Agile Workspaces and What You Should Know

How agile is your coworking space? How quickly can it adapt to changing needs during the day?

The term agile is a broad term that looks at the flexibility and dexterity of an object or a space, measured over a period of time. Agility becomes most powerful when you look at its immediate dexterity, its ability to perform a difficult action quickly and skilfully, and to adjust to the needs of the users.

In a workspace, the ability for the environment to alter to accommodate employee’s needs is rare, unless perhaps you’re talking about a large corporate with deep pockets and committed to agile working. But the value in having a flexible ecosystem that caters intrinsically for the array of minds that exist in it is powerful.

The 4 C’s of A Space

No two people are the same and our brains require different environments depending on the task. Architects talk about the four C’s of a space —

  1. The ability to accommodate Community — gatherings and interactions
  2. The opportunity for Concentration — focused attention and calm
  3. The encouragement of Collaboration — both planned and unplanned
  4. The capacity to Compose — to take time out and boot up again

Now imagine your coworking space offering this diverse setting to your community? But instead of fixed zones with roles set in stone, imagine a more fluid array of components which can be easily organized based on the schedule. Moveable smart furniture and acoustic screens, modular huddle pods which can be combined or separated, tiered seating & lightweight stools, curtains for visual and acoustic zoning.

This blog by Diane Butterworth is a great starting place. I highly recommend it as an entry point to discovering some of the tools you can use.

Neuro-Inclusive Huddle Spaces

The ingredient of a huddle space is a key one. Proven to cater to neuro-inclusivity, providing all brains with a sanctuary space where deep work and engagement can occur… set up for the proverbial ‘water cooler’ moment in key spots. This moment is real and companies consider these interactions between coworkers or co-habitants to be important and necessary to spark collaboration and successful teamwork, generating IP for the organization.

Looking to the future of agility in the workplace, CBRE released a report in August on the Future of Furniture, investigating how these tools will evolve in the years to come. That includes a world where furniture must be flexible, hackable, circular (i.e. changeable and repairable) and cleanable. Another element these forward thinking furnishings will have is the ability to act intuitively and to provide insights around the wellbeing and personal trends of the users of those objects. And of course they will be USB C enabled!

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