What Is Smart Working and How Does It Support a Modern Work Culture?
What is smart working? It is essentially a business practice that heightens flexibility and innovation in the workplace. This concept is innate to certain individuals, meaning they’re wired to work this way. However, the majority of working smart is dependent on the company. Employees need the proper tools, technology, and knowledge to do their jobs successfully. For company leaders, it is essential to onboard the necessary resources so operations can run efficiently and smoothly.
The modern work environment is gaining traction because it’s one of the most sustainable and progressive ways to run a company. Forward-thinking business practices can increase productivity, communication, and employee satisfaction. Many companies embrace this concept to attract new talent, boost employee retention, and increase profits.
They are not going through this pivot alone, though. Planning and executing a new way to operate takes a lot of time and effort. That is why companies are looking outside of their immediate team to seek outside expertise, including from firms specializing in physical workplace design, like bkm OfficeWorks.
These partnerships often focus on building a creative, collaborative, and productive work environment. Whether you’re thinking of adding mobile, multipurpose office furniture or upgrading your tech to support audio-visual collaboration—properly implementing new concepts takes strategy. Working with bkm’s skilled designers is a foolproof way to bring success and sustainability to today’s workplace.
bkm OfficeWorks Delivers Custom Office Solutions
Designing a modern work environment is not a copy-and-paste strategy. Each office has different demands, goals, and numbers of employees. By identifying the resources that are needed, bkm OfficeWorks can deliver custom solutions that prevent employees from becoming lost and stagnant in their work practices.
Consider Different Operational Variables
As mentioned earlier, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to creating a smart, modern work environment. Before making the leap, business leaders must do their research to understand the variables of an operation. There are four key factors to consider: the hybrid concept, office size, internal insight, and industry.
The Hybrid Concept
Many of today’s employers support a hybrid workplace model. The premise is to bring flexibility and collaboration into the professional space. There are different variations of hybrid work, though. The parameters are dependent on company guidelines. For example, some staff members may work at home and at the office. Others may have the option to work 100% remotely.
The four types of hybrid work include:
- In-office: Employee works at a physical office.
- Work from home: Employee has a physical office space but can work from home as well.
- Remote: Employee works outside of the office.
- Distributed: Employee works at different locations because there is no central office.
Companies need different resources to support each concept. For remote or distributed work, they must invest in reliable technology and processes. Solutions allowing employees to work from home, for example, help to increase productivity, loyalty, and job satisfaction. Height-adjustable desks, quality lighting, and other furniture/accessory options can make the workday much easier. In-office teams might consider investing in collaborative furniture. Whichever hybrid concept a company chooses, it is important to incorporate a tailored design to support it.
For those who choose to work in-office, designs are dependent on the space available. For smaller areas, flexible furniture is beneficial because it can be used as needed. The Steelcase Flex Perch is a great example. This super lightweight, stackable stool provides seating for collaborative events and can be “nested” in compact rows to save room when not in use.
Modern work environments are often focused on open layouts. This design scheme promotes teamwork and communication among colleagues. Lounge spaces are quite popular these days. Professionals can easily collaborate, get comfortable, and switch up their work routines. For example, at bkm we focus on creating workplace destinations that feel inviting. These spaces are proven to empower social connection, creative collaboration, personal focus, and rejuvenation—all of which can enrich our lives as much as our work.
In today’s workplace, people also need quick, effective, and immediate solutions for privacy. The Steelcase Boundary Tent is a lightweight and stylish freestanding screen that delivers on-demand privacy and space definition. Available in two screen sizes and two pole heights, the Boundary Tent is a versatile option for all types of focused work.
With a quick internet search, you can find countless articles on how to build a smart and modern work environment. While those insights are valuable, there is one source of information that is the most important: your employees. Their thoughts and ideas are vital since they’re the machine that makes the company run. Leaders should encourage their staff members to provide feedback. By asking the right questions and analyzing data, they can develop a strategy that sticks.
Helpful feedback can be gathered in different ways. Sending out anonymous questionnaires allows employees to share their true feelings without the worry of judgment. For those who are less timid, one-on-one meetings can be very beneficial. This tactic creates open lines of communication and promotes a deeper understanding of how to support their work.
All people are different, which may lead to different opinions on how to optimize operations. For example, extroverted employees often thrive in collaborative environments while their more introverted colleagues might prefer independence. Open floor plans with common spaces and separate focus areas can appeal to both parties. To accommodate everyone’s preferences, leaders can offer choices.
Each industry has its own unique strategy to keep employees productive. Marketing companies, for example, focus heavily on brainstorming activities that encourage people to share ideas and constructive feedback. Work stations like the Steelcase Flex Huddle Hub can empower colleagues to have creative and productive conversations. Designed to glide easily on caster wheels, this cutting-edge office solution features a curved whiteboard and tackable wall, making it a great choice for collaborative environments.
Some companies might require areas to support concentration or privacy. Steelcase Flex Personal Spaces are ideal options for teams because they limit exposure and reduce distractions. Two key elements—desks and privacy wraps—support over a dozen possible workstation configurations. When combined, they create workstation clusters that support privacy, adaptability, and space planning.
There are a host of other design elements to consider. For tech companies, open layouts with lots of natural light can help to promote creativity and productivity. For healthcare providers focused on maintaining patient privacy, closed offices or cubicles might work best. No matter the industry, bkm’s experienced consultants can offer guidance on the best options for your team.
Ready to Optimize Your Workspace?
Professional office spaces have changed a lot in recent years. This has forced business practices to evolve in order to support all types of work styles. While operational variables are important to consider, it is just as vital to work with trusted office furniture dealers. This partnership not only supports a maximum return on investment—it also helps you build bulletproof strategies to optimize workspaces for years to come.
Are you looking to create a smart working environment for your team? Our design experts can share further insights about the array of office furniture solutions and accessories we offer. Contact us to learn more!