The word "flex office" has been selected to enter the new French dictionary in 2024! "Flex-office" or "flex office"? Le Petit Larousse and Le Petit Robert have decided: flex office will dispense with the hyphen.
But let's take a step back. In concrete terms, what does this entry into the dictionary mean for the future of offices?
Of course, the term "flex office" is not the only one to make its entry into Le Petit Larousse and Le Petit Robert for their 2024 editions. There are a total of 150 new words to be found, ranging from certain personalities to anglicisms and PLS.
This shows that the French language is evolving in all areas. Particularly around new technologies, which are gaining in importance and scope around the world. For example, metavers, generative AI, harvesting and mining are also making their way into the dictionary.
The flex office is a way of organizing work in which employees are not provided with a dedicated office. Instead, they are free to choose their workstation according to their needs and the activities they have to carry out.
There's no single flex desk configuration option. This work organization can take the form of private offices, relaxation areas with games, coworking spaces, standing desks, open spaces or even open work areas. These types of space can be combined and adapted according to the specific needs of each company and the space available to meet the needs of their employees.
By choosing a work environment adapted to their tasks, employees will be able to be more productive, motivated and committed, promoting their well-being within the company. This can have a positive impact on office life, as well as on the organization's overall performance.
Flex office and hybrid working are closely linked. In most cases, companies adopting the mobile office have also implemented hybrid working practices.
The reason? The health crisis has profoundly altered the way we work, and has favored the perpetuation of remote work, reducing the number of office visits by employees. The occupancy rate is now 40% on Mondays, 38% on Fridays and 60% on the other days of the week, according to theCBRE study.
In order to resolve this situation and encourage employees to return on site, companies have opted for a transition to hybrid working, alternating between the office and remote work.
The challenge is to get employees to come back and tooptimize office space. Offices that are little used or not at all will generate losses for the company. With a switch to flex office, savings can be made and reinvested in the employee experience, for example.
It's debatable whether it's possible to define the flex office in a single way, given the wide variety of realities it represents. Flex desk companies can be organized differently according to their management, culture or vision.
This was the case, for example, at Europa Group, which decided to switch to a flexible office following the health crisis and the adoption of remote work.
➡️ Find out how Europa Groupa leading medical congress organizer, made a smooth transition to flex office!
For its part, Stuart, a subsidiary of La Poste group, offers its employees another application of flex office in its 7 offices.
➡️ Find out how Stuart optimizes its hybrid and flex office management with Deskare
Adding flex office to the dictionary in France requires a thorough process, including an assessment of the word's frequency of use, technicality and durability. This can take several months, which underlines the fact that an entry in the dictionary does not happen by chance.
The entry of flex office in the dictionary is not insignificant: it's a way of working that's attracting more and more companies.
In 2019, 14% of companies were practicing flex office. By 2021, this figure had doubled to 30%, according to a report by Parella. One wonders whether flex office will double again in 2023. Interestingly, 8% of companies surveyed have plans to switch to flex office.
Another important point to note is that employees in flexible offices are satisfied. Again according to Parella, 77% see the flex office as a good thing!
➡️ Read also: The advantages and disadvantages of the flex office
Zoning involves dividing workspaces into distinct zones. Each of these zones has a specific function to meet employees' needs: meeting rooms, collaborative areas, quiet zones, etc. When it comes to deciding on zoning, employee involvement is essential to the success of the project. They will feel listened to and able to accept the change.
➡️ Find out how Payfit divided up its separate workspaces
The decision to switch all a company's teams to flex office depends on a number of factors. These include the nature of the work performed, the specific needs of each team and their preferences. There's no single answer that's right for every situation - every company is unique.
However, some teams may require specific conditions that don't easily lend themselves to the mobile office. For example, teams requiring specialized equipment, laboratories, production areas or regulated environments.
In the process of moving to a flex office, employees are regularly asked to indicate their expectations and needs, so that the implementation can be carried out as smoothly and with as few obstacles as possible. If employees are not consulted, there is a risk of rejection of flex office and tensions within the company.
➡️ Discover the guide to office expectations !
Flex office has entered the dictionary, and that's great news! It's a way of working that's being increasingly implemented in companies, given its many advantages.
It is particularly popular with the under-30s, 94% of whom are satisfied with the flex office, according to a JLL study, showing that this working method still has a bright future ahead of it!
Would you like to set up a flex office in your company?
Discover the best practices to help you make the transition to a nomadic office!