We've already discussed how one size does not fit all when it comes to flexibility. Turns out, the same can be said for workspaces, as the 2019 IWG Global Workspace Survey reveals. "Businesses are also now acknowledging that in the work environment, one size really doesn't fit all, rather providing specific types of environments to different work functions is key to achieving greater productivity," IWG asserts. "For example, this could mean providing creative teams with large meeting rooms to brainstorm in or giving project managers semi-secluded desks to take phone calls and work on tough financial calculations."
Of the more than 15,000 business people in 80 nations polled in the survey, 65 percent believed that businesses that tailor the work environment to the work function of staff are more productive. Meanwhile, 50 percent said project management would be more productive if they could access a range of various locations in the same city or different cities, 56 percent said creative teams are more productive in open layouts, 46 percent said semi-secluded desks would help project managers take calls more privately, and 43 percent said that type of desk would help salespeople take calls more privately. And those splits down the middle or close to the middle show just how important workspace diversity is. Not everyone is on the same page about the type of environment inspires the most productivity.
Armed with these statistics, a company could redesign its office to provide a variety of environments—some private areas, some open areas, some "semi-secluded" areas. But there's a simpler, easier, and arguably cheaper solution: implementing flexibility, specifically location-based workday modifications. Remote, which gives workers location independence, and DeskPlus, which gives workers location variety, both give workers the flexibility to find the environment that suits their work best, even if those preferences depend on the type of work done on a given day. Some people are "makers" and need distraction-free workspaces for heads-down focus, while others are "managers" and need shared workspaces for easy communication and collaboration, and many people shuttle between the two modes. In fact, a recent Gallup report revealed that workers who "spend 60 percent to less than 80 percent of their workweek—or three to four days—working off-site" enjoy the "optimal engagement boost."
The point is, when you give your workers the power to customize their workday to their specific needs—even if those needs change from day to day or even hour to hour—you give them the power to find the working conditions that work best for them. And no one has to rearrange office furniture and shuffle cubicle walls to make that happen.