This article was updated in July, 2019
- Agile work environments look at work as an activity rather than as a place.
- Agile working leads to increased productivity levels, reduced workplace costs, and more engagement.
- Agile working requires that companies create different work environments within their space to empower individuals to choose how and where they want to work depending on the task at hand.
When people talk about agile work environments, they talk about workspaces that are flexible and conducive to productivity. This requires that the end-users have the option to choose how and where they want to work within a given built environment; which can be achieved by providing access to activity-based work environments.
Agile working is “the practice of creating a flexible and productive environment by providing employees with a variety of settings that they can move through quickly and easily in order to support an activity-based environment.”
Agile working not only empowers workers, but it also helps companies optimize their use of space based on the type of work people need to do. The right work environment can help increase productivity, but it can also lead to greater collaboration, more engagement, and overall workplace happiness with the added benefit of reducing costs.
Suggested Reading: “The How, What, and Why of Activity-based Working”
“By looking at work as an activity, rather than a place, agile working focuses on eliminating any barriers that stand in the way of achieving objectives.” – Instant Offices
The need for agile work and activity-based work environments stems from the fact that technology has eliminated the need for people to be in a specific location at a specific time to be able to work. It’s no longer necessary for people to be glued to a desk or monitor.
Agile working requires a variety of environments that are supported with the right tools and resources (furniture, technology, and accessories) to support specific types of work or tasks. For example, companies seeking to implement agile working environments need to invest in flexible, modular furniture that can easily be moved or rearranged (like a meeting room table that can be easily converted into a whiteboard to support brainstorming sessions).
Suggested Reading: “The 5 Most Innovative Products Presented at Paperworld 2019”
Key Benefits of Agile Work Environments
- Increased productivity
- Better collaboration
- Reduced workplace costs
- Increased workplace happiness
- Better workplace culture
- Talent attraction and retention (for coworking space operators, member attraction and retention)
- Reduced carbon footprint
- More innovation
5 Key Elements of Effective Agile Work Environments
The following Infographic, created by Spectrum Workplace, describes the 5 key elements of a successful agile work environment.