What is flexible seating?
Flexible seating gives employees options to choose where, how, and when they work on-site. Unlike traditional seating arrangements like cubicles and assigned offices, flexible seating is designed to be adaptable and to support hybrid work. Let’s break down what flexible seating is and how it can be a central part of your agile workplace.
Flexible seating helps employees choose…
- Where they work – Some examples include designated quiet areas, meeting rooms, and meeting pods. Your flexible office could have special rooms for making phone calls, collaborating in small groups, or doing heads-down work. Or, it could have flexible seating that allows employees to reconfigure their spaces to accommodate their working needs/ (More on that below.) Giving employees the option to choose where they work on-site ensures they can be productive and do their best work.
- How they work – Some examples include working on sofas, bean bags, mats, or using standing desks. Flexible seating can also include modular desks and different types of meeting and collaborating spaces. These sorts of multi-use setups enable teams to reconfigure seating arrangements or call impromptu huddles. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to working productively. Flexibility to choose how they can work helps employees stay alert, comfortable, and focused—and helps teams collaborate better.
- When they work – Employees can find and book the perfect space to work in before coming on-site. Using a room booking system, employees can see who will be in the office, when, and where they will be sitting. This full picture helps employees to choose which days to come on-site (usually on the days their teammates will also be in the office). It also shows them where to sit so that they can be near other team members for collaboration. Room booking technology creates a more efficient workspace. For example, employees can reserve meeting spaces for their on-site days and workplace managers can more effectively arrange their space. Knowing who’s coming into the office and when, as well as how they’re using the space can help workplace managers make strategic decisions about rightsizing their physical workplace investments.
What are the benefits of flexible seating?
Flexible seating can encourage people to come to the workplace, as it gives them more control over their on-site days. This is especially true when companies equip employees with technology that makes it easy to book a desk on-site. Since employees can select a new desk each day, they can ensure they’re choosing the optimal environment for the work they need to do.
Flexible seating also helps companies maximize their real estate investments by ensuring their physical spaces aren’t left empty or underused. And desk booking data can help workplace managers make smart decisions about how to use the space.
Flexible seating is a pillar of a productive hybrid workspace. It should be integrated with workplace technologies that enable employees to have a flexible working experience. If you’re looking to reimagine your workplace, institute permanent hybrid work policies, or just generally enhance employee satisfaction, make flexible seating part of your plan.