Designed to improve employees’ everyday lives, flexible workspaces can creatively suit everyone’s needs. “The key behind a flexible workspace is creating inventive spaces that can serve multiple purposes,” said Marie Moutsos, Designer Director at FOX Architects. “It’s about adaptable architecture. How do you design a space that is flexible enough to provide for a variety of functions and destinations for staff to use throughout the day?”
The end goal driving every flexible workspace design is ensuring a room won’t sit idle, unused between specific events or meetings. It needs to attract employees to use it for team breakouts or even a casual reception. In order to increase usability, the FOX Architects team brings in design elements that support flexible workspaces, including:
According to Marie, this interior design trend is not a movement, but something that is here to stay. “Fixed, permanent work environments are a thing of the past,” Marie stated. “We see this in small doses. Flexible spaces support the needs of an ever-changing workplace.”
The popularity of flexible workspaces is due to their positive benefits, mostly from a functional and cultural standpoint, but also financially. Employees are free from being confined to their desks. They can choose to work in different environments throughout the day, and still be productive. They have the opportunity to choose a work setting that can be configured for their specific need.
“From a financial perspective, real estate is costly and we need to be smarter about how we use it,” Marie explained. The goal is to create a space that can be utilized for different purposes and support clients’ numerous needs. Using one footprint – designed with the right components – allows that amount of square footage to be transformed into a number of different settings.
Despite the benefits for both employee and employer, some organizations with a more traditional work mindset may initially struggle with flexible workspaces. The solution is policy-driven as employees become more comfortable with shifting working styles.
“Leaders of organizations need to show staff it’s not only acceptable, but encouraged,” Marie stated. “If you’re not at your desk and you’re working somewhere else, it’s okay.”
For Marie, her love of flexible workspaces is rooted creatively in meeting clients’ needs.
“I enjoy brainstorming and trying to think of every possible solution that we can provide a client that will help them function better and support their organization and ultimately help them succeed,” Marie said.