Access Floors and Agile Workplace Design During COVID-19

May 13, 2021 | Workplace

An agile working environment helps cultivate an effective business environment. It provides employees the liberty to work in various areas of a workspace—even remotely thanks to hot-desking—when and how they prefer. With fewer limitations and more adaptability, your team focuses more on performance and quality and less on where duties are performed. Thanks to office technology advancements and fresh approaches to modern office design, we’re entering an age where many organizations are considering an agile workplace.

Defining Agile Working

Agile working is about removing constraints that hinder people from producing quality work and achieving higher levels of performance. It focuses on work as an activity rather than a place. Companies adopting agile working practices must create a culture of agility and implement processes and tools to support collaborative interaction and change. Instant Offices, a UK firm, predicts 70% of organizations will adopt some method of flexible working by this year. Research done by the Agile Future Forum (AFF) found agile working practices saved 3-13% of workforce costs. At the heart of this movement lies a more adaptable workplace design. Optimizing the spaces we use is a critical element to this transformation.

Benefits of Agile Workplaces

Over the past few years, people’s desire for more flexible workplaces has grown significantly. Manpower Group, in a study entitled, What Is An Agile Working Environment? found that 79% of employees want more flexible ways of working at their current organization. These statistics are much higher among Millennials and younger generations of workers. Joy Burnford, a contributor for Forbes, stated in an article that “the demand for flexible working is substantial.” Here are some of the statistics as of May 2019.

  • Over 90% of Millennials say that flexibility is at the top of their list when hunting for a job.
  • 80% of women and 52% of men have expressed wanting more flexibility in their next job.
  • In the United Kingdom, 70% think that a flexible workplace makes companies more attractive to potential talent while 30% choose a flexible job over a pay increase.
  • 50% of those over the age of 50 want to gradually reduce their work hours as they head into retirement; they feel that an agile workplace would facilitate such a move.

“Flexible work is evolving rapidly, its permutations are proliferating; you could say it has gone viral. Flexibility is the umbrella term used to describe any role that breaks the traditional norm of a rigid 9-to-5, five-day week structure. At its core stand individuals with potentially greater freedom over when, where or how to fulfill their particular roles.” —Joy Burnford, Forbes

Sometimes External Forces Incite Change

As history has shown us time and time again, sometimes it takes a negative to bring about positive change. The coronavirus is one of the most serious public threats the world has experienced in some time. However, favorable changes are taking place as organizations are seeking ways to protect their workforce today and in the future.

In large urban areas like New York City where the threat of infection is more serious, numerous private and public organizations have canceled engagements and enacted flexible work arrangements. If employees are prevented from traveling to the office, managers are encouraging them to use work-from-home software and applications.

But what happens when work from home is not an option?

As workers re-enter the workplace, space is being adapted to maintain distancing requirements. Denser workspace arrangements have spread out to address these safety issues. Having the flexibility to easily reconfigure your workplace promotes business continuity and helps to prevent business disruption. Using a raised access floor like Gridd, a facility manager would be able to easily change the layout of the office space in a weekend.

How Are Organizations Setting Up Flexible Work Environments

The information technology (IT) industry is mainly to thank for coming up with the idea of an agile work program. According to Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, an American commercial real estate services firm, “Agile methodology was conceived as a management concept to speed IT projects, such as software development, forward quickly. It calls for tasking tight, agile teams with solving problems and completing small ‘snack-able’ tasks within a larger project, rather than assigning a large team in long, drawn-out assignments. In essence, baby steps.”

Activity-Based Working (ABW)

While all sorts of organizations are utilizing agile methodologies across multiple business departments some organizations are taking the idea of an agile workplace to the next level with activity-based working (ABW). ABW is one of the latest cost-saving business strategies that provide employees with a variety of workspace settings that are compatible with various workplace duties. Instead of the traditional office setting where everyone has their own assigned desk, ABW-offices allow staff the opportunity to pick a spot in the office that is most suitable for them to perform their work assignments. Spaces are designed to create possibilities for diversity in workplace projects from serious and focused work to extemporaneous and casual meetings or more conventional meetings.

Adaptive Access Floors Support Agile Work Environments

The modern agile work environment must be able to meet a plethora of requirements, from functionality to comfort. Some workspaces still offer traditional, fixed workstations, while others are outfitted for a high level of mobility. The latter design demands a more imaginative workspace model. At the end of the day, it does not matter if one chooses permanent or mobile workstations.

Contemporary workspaces must consider facility requirements, building codes, and user functionality, including ease in managing cables.
The Gridd® Low Profile Raised Floor System® is more than a raised access floor, it is a smart cable distribution system. It integrates cable distribution technology throughout the whole building infrastructure using Gridd Power and Gridd Mobile, two very unique components of Gridd not found with other raised access flooring systems. With Gridd Power, organizations are able to relocate or change power, data, AV, and telecom requirements with an integrated modular power system that is easy to access within the well-designed channels.

Gridd Mobile is an innovative application specially designed with maintenance personnel, electricians, IT teams, and facility managers in mind. No matter where they are or what time of the day or night it is, Gridd Mobile® keeps them informed concerning everything they should know about the data and power cabling. These sorts of technologies transform your low profile raised access floor into the best and only intelligent cable management solution on the market. Contact us today and chat with one of our advisors about agile workplace designs and how Gridd® will help you turn it into a reality.

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