained to one desk all day. Be incorporating hybrid workspaces into your office design, you can create different zones for different tasks… Think personalised private booths for individual work and open plan spaces with moveable furniture for more collaborative projects.
- Break spaces
Encourage your team to get away from their desks throughout the day. Not only will this give them much-needed eye breaks and a chance to stretch their legs, it can also further encourage team bonding. While a café area can be a great space for this, Workplace Insight believes facilities that encourage a bit of down time, such as aquariums, table tennis and games rooms, will start to become an office norm.