DON’T ORDER THE BEANBAG CHAIRS just yet, but connectivity and mobility are transforming the ebb and flow of work, workers, and work styles—and the workspace is starting to reflect that. From huddle rooms, hotdesking, and hoteling to “phone booths” and quiet rooms, today’s workspace is being optimized with technology and services that support both collaboration and privacy to help in-house, remote, and mobile workers go with the modern flow of work.
Workspace optimization is about giving employees “a choice in how they work by providing a variety of spaces, and the latest technology that supports privacy and collaboration,” says Jennifer McCready, global channel chief at Steelcase, a provider of architecture, furniture, and technology products and services. “The flexibility enables employees to reach their potential, and ultimately increase productivity.” Indeed, in a recent workplace survey from wireless charging provider Chargifi, more than half of the respondents felt that workplace mobility would allow them to focus better at the office.
Gone are the days when a worker is assigned a desk and expected to sit there for the entire day, says Adam Felson, principal of officemorph, a construction project management company in San Francisco. “Now it’s about giving people opportunities and options of other places to work and to collaborate.”
At the heart of workspace optimization is “taking a look at new ways to modernize the flow—how teams and people are able to meet, get things done quickly, and then go on with their normal workday,” says Dave Seibert, CIO of IT Innovators, an MSP in Irvine, Calif.
Lisa Zierold, director of Maverick AV Solutions, Americas, a specialized solution business of Tech Data focused on audiovisual, collaboration, and smart signage, says her company provides “a lot of education in the channel around why more efficient and optimized meetings is becoming so important. And a lot of it is based around things that we know, like 54% of meetings now have remote attendees … and that we deal with so much data.” To access and collaborate around all this data, she adds, people need solutions that make them feel “like they’re in one space together even when they’re not.”