The modern company is built around IT infrastructure, but the pandemic has highlighted just how frail this can be at times. Poor acoustics, creaking WiFi and a lack of plugs make supposedly agile workspaces far less agile. Workers huddling in the same spot because that is where the WiFi signal doesn’t drop out, or queuing up because it’s the only place quiet enough to hold a Teams meeting, are signs of a failed design. Ensuring spaces can meet the flexible and wireless needs of the company is going to be super important moving forward.
Too much time spent indoors has shown just how much we need to feel at one with the natural world. Travelling from a cramped home set-up through to an urban landscape and into an office devoid of greenery does little to build this connection. We all know the positive power that plants can have on workers, so using them as a way to create activity hubs adds real purpose. Semi-circular arrangements around bistro-style tables offer shielding and serve far more purpose than stiff, suspect-style line-ups against a wall.
By its very nature, the agile office is far more of a complex acoustical problem for designers. Frankly, the need to employ micro-hubs of productivity, as well as providing scope for larger gathering zones and places to relax, all while removing fixed structures to create a feel of openness and collaboration, is a bit of a noise nightmare. Acoustic panels and surface treatments can help to combat echoing, noise-filled spaces in areas most prone to suffering.
7. Freedom of movement
Agile is adaptable. Spaces that can transform their role, accommodate shrinking or growing numbers and even change location are sure-fire ways to impress clients with the agile (née adaptable) place you’ve created for them. The future holds uncertainty for the modern company – and don’t forget that clients are acutely aware of this. They too are worried about the impacts of constantly shifting restrictions and our capacity to cope with a return to more densely populated offices – and they need reassurance that their workplace can cope.