Flex office: what are its advantages, why choose it and how to manage it?
What if our workspaces had to be redesigned? Meeting room, open space, telephone box, relaxation room: the flex office rethinks the layout of the premises to adapt to different work situations. Find out everything you need to know about flex office, or when the premises adapt to the needs of employees.
What is the flex office?
Flex as flexibility, office as desktop. The flex office brings us back to the notion of a flexible office. But what does it involve?
Flex office vs desk sharing
In companies, offices are rarely 100% occupied. Business travel, holidays, RTT, work stoppage: there are many reasons to leave an office vacant. And this is even more true since the generalization of teleworking in France.
Faced with this situation, some companies have decided to provide smaller workspaces, but always adapted to the number of employees present at the same time. The offices are no longer assigned and everyone can change them from one day to the next. This is called desk sharing, or shared office.
The flex office is different and goes further, because it is designed to adapt to the daily life of teams. To meet the needs inherent in the various tasks of employees, the flex office is based on a new layout of the premises.
The flex office is not just about eliminating certain workstations and saving on square meters. It provides a response to another need: that of offering premises adapted to various work situations. If the open space is acclaimed by many companies, it is not always the ideal solution.
Need to isolate yourself to make a confidential call or concentrate? Go to a closed box provided for this purpose. Need to bring teams together to take stock of a project? The meeting room is ideal, with its large table and television allowing even videoconferences. To take a break, the relaxation room, the kitchen or the terrace are the places to be preferred.
The flex office makes it possible to adapt the premises to the constraints of each. It is therefore a key solution to facilitate the work of employees, and ultimately improve their well-being and productivity.
The advantages of flex office
The flex office offers many advantages, for employees and companies. Focus on the reasons to opt for the flex office.
As an employee, benefiting from premises allowing flex office is a real advantage. This allows :
- to have workspaces adapted to their needs (meeting room, open space, telephone box, break room, etc.);
- to meet new people, to get to know colleagues better and therefore to work better together;
- to promote teamwork and exchanges thanks to the many collaborative spaces available.
For the company
For a company, the flex office also has several advantages:
- On the employer brand side, it highlights the modernity of the company and its concern to promote the well-being of its employees;
- Fulfilled employees benefiting from adapted premises is also the guarantee of increased productivity;
It is also a way to reduce real estate costs: by avoiding assigning one office per person, space can be saved.
How to set up the flex office?
For the implementation of the flex office to be a success in companies, it is necessary not to impose it overnight on employees. The implementation of the flex office must be done in stages to be successful.
Lessons learned from teleworking during the Covid-19 epidemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has really disrupted our work habits. Forced to work remotely, we had to adapt willy-nilly to this new way of working.
But not all employees appreciated the home office. The home office is for some an intrusion of work into the private sphere, and the difficulties that go with it to respect one's work schedules at home. Remote work has shown the ability of employees to adapt, but it has also revealed the difficulties and limitations of teleworking for some.
Two-thirds of French people enjoy alternating between work at the office and work at home and would like to be able to telework at least 1 day a week. But a third of employees refuse 100% teleworking. These statistics therefore illustrate the adaptability of employees but also their limits.
Prepare for the transition to flex office
Disrupting the work habits of your employees overnight without warning or consulting them may not be the best method to adopt. Going from a fixed and closed office to shared offices overnight can be a sudden change.
To make the transition, it is important to warn employees that changes will occur. We must warn them of the physical transformations of the workspace and explain to them how this new organization will impact their daily lives. The work of human resources and managers upstream is important for this transition to take place smoothly.
How to manage the flex office?
The flex office requires rethinking the space. New arrangements and a new organization that promotes employee mobility are needed.
Requirements for moving to flex office
Employees are required to change their "workstation" from one day to the next of the week, or even within the same day. It is therefore essential that everyone benefits from equipment that is easy to transport. The laptop is therefore indispensable.
A high-speed WiFi connection is also required so that you can be permanently connected without the need to connect with an ethernet cable. Finally, for an effective flex office, the premises must of course offer different spaces adapted to the work situations of employees.
How does the flex office work on a daily basis?
To set up the flex office, it is necessary that each employee has a dedicated storage space. Upon arrival, each employee simply has to fetch their laptop from their locker. Depending on the tasks he has to perform, his mood, his constraints, he can settle in the most appropriate space.