A hackable workspace is a workspace that can be easily customised and adapted to fit the specific needs and preferences of your team. This type of workspace allows you to create an environment that is tailored to your work style, and can increase productivity, encourge creativity, and facilitate interaction.
A hackable workspace is all about flexibility and personalisation. It can be achieved through a variety of strategies, such as using modular furniture, incorporating adjustable lighting, and creating a system for organizing your tools and materials.
What are the benefits to allowing a team to move elements of their workspace?
If you work from home, you are in an environment of their own making. You have chosen furniture, colour scheme, and lighting levels to create an ambiance that allows you to feel comfortable. Similarly, mobile devices mean you can choose location, whether that is on the sofa, at a table or desk, standing up and moving around, or even outside.
By customising your workspace to fit your needs and preferences, you can create an environment that supports your work style and helps you stay focused and motivated. Additionally, it can help reduce stress and fatigue, as you are able to adjust your surroundings to promote relaxation and comfort.
If you are in the office, you want to make the most of time with your team, in an environment to enable and encourage people to come together.
The type of collaboration might vary: team meetings, a catch up with a colleague, larger and more formal town hall gatherings. It could include on site and remote team members, even those working globally.
Flexible layouts teams can move themselves make it easy to create organic and functional environments that flex according to need. You can move a wall to open out a space, or make a more cosy area.
Mobile furniture removes a potential barrier to collaboration from fixed zones that aren’t quite right.
You might be in the office to do some focussed work or have a quiet meeting, and having visual and acoustic privacy creates areas to do this.
Privacy screens also support different ways of working, whether it’s personal choice or to help neuro-divergent colleagues. You can move screens into place and reconfigure them as you need, with the benefit that nothing needs to be permanent or fixed.
The first step in creating a hackable workspace is to assess your needs and preferences. Then you can go on to choose flexible pieces of furniture, ideally that are multi-functional so they can fulfil different requirements.
Consider the type of work your team does, the tools and equipment they need, and the environment that helps different team members stay focused and motivated. What balance do you prefer between quiet spaces and busier areas with room to collaborate? Do you need a large table or whiteboard for everyone to work around, or smaller surfaces? Do you need to be able to connect remotely with colleagues or clients as a team? By understanding your needs and preferences, you can create a workspace that is tailored to your organisation’s unique work style.
Once you have assessed your needs and preferences, it’s time to choose the right furniture and equipment for your hackable workspace. Look for furniture that is adjustable and can be customised to fit your needs. For example, a standing desk can be adjusted to different heights, allowing you to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day. Invest in high-quality equipment, such as a comfortable chair, a keyboard and mouse that are ergonomically designed, and a monitor that is easy on the eyes. By choosing the right furniture and equipment, you can create a workspace that is comfortable, functional, and tailored to your needs.
In addition to furniture and equipment, decor and organization can also play a big role in creating a hackable workspace. Personalize your space with items that inspire you, such as motivational posters or artwork. Use organizational tools like shelves, drawers, and file cabinets to keep your workspace tidy and clutter-free. Consider adding plants or other natural elements to your workspace to create a calming and inviting atmosphere. By customizing your workspace with decor and organization, you can create a space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Here are some examples of projects we’ve worked on that illustrate how these principles can be applied across the private and public sector, and for large and small organisations.
Over the last few of years we been increasingly looking at ways to incorporate technology into mobile furniture and more traditional whiteboards. This project for a payroll systems company is about integrating screens into mobile furniture with battery power, so that teams anywhere in the office can meet with any team across the world.
How do you turn a small office into a flexible workspace that caters for desk working, collaborative whiteboarding, hybrid meetings and client engagement workshops? We worked with a start up with a tiny office space that needed a creative approach from both them and us.
As we make everything ourselves to order, we can adapt and re-work our furniture to fit a different team or location, as we did for this UK government department. Adapting your furniture for re-use is a more sustainable approach that avoids products ending up in landfill, as well as offering a cost saving on buying new.
A hackable workspace is a practical and flexible solution in any environment. It gives team members choice, helps them collaborate, and offers privacy.
There are so many possibilities, so why not get in touch and explore an option you might not have thought about.
This article was originally a session presented at the Workplace Event 2023
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