As businesses think about how to bring teams back to the office safely, they should consider that a successful return will be all about flexibility and agility in the workplace. Enter standing desks!

Businesses everywhere are contemplating a “new normal” as they prepare to bring their employees back to the office. After over two months of working at home, teams will be ready to get back to structure, socializing, and face-to-face collaboration in the workplace. But will they be prepared to resume hours upon hours seated at a desk again, often shoulder to shoulder with cubicle mates? To ease the transition, businesses might consider standing desk, which provide an alternative to traditional seated desk work and allow for flexibility and movement.

The key to a smooth transition from work-at-home to office work will be providing an office environment that offers a sense of safety – ample room that accommodates the six feet of personal space we’ve all come to accept as our way of being in the world.

The best way to welcome teams, whether in part or en masse, back to the office is to create adaptable and flexible spaces that promote movement – principles of agile office design.

Your agile office layout will better support the needs of teams and groups as well as individuals. From open environments to private rooms to increased mobility working at standing desks, assuring worker health and safety while maximizing productivity will be the name of the game.
The essentials of an agile workplace

While there should be a desk for each of your employees, an agile office will also provide alternative workstations, such as standing desks, and a variation between workspaces around the office. This freedom of choice goes a long way to support employee engagement, inspiration, and satisfaction.

An agile office layout incorporates 5 main components:

  • The large, open space

The agile office is founded on the principles of freedom and choice – no more humdrum office life. Being “chained to a desk” is fast becoming a thing of the past, particularly in this era of increased remote working and larger, open-concept workspaces. For increased health and safety, the open space allows teams to gather according to physical distancing protocols or work independently with the assurance of ample personal space. Great for team collaboration, communication, and connection, the open space encourages a flexible and dynamic working environment – where workers can choose where, when, and with whom they’ll do their best work – inspiring greater creativity, workplace satisfaction, and ultimately, productivity.

  • Standing desks

Whether in the larger, open space or individual private workspaces, height-adjustable desks, or standing desks, offer a healthy alternative to conventional desk work. The ability to sit or stand to complete the multitude of desk tasks provides the mobility necessary to promote hip, back, and neck health as well as fewer work-related injuries and absences due to excessive sitting at a desk.

  • Breakout Space

Large meeting rooms are essential for collaboration sessions. Smaller than the large, open work area, breakout spaces provide a more private conference room equipped with high-tech provisions. Breakout spaces should easily handle all of the various demands of presentation and training sessions – projecting equipment, screens, and whiteboards and the corresponding electronics and technologies to support them.

  • Focused pods or booths

Dedicated, quiet spaces for concentrated individual work are vital to a productive workday. Your focused spaces will be critical to reassuring employees that they can return to work with areas that encourage their health and safety, in addition to privacy, at the office. Focused spaces can include workstations made up of standing desks and room separators, cubicles, gaming desk or even well-spaced office pod chairs.

Is there a colleague that lives to share everything about their weekend exploits? Is the nearby office reception space always bustling? For workers easily interrupted from their work, an agile workplace should provide insulated, separated areas that provide for effective noise blocking to free them from distractions. Additionally, designated quiet or private zones allow workers to handle phone calls without being forced to retreat outdoors or to more unpleasant locations such as the bathroom.

  • Extra – Yet essential – Spaces

Every office needs those vital areas that accommodate the administrative necessities of office life. These rooms include a kitchen equipped with the water cooler, coffee maker, refrigerator, and other kitchen essentials and a copy room with printers, copiers, and office supplies.

As more of your team filters into the office in the coming weeks and months, it will be critical to overall office health and safety that these areas are meticulously cleaned and sanitized frequently.

After the flexibility of so much time working from home, many workers may have become accustomed to more freedom during the workday. Help them adapt and prevent boredom by providing your office workforce with a more adaptable and agile workplace thanks to flexible office furniture such as standing desks. Encourage more of that creativity, inspiration, and productivity you hired them for and embrace a bit more office freedom for your team.

Author's Bio: 

I'm a writer; illustrator, columnist and an editorial fellow. My previous work includes roles in digital journalism and content writer. I did graduation in Journalism.