Which type of space is best for your employees?
It may sound like a simple question. And in the days of the traditional work place, Monday through Friday, from nine to he five, there was often a simple answer.
But of course, hybrid work requires more flexible working options and, as a result, more flexible seating choices. Coordinating a diverse hybrid schedule in a way that improves both company performance and workplace benefits is no easy task.
and as OfficeSpace 2023 workplace strategy report Clearly, hybrid work also requires very rich and engaging collaboration spaces.
So the better question today is: What workspaces will actually be enhanced for those with hybrid offices?
This article explores the types of spaces and how they intersect with the future of work. This includes a breakdown of the different types of spaces within your office. We’ll also show you how to choose the setup that best fits your workforce, budget, and business goals.
What is “space type”?
In a physical office setting, a “space type” is an area of the office dedicated to work or employees. In other words, a space type is a work area, designed based on the type of activities that take place there and/or the employees that use them.
When planning or optimizing space types, facility managers (FMs) and other space planners typically seek to increase employee engagement and productivity while keeping corporate real estate costs down. They tend to rely heavily on a variety of common work environment types when designing their offices, including:
- traditional working environmentdesigned for full-time office workers (often filled with cubicles and private offices)
- open officea more modern office floor plan on the other end of the spectrum, with mostly open spaces and shared tables instead of desks
- office Streetuse office neighborhood software to divide office layouts for different teams based on their needs and preferred work styles.
- Activity-based workspace design, This enables activity-based work where employees can move around the office depending on the type of work they do (e.g. activity) they are playing
- Agile work environment, The most flexible and employee-centric type of work environment, creating a work environment tailored to the people who use it
After determining the appropriate working environment, the FM can determine the specific space types required there.
As detailed below, using workplace data to determine which spaces to offer is an important part of the facility planning process.
Increased reservable space
When employees aren’t in the office every day, they don’t need dedicated seats or cubicles as they used to. Therefore, with the rise of hybrid work, there is also an increase in reservable space.
That’s why many hybrid offices now allow employees to book both desks and rooms. By doing so, you can optimize your real estate portfolio while keeping the hybrid workplace experience high.
What are the 3 types of space?
Using data and research to see how (and why) employees work is ultimately the best way to develop the type of workspace that helps employees do their best work. method.
That said, in modern and hybrid office environments, most businesses lean toward one of three primary uses of office space.
1. Collaboration space
Creating more spaces to support collaboration in the workplace is quickly becoming a focus for many hybrid leaders. Whether employees are brainstorming, working on a shared project, or simply talking about last night’s game, we know that collaboration can have a ripple effect. business success and employee satisfaction (Among other benefits, it becomes important for talent retention efforts).
we too know There are qualitative differences between remote and face-to-face interactions.
That’s why, according to the OfficeSpace Workplace Strategy Report, which surveyed over 150 workplace leaders and analyzed thousands of data points from over 1,000 users: Collaboration and culture are becoming the main drivers of office use today.
In fact, leaders are divided on whether or not to make office use mandatory.but they no Divide opinions on the benefits of face-to-face collaboration. He 65% of leaders report that they primarily want their office workers to improve collaboration. 59% want people in the office to improve their culture as well.
As a result, many leaders today want and are committed to positioning their offices as spaces that foster meaningful collaboration and connection.
This usually requires an informal collaboration area for general chat. You also need formal areas and meeting rooms specially arranged for collaboration. These may include unique flex room ideas as well as breakout spaces, lounge areas, huddle rooms, and different meeting room setup styles.
2. Heads down space
Many hybrid employees enjoy working from home, especially for the peace and quiet. Leave focused activities at home and group activities at the office.
But of course, for some employees it’s just the opposite. Roommates, children, pets, and noisy neighbors can all make working from home more difficult than it’s worth.
Also, some people prefer to be in the office even if they work alone.
For these reasons, even when companies focus on turning their offices into collaboration hubs, they may choose to provide a private, single space to put their heads down and work.
Examples of this type of “me” space include cubicles, focus booths, private phone booths, quiet rooms, and private offices.
3. Flexible space
Finally, every office has unallocated spaces such as lunch rooms, hallways, bathrooms, and foyers. No work is necessarily completed here. However, the design and cleanliness of this common use space can have a significant impact on the desirability of working in an office.
Note that, although not particularly work-related, employees need access to many of the resources housed in these spaces. So, for example, filing cabinets, reception areas, eye wash stations, water coolers, etc. can all be added to the floor plan within the OfficeSpace’s Visual Directory.
How to choose and optimize your space type
When trying to establish the mix of space types you need, it’s important to remember that every office culture is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
OfficeSpace’s CEO said: David Kochiara In a recent discussion on the Workplace Strategy Report. “We are now in a space that is in a unique, once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-a-career transition. You are not alone. The nature of spaces and workplaces is in flux for everyone.”
That said, most offices need a mix of all three space types. This is to provide a workplace that supports optimal workflow. The modern workforce needs more than comfortable seating and natural light. You also need easily accessible and flexible spaces designed for how your office is actually used.
Companies can really offer this kind of highly optimized space only if high quality data is part of the planning process.
The Importance of Both Surveys and Workplace Indicators
Employee surveys are important. While discussing workplace culture, Cocchiara also emphasizes the importance of two-way communication with employees.
“Two-way, open communication creates the best jobs and the best culture in the long run,” he says.
But the investigation only goes so far. People aren’t generally the best at analyzing their current office usage, but they’re also best at predicting future behavior.
As such, companies should also collect workplace metrics. This allows you to determine when, where and how your employees are using the office.
And the more data you can collect, the better you’ll get (assuming it’s combined into actionable, understandable workplace reports and analytics).
For this reason, space planners should collect data from as many sources as possible. This includes, but is not limited to, employee badge data, room and desk reservations, Wi-Fi logs, IoT sensors (including occupancy sensors in particular), and HR data.
In the past, companies may have collected some of this data. But it was often siled and left unanalyzed. For a company to be useful, it must break down these silos. In this way, decision makers can better understand their current and future space needs.
Types of spaces that support hybrid and remote workers
Finally, businesses with remote and/or hybrid workforces should also consider their space needs. Do you have access to home space types that support work? Do you have spaces that include reliable Wi-Fi and digital workspaces? , should consider offering scholarships to their employees.
Additionally, employees who are in the office infrequently may benefit more from a comprehensive routing system than those who are in the office every day.
As we’ve seen, reservable spaces help you use your office as you need (or want). Ideally, a robust desk booking software and room booking software will make this process as easy as possible.
Even better, in addition to reservable spaces, employees also have access to visual directories such as who is thereis a feature of OfficeSpace that enables employees to find the people, places, and resources they need in real time from their preferred platform or mobile device.
Reserve space when needed
When developing a space type strategy, the most important consideration is always the users of that space. Identifying employee needs first follows with the right type of space.