The fixed desk has long been an office staple that was incorporated in all office interior design concepts for the workspace. Many interior designers in Singapore, however, believe that the days of fixed seating at the office are over. In contrast, the future looks quite flexible!
Flexible spaces are taking over interior design, especially when it comes to functional offices that boost productivity and collaboration. The ways to offer flexible seating while still making everyone feel at ease with the idea are numerous.
Analyse the Effectiveness of the Current Arrangement
Before choosing the right flexible office seating arrangement, you have to decide what’s going to work best for your workspace environment. Hiring the right Singapore interior design company is obviously important. In addition, you need to take a look at your current office setup and its shortcomings.
Statistics show that approximately 40 per cent of dedicated desk space goes unused on any given day. There are several factors contributing to the phenomenon – people going on vacation, employees being out to conduct meetings all day long or going on a sick leave.
This space can be put to much better use if you introduce a flexible seating arrangement.
It’s obviously not a good idea to have many desks sitting idle. In fact, these can contribute to a productivity reduction. Such spaces can be used to establish activity centres, quiet corners and chill-out zones.
Fewer desks will serve the same number of employees, you don’t need to worry about someone being left out or wondering where to go in order to do their job. Even if all of the actual desks are in use during a specific moment, there will be many other office areas that workers can get cosy in to do their job.
The right kind of furniture is essential to ensure seating flexibility at the office. Adaptable and hybrid models that have more than one use are both excellent choices for the contemporary workplace.
Gone are the days of the cubicle with its desk and chair. Fully ergonomic chairs that are movable have come to replace the old-school furniture. There are also lovely hybrid desk options that allow people to work while standing up or being seated.
Cosy sofas and love seat units that can be pulled together or taken apart are also a great choice for the office. These can be rearranged whenever a meeting has to occur or people are looking forward to engaging in a creative brainstorming session.
Movable storage units are also essential for some employees. Make sure these are easy to cart around (traffic flow control will be an important aspect of getting larger furniture pieces to be 100 per cent mobile).
There Should Still Be Some Territorial Spaces
While office flexibility is great, some people are quite territorial and they want to have their individual space.
To meet the needs of these workers, come up with a space that’s reserved for someone or that’s being assigned on a first come, first serve basis.
It’s very easy to go through the office and find an available work station for the day. Some individuals, however, may need a bit of personal space to concentrate and manage the specifics of their job. A reserved office area should be somewhat segregated from the general space. A bit of soundproofing can also come in handy.
Interior designers have experimented with free for all and reserved areas. The concept works really well because it unites the aspects of the traditional office with the modernity of flexible seating arrangements.
Ensure Various Seating Options
Flexible seating isn’t just about space management, it also gives people access to a range of diversified seating options. This way, employees can easily identify the one kind of seating that they feel most comfortable with.
From lounges to rocking chairs and exercise balls, you can feature many types of seating in the office. Once you execute the original concept, collect feedback about the seat varieties that people enjoy the most. Eventually, you can modify the original idea to give all of the employees access to the types of seats that they like.
Quality seating is crucial to avoid neck and back problems. Hence, many companies are hiring consultants who can go through the various market options to pinpoint the most ergonomic and healthy types of seats. If this service is something you can afford, you should definitely go for it.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Arrangements between workers about who seats where, hygiene issues and the lack of comfort can all stem from flexible seating. These are problems you need to think about and tackle before the execution of your interior design idea.
Luckily, technology can come to the rescue when trying to address some of the most common challenges.
Some of the companies that have introduced flexible seating arrangements also worked on the development of a workspace app.
Each morning, the app allows workers to take a look at the office layout and “reserve” their space for the day. Some have even taken the concept to the next level – based on everybody’s schedule, the intelligent algorithm of the app determines which seat would be best for each worker.
The cost of such developments may be an issue for some startups but there are also low-tech ways to address the common challenges. What matters is planning for those issues beforehand instead of introducing measures as an afterthought.
Flexible seating arrangements may take some getting used to but they’re an ideal choice for many business, regardless of industry or company size.
The right team to execute such an innovative idea matters. You need to partner up with interior designers who understand the flexible seating concept and who can make it work for the respective enterprise. Home Guide maintains a particular passion for innovative office interior design solutions. We would love to help you modernise your workspace and make the most of it. Contact us today to get started.