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Agile working is currently a hot topic and for good reason. With the majority of our time being spent indoors, in offices, we need to get creative to keep people comfortable and happy. Designers need to ensure they have the optimum environment in which people can be more productive. One way that spaces can adapt to these new methods is through using glass partitioning in designs.

Agile working is where an organisation empowers its people to work where, when and how they choose – with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints. It’s about creating multiple settings in the environment for the different ways in which we work. This way of working should optimise performance and deliver a more productive environment. It helps to foster new ideas and encourages communication across different departments. Nowhere epitomises this more than the working environment at Google in Dublin:

Google Dublin agile working

The need for quiet spaces

Whilst the benefits of encouraging collaborative working are clear, there is also the need to provide quiet spaces. When designing the layout of an office, it’s imperative to get the balance right between the collaborative and open agile spaces with more enclosed quieter areas. Glazed office partitioning enables a design team to create a layout that provides privacy without compromising an agile working agenda. The use of glass partitioning, which offers exceptional acoustic performance, gives the designer the tool to create secure areas which are ideal for sensitive or confidential discussions.  

Formal meetings vs collaboration

Furthermore, full height glazed partitions can be also be used to create small booths or informal meeting rooms. There are also opportunities to create informal gathering spaces where an agile workforce can meet, socialise and collaborate. If there are changes to a business, the agile workspace can accommodate this, which in turn reduces the cost implications for alterations.

While design plays a big part in the agile work environment, well integrated and reliable technology which supports mobility and interactivity is also an intrinsic element. It’s possible to work anywhere with the right technology, so in the agile workplace, fixed technology is a thing of the past. Read more about how growing architect practice Bisset Adams designed their own agile work-place:

Bisset Adams agile working

Changing the way we work

The world is getting smaller and people are more agile in the way they work, live and communicate. It’s important to reflect this in the modern 21st-century office. Research carried out by Mitie found that by 2020 more than 70 percent of UK offices will be agile workplaces.

Whilst all this agility has potential to reap dividends in the workplace, there is still a way to go. There are currently some stunning examples where forward-thinking designers have created truly agile working environments. First impressions are extremely positive – barriers are coming down, communication is improving and we’re becoming more agile with it.

Read more about how the AECOM office design took agile working as it’s key.

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