As work changes, the workplace has to change to keep up with it. As professional expectations expand to include mobile and remote productivity, offices are having to serve not only as permanent workspace installations, but as “hotel” or temporary touchdown spaces for staff on their way to or from somewhere else. Creating flexible, functional spaces that enhance productivity while retaining a grounded sense of collaborative purpose is a goal for all organizations. There are some core principles to remember when designing and implementing workspaces and interiors to meet the needs of mobile workers; bear them in mind from the start of your project and you will end up with happy end-users and a balanced budget.
1. Lead with technology. A key to making in-house spaces welcoming and functional is to ensure that there is sufficient space, connectivity and collaboration support to allow technology-dependent employees to work effectively individually and in teams. Make sure A/C and USB ports are readily accessible and desktop space is sufficient to accommodate not only a laptop but a second monitor and tablet. Make it easy to attach mobile laptops to in-house imaging, scanning and printer networks, preferably using wireless connections. Have ample projectors and other presentation tools available, as well as private rooms for workgroups of 1-10 as well as larger meeting spaces.
2. Manage the environment. Mobile and remote professionals are often called upon to work in unfamiliar environments, so office design in these spaces needs to promote optimal productivity–quiet and temperature-controlled, with intuitive access to meeting spaces, supplies, bathrooms and kitchen areas.
3. Celebrate your mobile staff. Does your organization rely heavily on independent, mobile, tech-savvy workers that can work from anywhere? Show them a warm welcome when they come to the office. A private shower facility with an ironing board and a shoeshine kit may make all the difference to someone on their way from a red-eye flight or late train to a power meeting. Put an ATM in a discreet corner so your travelers can replenish their cash supply after tipping. Make sure there is secure storage available for replacement technical tools: laptops, phones, battery packs, cables.
As the business world continuously requires more flexibility from the workforce, offices need to accommodate the highly-skilled, innovative workers that are in such high demand. For assistance creating a space that allows your mobile workforce to reach their highest potential, reach out to Studio Other Studio for personalized guidance.