Workplace design strategy isn’t what it used to be. Hybrid work, remote work, and the increased demand for mixed-use and flexible-use spaces have created unprecedented complexity for space planners across all industry sectors. Workspace design requirements are shifting on a dime, leaving space planners in a reactive stance. They need actionable intelligence data to accommodate demands for responsive working and learning spaces. Here’s how to prepare for the workstyle changes defining the future of workspace design strategy:
PLAN FOR FLEXIBLE SPACES
Eighty percent of space planners say they spend valuable time resolving disputes over space utilization. Another 85% struggle to manage day-to-day seating challenges, and 75% are dealing with people asking for more space than these employees need.
Today’s workspace design strategy should include flexible workspaces that can take the complexity out of rigid workspace planning. These innovative workspaces can accommodate different workers at different times. This helps overcome the inefficiency and conflict associated with conventional spaces reserved for specific workers who might only need the room periodically. This can lead to a need to over-provision (and pay for) space. A flexible workspace can include a mix of:
- Hot desks. This space-planning solution has multiple employees sharing the same workspace at different times on a first-come, first-served basis. This can work for hybrid employees who are in the office on different yet dedicated days.
- Assigned seating. This type of space-planning strategy assigns a dedicated workspace to all workers and anchors them to this allocated space. This can work well for companies that have most of their workers in the office every day.
- Desk hoteling. This is like hot desks but with the need for advanced planning in the form of a reservation system. With hoteling, employees reserve their desired workstation at a chosen time upfront and check into them when they arrive in the office.
A future proof workplace design strategy can include a mix of these flexible spaces. This helps space planners scale workspace use up or down to meet changing occupancy needs and utilization rates. To develop a space-planning design for your business, SaaS space-planning software like Lambent Spaces can provide data revealing how spaces are used, for how long, and by which employees. It uses Wi-Fi and proprietary AI to help surface critical space-planning insights. This data can help evaluate and predict space needs so space planners can decide which types of flexible spaces would be best for their business.
DESIGN FOR WORKER PRODUCTIVITY
Changes in work styles to increase productivity are also driving new space-planning requirements. The workforce is getting younger, with one-third workers today being millennials. These digital natives want and demand the use of advanced tools to help them be productive and perform at their best. Companies that can supply these workers with innovative digital tools and technologies can better compete for top talent. As space planners look to the future, their workplace design strategy should include planning for digitally optimized workspaces to support technologies like 5G, high-performance computing, 3D, virtual reality, and videoconferencing, along with the use of multiple monitors.
Space planners already recognize the link between workspaces and productivity. Eighty-five percent say smart space planning helps employees be more productive, and 94% want a tool to help them support new workplace or new learning environments. Space planners can use a SaaS tool like Lambent Spaces to evaluate space needs across a building, campus, or portfolio. It enables space planners to meet the rapidly changing workspace design requirements by collecting anonymous data to reveal precisely where spaces are being underutilized or overutilized.
For space planners looking to align workspace requirements with worker needs, this data insight eliminates space planning guesswork. With more data, space planners can decrease capital expenditures by reducing the need for costly retrofits. It can also solve space disputes by providing data to support workspace design strategy, including decisions related to an increased demand for spaces designed for worker productivity.
EASE RETURN-TO-OFFICE CHAOS
The pandemic created structural work shifts, with companies rethinking their office spaces for efficiency – and competitive advantage. Mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring changed the amount and types of spaces needed. The mobility of talent has increased the normalization of remote work. And return-to-work initiatives are leaning towards a phased approach that lets companies bring workers back slowly over time.
Workspace design strategy for these changes requires space planners to get ahead of future demand while adjusting space plans as occupancy changes. For example, companies rethinking new hours of operations and consolidating space between campuses or buildings will need usage data to make those decisions.
Space planners need help making these shifts. As many as 86% of corporate space planners say managing return-to-work solutions has been a challenge, while 95% say space utilization and analytics are something that could help their organization.
Lambent Spaces integrates with other data sources, such as sensors. It also integrates with scheduling systems to provide deep context into space utilization and occupancy trends. It uses analytics to reveal patterns of occupation and utilization, with anonymized reporting to ensure occupants’ privacy. Any Wi-Fi-enabled device information that is captured is encrypted and anonymized. The software includes an intuitive UI for historical reporting that can help demonstrate how well space planning metrics are aligned with changing requirements.
As space planners evolve their workspace design strategy, SaaS tools like Lambent Spaces fill a void in essential data needed to get ahead of workstyle trends and changes. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how Lambent Spaces can help you modernize your space planning operations.