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The world of work is changing. The workplace is no longer a set desk, in a set place, at a set time. You have choice over the environments in which you work and can choose them depending on the taks, your mood and other factors. Here we talk about some ways of working.

Workplace design is not just about how the office looks – although research suggest this does have a role to play.

What we mean is that an agile business will look at the way people work, from where and when they work to how and even why they work.

Holistic Workplace Design

Work is primarily made up of a set of tasks. Each task has set criteria, parameters and goals. Tasks differ in how they are done; some may be alone and require cincentration, some require collaboration and interaction, some require creativity and some are simply monotonous.

Why then do we assume that each and every task requires the same space. We don’t do this at home; we have quiet spaces like bedrooms, communal spaces like dining rooms, kitchens and gardens and concentration spaces like studies.

How is it that workplace design is only interested in the look of where we work and not the practicalities. It stems from industrial age thinking. For knowledge work in the digital era, this narrow view should not still be in vogue.

Where and when we work

We need to take a more flexible approach to work, creating different times and places, working round family life for example as well as where we personally work best. This could be at home, on the move or in third places.

Task-relevant design

And we need to look at various tasks and the spaces we might need to undertake each type of work we do. So we might need concentration space, open space, closed or open team spaces and serendipity spaces.

Workplace services

Workplace services are about using technology to facilitate and support the new ways of working. They range from hosted telephony to cloud computing and can include video conference services, smart boards and so on.

Extra fast broadband, hosted telephony, telephone answering, cloud computing, serviced office and co-working spaces may all play a part in deciding what is best for your people and your business.