Nine Types of Office Workspaces for Your Business
21 Apr 2022
Today’s workplace has evolved thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting employment mindsets and goals.
As of April 2022, Future Forum’s latest survey of employers from the U.S., France, Germany and other countries revealed that nearly a third of workers (34%) have returned to office full-time. And of the surveyed global workforce, 55% wanted more flexibility in workspaces. In the last few years, the pandemic has created different types of workspaces, and consequently, correlating workspace management challenges.
The Post-Pandemic Workplace Has Created New Workspaces
Flexible and hybrid work styles that allow for working on-the-go or at-the-office are now staples with many employers. Some companies have put most of their staff fully remote. Some have brought employees back on-site on a rotational basis. Others have offered employees their choice of working style or are still undergoing a transition from fully remote to back-in-office for non-telecommute staff.
Due to the changed nature of where employees work and how teams are connecting, we’ve seen the desire and need for more adaptable and on-demand workspaces. Hot desks, on-demand meeting rooms, as well as virtual floor plans to enforce health safety precautions – all are part of today’s new workplace environment.
Today’s Different Types of Modern Workspaces
There are various types of workspaces that an employee, business leader or visitor may use. Some are on-site in an organization’s physical office location, while others are constructed by an employee or team of employees.
Types of in-office workspaces
We spend a significant amount of time in the office. According to one study, the average person spends about one third of their life at work. Some of the below workspaces have existed for decades and simply adapted to modern times, while others are the result of a more creatively flexible workforce and digitized world.
A cubicle, a stand-alone desk, or an entire private office. Any dedicated workstation or workspace that is exclusively for a single individual employee, is considered an assigned workspace.
Assigned workspaces are less common in organizations with more remote workers, but some organizations may offer employees the option to select if they want to be in the office more and have an assigned workspace. Usually, in this case it’s a dedicated traditional desk or cubicle.
Breakout spaces are informal workspaces open to everyone. Employees, leadership, visitors and partners may use these spaces. Breakout spaces vary in style, but are usually more informal than traditional workspaces and are designed for quick chats, spontaneous one-on-one meetings, or for workplace socialization and breaks (i.e. a lunchroom or coffee breakroom).
Another kind of a breakout space is a huddle room, which is usually a small room designed to fit two to four people for informal brainstorm sessions or conversations. Learn more about huddle rooms here.
Co-working spaces are a newer type of workspace. Co-working spaces are not formally assigned to any one person or team but are available to salaried employees, contractors, freelancers or visiting agency partners and teams. Co-workings paces vary in style but are often small meeting rooms adapted for digital presentations or creative brainstorming.
The challenge with co-working spaces present for some businesses is how to ensure these spaces are effectively and efficiently managed. Primarily, are co-working spaces being used frequently enough, and are they easily accessible for employees and teams who are flexible workers? Meeting room booking system solutions can help solve this issue and streamline flexible co-working space management.
Conference Room (Meeting Room)
Designed for multiple employees or small teams, a conference room, or meeting room, is leveraged for group discussions, brainstorming discussions, small-group presentations or conversations around strategy and planning. These rooms are built within the office building and often include a presentation screen, an oval or rectangular table with chairs, and to accommodate 10 to 20 people. [Need help setting up your meeting room space? Read this article for tips.]
Conference rooms and meetings rooms are often those that are leveraged by on-site and off-site employees and teams as well. With hybrid workplaces now, booking conference rooms has become a more on-demand situation where differing employee schedules require flexible adaptation. This is where a booking system solution comes in that can enable real-time booking of conference and meeting rooms, as well as give employers a real-time view of rooms being used, not being used, and workspace usage efficiency.
Typically designed to provide creative teams with spaces that inspire collaboration, innovation, creativity and brainstorming, creative spaces are usually built for small groups and are informal in nature. These can be meeting rooms, where instead of formal tables and chairs, and may feature couches or comfy arm chairs as well as whiteboards for drawing out concepts.
Hot Desk (Flexible Desk) – Desk Sharing
Desk sharing is a common practice in today’s flexible workplace. Hot desking is a workspace sharing approach that leads to better collaboration, fosters teamwork and communication, reduces costs, enhances flexibility and promotes improved production. With hot desking, the workspace an employee uses is a single desk or cubicle type space and isn’t the same one every time. Hot desk spaces are for anyone to use and bookable on-demand or in advance so employees can have a temporary dedicated workspace while on-site.
Hot desking is a great solution to help maximize workspace usage and reduce overhead costs when your business has a large remote workforce. Resource Central offers a unique hot desk booking feature to help organizations simplify and improve flexible workspace management.
Employee Break Spaces
Nap pods. Relaxation rooms. Some companies have designed their office spaces to include dedicated relaxation and break spaces where employees can decompress or refresh during the day. Nap pods for example have become popular in the last few years, as have dedicated relaxation rooms or “break” spaces.
Types of self-made workspaces
Self-made workspaces are those that you create or use outside of a formal office setting. Some you may use alone, while others may involve your colleagues or partnered agencies. In truth, self-made workspaces fall under one of two kinds: at-home and off-site remote.
An at-home office will look different for everyone. It could be a dedicated room you set up with a desk, monitors, bookcase and other supplies you need for your job. It could also be a dedicated table or desk within another room of your house, such as your living room or bedroom. At-home office workspaces don’t require organization management, outside technology compliance, but many companies are offering at-home office covered benefits to incentivize employees or manage employer technologies (i.e., covering at-home office internet if it’s with a partner provider).
Off-site Remote Workspace (Neighborhood Space Workspace)
The other kind of workspace you may leverage is an off-site remote workspace, or more commonly known as a neighborhood space workspace. This could be a local coffee shop where your team agrees to meet once a week, or that offers a dedicated, bookable meeting room. It could be a once-a-month special space you use for teambuilding efforts or to help stimulate creativity for larger projects. Neighborhood workspaces can be anything you want them to be – from a formalized hot desk building to an informal local brewery.
Which Workspace is Right for Your Business?
Having a mix of workspaces for employees is important, but what types of workspaces and how many of each are present may be different depending on your business. [Read: Private Offices vs Open Workspaces: Which Is Right for Your Business?]
How to Manage Adaptable Workspaces
Unused or misused space can be expensive for your organization. Being able to effectively and efficiently manage both your assigned and flexible workspaces – from desks to meeting rooms and expo centers – is paramount to reducing overhead costs and optimally providing for employees and partners.
Add-On Product’s Resource Central and Workspace booking app can be used for booking of desks, workspaces, meeting rooms, parking spaces and more. As a result, it can singularly solve many challenging situations many employers are now faced with.
Some benefits of the Workspace app include:
- Find and book meetings, conference rooms or desks quickly from mobile devices or the app
- Manage workplace resources through Microsoft 365® or Microsoft Exchange
- Keep your schedule organized on-the-go
- Ensure social-distancing measures are met with realtime floor plans and office maps
- QR code scanning for availability verification and realtime booking on-site
Meeting the demands of today’s versatile workforce can be complex if an organization is not designed to be efficiently adaptable. Combining a mix of architectural design and workspace management technologies can allow organizations across various industries to solve key workspace and workflow management challenges.