Supporting Mobile and Remote Workers Through Office Design
Technology has been changing the way humanity gets work done ever since the dawn of time. New tools have made workers more efficient and more productive, helping them create greater value at an ever-increasing rate. These new tools also impact change beyond just one particular functionality—they end up disrupting the entire work process.
Increased mobility, made possible through technological innovation, has and continues to disrupt the way modern knowledge workers do their jobs. And it’s not only disrupting the way work is able to be accomplished, but the place in which that work is completed.
Supporting Mobile and Remote Workers
With the rise in mobile and remote workers, it has been increasingly important to ensure these staff members are supported in their work. Some of the ways they can be supported involved adjusting office designs to assist them when they do come into the office. Others involve creating systems that make remote interactions easier (like Skype and other forms of telepresence). Steelcase calls this kind of support a “palette of presence,” meaning there is more than one way to be “present,” and each of those ways must be considered—especially if the company is global.
Hot Desking/Hoteling Workstations
We’ve talked about this style of workstation many, many times, but because it is a growing trend, it is important to cover it again. Hot desking means that the company provides fewer desks than the number of staff using them, with the knowledge that not all mobile workers will be in the office at the same time. Hot desking works exceptionally well for frequently traveling staff members like sales teams or executives.
Companies that employ hot desking will generally offer it among a variety of other workstations such as individual desks, small and large conference spaces, comfortable lounges, collaboration zones, quiet spots, libraries, and cafes.
These spaces need to be similarly supplied for long term work in the way normal workstations are, but with less storage and fewer personalization capabilities. The turnstone Bivi is one example that supports hot desking well.
The name says it all: this type of workstation is used for quick, non-permanent touches at a desk. Touchdown workstations are generally smaller and not equipped for long-term work, but rather, are designed for mobile workers to sit down and begin working immediately.
The turnstone Half Lounge and Simple Lounge Tables keep mobile workers comfortable while providing an effortless place to get work done. Turnstone’s Simple Stand Up Table with Scoop Stools offer modern seating that keeps things sleek and simple. (see gallery)
Teleconferencing Rooms (group and solo)
With staff, contractors and clients often being spread out in a variety of locations around the world, having space for teleconferencing is becoming increasingly important. Phone calls might work, but many prefer to do business face-to-face with the ability to collaborate via screens.
Companies are implementing teleconferencing rooms in their offices in order to create private areas where these types of calls can take place. Privacy is important for sensitive conversations, but it is also important for not distracting others in the office who may overhear your conversation in a traditional open plan workspace.