Definition of flex office
What is the flex office?
The flex office, also known as the flex desk, is a work organization in which a company's employees do not have a dedicated workstation.
Many coworking centers in France and around the world are working with this new flexible organization. In 2019, 14% of companies were practicing flex office. By 2021, this figure will have doubled to 30%, according to a report by Parella.
The advantages of the flex desk
- Employees' choice of workspace: an employee who prefers to work in peace and quiet may choose an office in a quieter part of the premises. Conversely, employees who need to work as part of a team and communicate with their colleagues are more likely to choose a collaborative space, such as a meeting room or open space. Employees can easily adapt their working environment to suit their needs.
- More space in the company: with a flex office, there are generally fewer workstations than employees, freeing up space on the premises for different layouts and optimized zones (relaxation areas, for example).
- Better communication with colleagues: it's easier for managers and employees to talk to each other when they're in the same space. It also strengthens the bonds between employees and fosters a sense of belonging within the company.
Reasons to go flex office
Companies that adopt a flexible office environment to meet the needs of their employees often want greater flexibility in the way they organize their work. This is particularly the case since the widespread use of remote work, practiced by 55% of French people according to JLL. This means that not all employees are at work at the same time, leaving some offices unused. Companies therefore have an economic and other interest in switching to flex office.
Setting up a flex office
Companies that have made a successful transition to the flex office have generally followed the following steps:
- Diagnose the current organization: this is the time to see where the company stands. It's important to regularly monitor and consult data on remote work practices and space occupancy, which can help determine how to optimize the transition to flex office.
- Involve the various teams: asking employees about their expectations and needs is an important step that will determine the success of the project. If they feel involved, they will better accept the change. The transition to the flex desk will be smooth and collaborative.
- Rethink the layout: to improve the comfort of office life, it's essential to review the layout of the various spaces to ensure a successful transition to a flex office. This involves defining a density ratio (the number of employees assigned to a workstation) and zoning before starting any work: creating new meeting rooms, shared spaces, phone boxes, etc.
- Ensuring continuity of exchanges: for flex office to be a long-term success, it's important to communicate with the right tools on best practices for reserving your workstation within the different spaces.
- Reassure employees: ask them about their concerns regarding this change, which will modify the use of space and organization within the company. With Deskare, managers and employees are trained in its use. An interactive chat room is also available for any day-to-day questions.
- Evolve the model: the flex office is not a fixed notion or trend. Each company has its own vision of the mobile office, and evolves its model as the practice evolves. Based on feedback from employees and their use of workspaces, the model evolves.
In a nutshell
The flex office transforms the working environment by offering employees the flexibility to choose their workspace according to their needs. The flex desk promotes better collaboration, strengthens links between employees and enables optimal use of space, while adapting to new working practices and offering benefits to both employees and companies.