Moving to a Dynamic Office

Let’s talk about the dynamic office. This term seems to be the newest buzz word for workplace design trends and is quickly making a big wave in offices across the world. But, why are people so interested and what happened to the open office trend that had everyone so intrigued in recent years? Keep reading as we explore the answers to these questions.

The Downfall of the Open Office

The open office appeared to be a great solution to solve for a lack of connection between employees. Without individualized offices and cubicles, people seemed closer and ready for communication. Studies even show that proximity is directly related to how often people reach out for conversations, so when desks are closer and barriers are gone, team members are more likely to interact.

Not to mention, open office designs were appealing to business owners. With their ability to fit substantially more employees in already existing spaces, open offices proved to be better on the pocket.

However, with as many positives as they bring, open offices also have many disadvantages, even associated with communication.

With interaction driven by who sits near, an open office design encourages a more siloed work environment versus collaboration across teams. This hurts corporate culture and company innovation.

Secondly, this office trend also incorporates minimal sound barriers. Someone on the phone or a conversation between employees has the potential to distract people across the entire room, damaging productivity time.

Overall, the open office had its flaws, but the spread of COVID-19 pushed it over the edge, adding an increased need for health and safety, which open offices don’t necessarily provide. Walls, or partial walls, are imperative to preventing viral transmission, and people no longer felt comfortable sitting directly next to their co-workers.

A New Way to Work

Returning to the office after COVID-19 brought about some new norms. During the few months of isolation, many people were happily working remotely and are now continuing to part-time. This switch made the reasons for the office more specific, especially for collaboration. People can do their individual work from home and join together when communication and teamwork is needed for a project.

Understanding that less and varied employees will be in the office on a day-to-day basis, office furniture experts began re-thinking the best way to design a workspace – emerging the dynamic office. This new office design supports people in the unique ways they want to work.

What Makes a Dynamic Office?

When you think of filling a dynamic space, it is important to incorporate as much flexibility as possible. This means moveable furniture. If it can safely have wheels, it probably will! These spaces will constantly be reconfigured to meet the needs for that day.

In line with meeting various needs, dynamic offices need furniture that supports collaboration as well as privacy. White boards, couches, tables, and privacy booths are all featured somewhere in these areas. You can likely find separate break out areas, open areas for chats or casual work, and dedicated quiet or isolated areas for calls and intense focus work.

Assigned desks in traditional offices is a way of the past. Booking out spaces and working in a variety of places within the building is a way of the future. Choosing where you want to be and not feeling stuck to one spot all day is a large part of what defines a dynamic office. This may take some adjusting for seasoned employees who are used to their ways, but in time, this type of office design will better reflect a company’s goals in relation to collaboration and remote work integration, and employees will likely learn to enjoy the flexibility.

When designing these spaces and choosing the right furniture solutions, technology should be center in focus and aesthetics and extra-appeal should follow closely. Companies must provide spaces that employees actually want to leave their homes and gather to.

Ergonomics can’t go to the wayside either. No matter how spaces are used, the safety of the people using them comes first. Height adjustable tables, ergonomic chairs, laptop mounts, and more still need to make an appearance. It is important to provide comfortable spaces that encourage health, wellbeing, and natural body positioning.

Of course, with the Coronavirus and in preparation for anything the future brings, incorporating touch-free solutions, hand sanitizer, and modern ventilation also needs to be considered.

As we enter this next chapter of workplace design, think about what you would find valuable for your work productivity, enjoyment, and safety. This is a transition for everyone, and there is not a single correct office layout. Continue exploring what works best for your company and employees, and don’t fear trying something new.

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