Designing an Office for Unassigned Workstations
Before COVID-19 upended our lives, the idea of doing away with traditional, assigned workstations in favor of letting people choose where they work each day was an emerging trend. Some companies, particularly ones that already had very flexible work policies, were quick to jump on board with the concept, but it wasn’t something that a lot of companies thought was right for them. But as more companies started adopting a hybrid approach to work in response to the pandemic, unassigned workstations in the office and concepts like office hoteling have started gaining more attention.
Having unassigned workstations in your office can offer some great benefits. When people aren’t coming into the office on a full-time basis, assigned workstations can mean that large parts of your office end up being underutilized. Plus, many people simply like the idea of being able to choose where they work. Unassigned workstations make it easy for people to choose the environment that’s best for them. Flexible work environments can also help facilitate socialization, something many people are really longing for after spending so much time at home.
But if you’re considering adopting unassigned workstations for your office, there are some design considerations to keep in mind.
One of the biggest challenges of having unassigned workstations is the fact that people still need ways to store their personal belongings and other things they need for work when they come into the office. Lockers have become a popular choice in many offices that don’t use assigned workstations, but those are definitely not the only way to go. Traditional desk storage solutions like file cabinets still have a place in these types of workspaces since they can give people a way to keep things like papers and other work-related tools within arm’s reach while preventing the space from looking cluttered.
Lighting may be very different in various parts of the office. Before switching over to an unassigned style, check to make sure there aren’t any areas where lighting will be a major issue. For example, it’s very good for there to be ample access to natural light in the office. But too much sunlight might cause glare on computer screens and make it difficult for people to work, so it would be good to make sure window shades are available so that people don’t avoid those areas. Making task lighting available at workstations is also a great way to help people have more control over the lighting in the environment they work in.
Support for Technology
When people are moving around between various spaces during the day, it’s important to make sure there are plenty of electrical outlets available throughout the office for people to plug in their devices. If spaces aren’t easy to work in, they aren’t going to be used to their full potential. Nobody wants to spend time searching for an outlet when they’d rather be focusing on their work or discussing projects with their coworkers.
Create a Variety of Spaces
When people have the choice between working at home and working at the office, they’re very likely going to need something specific when they come into the office. Very often, that is going to be spaces where they can have meetings or collaborate with others, but they may also be looking for a place where they can concentrate in peace. Because of this, these highly flexible workplaces need to have a variety of spaces that can help meet all of those needs, ranging from traditional workstations to various types of meeting areas and private work areas like privacy pods.
Need Help Creating a Flexible Workplace?
Premier Construction and Design is highly experienced in helping businesses in a wide range of industries create offices and other commercial spaces that fully meet their needs. We’d love to work with you, too! Take a look at our portfolio and case studies to see some examples of past projects we’ve worked on. When you’re ready, contact us so that we can learn more about your project.