Updated: Jan 16, 2022
In the past, the concept of agile working and workspace design used to be tagged with ‘Agile Teams’ only in the tech industry. The reality of our time is that businesses, regardless of industry are now being forced to prioritize employee safety and comfort. These changes can be difficult to navigate and implement.
In this blog post, I will explain what the agile workspace is, its features, some of the benefits, some challenges, and solutions to those challenges.
What is an agile workspace?
An agile workspace is a space that encourages collaboration, creativity, and connection. It is based mainly on the idea of agile working environments that foster speed and adaptability.
“The main premise behind the idea of an agile working environment is that it can be quickly and easily adapted as and when necessary.” - Perth
This concept of working and workspace design is tagged with ‘Agile Teams’ from companies in the tech industry who have adopted agile working as part of their normal operations.
5 Elements of an agile workspace
The floor plan of this space is an open concept with additional elements to foster the changing team needs. The agile workspace is a great layout that supports the needs of individuals, teams, and groups and as such would include the following elements:
Open Floor plan
Unlike a traditional office space that contains cubicles and blocked-off private rooms, an agile workspace features more glass walls and open areas that promote transparency and connection.
Bonus Tip: It’s best to set touchdown areas outside of meeting rooms. It’s great for use when persons are moving between meetings.
Benefits of an agile workspace
Agile workspace designs allow each employee to optimize their working environment and offer more options for collaboration and flexibility of space. Adopting a Flexi-timing policy can reap many benefits for business as well with reduced turnover rates, which leads to higher productivity and lower overall costs.
Companies that are ahead of the curve set themselves apart from their competition and attract top talent. Agile workspace designs in the COVID pandemic era may be the answer as they allow people to better deal with the changing physical and social environment. Here are some reasons why this workspace design type matters to your business:
Boost your team collaboration, engagement, productivity, and innovation by incorporating agile working and your brand values.
Save money - This design style is heavily rooted in Minimalist design and as such may involve long term investment in ergonomic and environmentally-friendly furnishings
Adaptable to changing needs and teams - Agile workspaces can be customized and optimized based on the team’s needs.
Agile workspace problem and solution
A frequently asked question is "I’ve heard open offices distract people. Do open workspaces distract employees from everyday tasks and work?"
In our experience, the management strategy and culture of the company are important in the success of open workspaces. Also, this is why the 5 elements mentioned above are critical. If the main workspaces become too noisy, the quiet zones are created specifically to allow individuals a chance to get away from the noise. Additionally, incorporating acoustic panels and soft furnishings such as cushioned chairs and carpets helps to absorb the sounds in the rooms.
In my tech career as a Software QA Consultant, I have worked on many agile software development projects. I have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of what it means to truly work in an agile way and always take into consideration the aim and needs of the individuals using the space. This knowledge and power are pooled to design a beautiful, collaborative space that fosters innovation and creativity.
As we have seen with the COVID pandemic, many unforeseen events can affect the workplace. As such, adaptability and responsiveness are most important. Creating an agile workspace is a smart investment for today and in the future. The Agile manifesto states, “value people over processes”. For more information about how we implemented this for our clients, feel free to reach out.
** We are creating a starter guide checklist for you to help get started in defining if you need an agile workspace for your team. Stay tuned!**