What is flex office?
Hot desking or “flex office” is gaining ground. This method of organizing workspaces has the particularity of no longer allocating fixed offices to employees. They can choose a different workstation each day, at random, or by reservation. This organization allows for a better distribution of private/collaborative spaces in companies, at a time when hybrid work – and therefore teleworking – is emptying open spaces.
According to OECD, 50% of teleworkers in France and the UK in 2020 want to keep a flexible work organization. The aim of the flexible office is to (re)give teams control over their working methods. But this change of organization is not so simple: questioning of teams, day-to-day management, scalability…
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Lots of social bonding
Productivity and creativityTidiness
- This type of office organization is attracting more and more companies, driven by possible cost reductions: office workstations are not used at the same time for various reasons such as teleworking, holidays, sick leave, maternity or paternity leave, etc. By having a smaller number of workstations than the total number of employees, the flex office allows costs to be reduced and the use of space to be optimized.
- This is also advantageous for the employees. This new arrangement breaks their routine: they can move to a new desk each day, enjoy different comforts depending on their mood (table, desk, sofa, collaborative or isolated space), and rub shoulders with different colleagues each day. This mix allows you not to get bored but also to create more social links! All these advantages lead to a better quality of life at work, and we know that this has a direct impact on improving productivity at work. In fact, a study by bloom at work has shown that fulfilled employees are on average 86% more creative.
- However, this concept of the flexible office also requires a good level of adaptation on the part of employees: no more family photos in a small corner of the office and peanuts in the second drawer… Working in a flex office can be difficult for an employee who likes to be in his or her own little cocoon: the impersonal office has no place there. Beyond this simple fact, the risk of being badly organized and of finding oneself at work without a vacancy or far from one’s team can demotivate employees.
And if the flex office is synonymous with new encounters, it can also easily distract the most curious. Changing jobs every day is a challenge that is not always easy to overcome: setting up, plugging in, tidying up, and talking to new colleagues… To avoid these aspects, managers need to know how to implement the hybrid working model and motivate their staff to return.
What are the key steps to implementing flex office?
1. Preparing the calendar and assigning attendance days
The aim of the flex office is to offer more flexibility and collaboration with less private space. For this to be possible, the company or the employees themselves must anticipate and organize their presence on site. It is therefore essential for employees to agree on a schedule that is ready to be implemented!
2. Flex office & workstations
Flex office means the provision of a variety of offices and working environments. By anticipating the management of these spaces, companies seek to facilitate exchanges and professional meetings and instill more dynamism and collaboration on a daily basis. Depending on the rhythm of the company, or even of each team, the needs for workstations and shared spaces will not be the same. It is therefore essential to assess the maximum presence on-site in order to propose the appropriate number of private or shared spaces. The same applies to ancillary services such as company catering or concierge services.
Managers must therefore anticipate :
- “spatial” flexibility, for open or semi-open spaces with a multitude of functions and services
- “occupancy” flexibility, for spaces that can be booked for specific periods of time.
Yes, a successful flex office space is a space where the flexibility of space and optimal management go hand in hand!
3. Indication of reserved areas
Some companies envisage the flex office as a space that is entirely accessible to all employees, by applying 100% free placements. However, this method has its limits: studies show that an employee needs a minimum of reference points in the workplace.
In order to maintain team cohesion, some companies, therefore, opt for a placement around which the teams meet in the same delimited area /floor/office block. However, everyone is free to move to the office that suits them best, depending on their mood of the day. After all, it is the flexible spirit that prevails!
Anticipating the flex office offer therefore also means thinking about the added value that it brings. If the idea is to break the routine while keeping a certain framework for the employees, then it is effective to prepare delimited areas according to the choice of the managers and teams, to think about the availability of posts in these areas, and to make them possibly modular. This management is time-consuming: it is best to set it up before the employees arrive!
4. Use of a digital management solution
In order to optimize space and create a quality offer, it is essential to equip yourself with management software, instant messaging, space reservation platforms, etc. The list can quickly grow. What if an all-in-one application was the solution to manage flexible spaces efficiently and easily?
In short, the flex office is a revolution in the making! It disrupts the habits of employees while responding to the needs for flexibility and collaboration that surround the “return to the office”. To be adopted, the flex office organization must be accompanied. Adaptation of the rules of use, consultation with the teams, adapted space planning but above all management and monitoring tools… It cannot be improvised! Thinking about it – and having the tools to manage it – is now the guarantee of sound management: with Witco, space managers can find out in real-time the occupancy rate of the premises and, above all, the satisfaction of the teams. This is an effective way of identifying the improvements that need to be made to ensure that the office is always at the service of the employees. Discover our “flex office” solution!
To find out more, schedule a demonstration today with our team!