Flexible Workplace Hospitality: What’s the Deal?
Flexible work is all the rage today — and office managers have a new challenge on their hands — how do I continue doing the work of managing offices, optimizing experience and keeping employees engaged — all while giving folks the option of remaining completely flexible and coming in on their own time and terms.
First, let’s talk about what exactly flexible work means. We’re not doing away with desks just yet. In fact flexible work environments look a lot like traditional work environments. You’ve got the desks & chairs, the coffee machines and catered lunches, and you’ve got spaces for all kinds of teams — from conference rooms to private offices, lounge space and green-space. The only difference is that flexible spaces adapt to you.
Practically speaking, flexible office spaces really do have to cater to their audience. And companies everywhere now have the challenge of meeting the moment and ensuring that they’re giving employees truly flexible work environments. Whether folks are getting together for a project kick-off, want to grab a quick coffee at the office cafe or spend the week bouncing between quiet spaces, meeting spaces, and breakout spaces — a flexible workspace has to give employees the freedom to move around.
Here are just a few types of spaces office managers have to consider when thinking about flexible work and creating hospitable environments for employees:
Open Space. The foundation of a flexible workspace is the ability for teams to move quickly and get what they need out of the space when they need it most. Open concept spaces are generally most effective for this. Open concept planning literally removes barriers, allows folks to see each other from across a room and decide how and when they want to interact. It’s also the baseline for great collaboration which is why so many companies have moved toward open concept planning long before “flexible work” came around.
Collaborative Space. While open spaces are great for collaboration, they can also be noisy and busy spaces where lots of people are doing lots of things. Employees need a space where they can get away and have some focused collaboration or brainstorming time. When you need a place to whiteboard or quickly discuss a project together, you want a space that’s ready for you and your team to hop into.
Quiet Space. Working from home can often act as a “quiet space” in today’s distributed working environment. But truth be told, not everyone has it so “quiet” at home. So quiet spaces are important to give folks an opportunity to do some solo-work and focused thinking. A quiet space is an escape away from the hustle and bustle of your every-day office.
Common Space. No matter how big or small your team is, you want to make sure that there are casual, “down-time” zones where your teams can just catch up for a cup of coffee, grab lunch together or just talk. You also want to make sure these spaces are accessible to everyone no matter what their working style, where they sit in your organization or how often they come into an office.
The big takeaway is that flexible workspaces offer teams a go-between the traditional office environment and working from home. It’s all about giving them the freedom to move around while making sure all the essentials are in place. The philosophy of flexible work may seem like a simple one, but office managers now have the task of managing not one, but five spaces no matter when their employees decide to come in.
At Veery, we’re leading the charge in flexible workplace hospitality management, taking the hassle out of the hands of companies and small teams of office managers. We have a dedicated, trained group of professional staff who know how to handle everything behind the scenes so your teams can do what they do best and change the world!
For more content about the future of work, check out some of our other articles on veeryoffices.com/blog or follow us on social media @veeryoffices.