Flexible work environments and collaborative workspaces have been around for some time and many leading companies have implemented a ‘hot desk’ and ‘work anywhere’ approach. However, most New Zealand businesses still operate a more traditional office-based model with employees occupying fixed desks.
Enter COVID-19 and before we know it, we were all working flexibly by necessity, learning to adapt and embrace a new way of working.
As an example, in 2018 we reduced our Auckland office space following utilisation studies, research and the implementation of flexible working practices. The original space was 520m² and we were able to reduce this to 320m². At an average rate of $500 per m², this was a $100k per annum saving.
If your Lease obligations mean that you can’t exit your existing space, you could consider re-designing it to suit your new flexible work environment or reduced staff numbers. You could also consider renting out any surplus space.
Undertake a utilisation study. Monitor what percentage of desks are occupied over a 15-day period to understand your true space utilisation and consider whether a more flexible work environment could suit your needs.
Example of our own office where we used carpet tiles to create a delineation of zones.
Undoubtedly work practices have needed to respond to COVID-19 requirements and will need to respond to any future pandemic outbreaks. Flexible working allows for the choice of work setting appropriate to the task at hand, but at the same time it allows for social distancing where required. Good design means that your working environment can be adapted to the level of social distancing needed on the day – or even at each meeting.
Furniture designed for a flexible work environment offers a plethora of possibilities to re-arrange the layout at short notice. This could be immensely valuable, if we need to move between different alert levels, or where businesses may grow or contract due to an ever-changing economy.
Dipl.–Ing. Architect Dipl.–Ing. Interior Designer, GSAP
+64 21 605 175
BSc (Hons), MBA DipProjMan, FRICS
Managing Director, Chartered Building Surveyor
+64 21 931 231
+64 27 700 5848