Choosing the right furniture for an agile environment.

September 22, 2016    Ann Clarke     ,

Agile working is the culmination of changing working practices and new technologies and as such, it requires new working environments too. Businesses are adapting to these changes by creating more dynamic environments that give employees choice about where and how they work. So how can you be sure you’re making the right furniture choices for an agile working environment?

Think about tasks.

One of the common ideas within agile working is that of activity based working – in other words choosing a space appropriate to the task. So collaboration and teamwork is better suited to large table settings, meeting rooms and even huddle screens where people can work together, unlike lone detailed working which might require a private and quiet space to work.

By thinking about the tasks your employees undertake you can determine what you need of your office environment and importantly, the furniture that will support your agile working vision. For most businesses there is no longer enough value in just providing desks for employees – a variety of spaces and furniture types are expected. Perch seats, height settable tables, sofas, meeting pods, mobile tables and booths all add to the diversity of the modern workplace.

Think about your people.

Workplaces are made up of lots of different personality types and age groups. Think about how your furniture choices can support agile working for each of these and take the time to consult with them about their needs, ideas and preferences. Older workers and introverts may be grateful for more spaces for quiet working such as pods, where younger and more social workers may be glad of more areas for collaboration.

Think mobility.

Mobility is a large part of agile working so it pays to choose furniture that can be moved easily as needs change – whether that’s within the hour, the day or the year. Sit stand desks, tables on castors, pods and booths that can be easily extended or reconfigured, rooms with moveable walls for maximum flexibility and flexible portable storage system all have a part to play in the agile office.

Think technology

Technology is at the heart of agile working and should be a key consideration in furniture choice too. There’s simple factors such as ensuring you provide enough easy access to power points (mobile devices need charging after all), using technology to make different resources bookable and integrating technology into the fabric of your workspace with screens for collaborative working.

To find out more about agile working, what it means for the physical office environment and how to manage the shift to agile working, download the full ‘Introduction to Agile Working’ whitepaper:

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