With touted benefits ranging from increased productivity to attracting and retaining great people, organisations are increasingly interested in exploring the idea.
However, once the exploring starts many soon hit a hurdle. The cost.
What is agile working and why is it expensive?
While traditional workspaces focus on providing a desk for each person to work, agile workspaces focus on enabling the activities that make up “work” to be carried out.
The agile workspaces we create generally feature the following:
- Formal and informal meeting areas
- A relaxed lunching area
- Dedicated areas for focus and private phone calls
- Personal storage zones
- Small and large collaborative areas
- Inspiration and brainstorming areas
- Sit to stand desks
- IT, phone and printing setup to support mobile and offsite working
Because agile based working is a completely fresh concept, it’s not surprising that the transition from a traditional office environment to agile can be costly. Most agile solutions are bespoke and involve additional IT transition costs. Even the joinery involved in creating communal zones and the high-backed seating common to collaborative areas can add up quickly.
The benefits of agile working
The whole concept of agile working aims to make it easier for people to do work and increase efficiency. Communal environments encourage collaboration and communication while the overall design gives workers more freedom and flexibility, encouraging responsibility and productivity.
This style of workspace also goes hand in hand with the concept of flexible working. And, of course, flexible working has a proven association with increased productivity, higher revenue, better employee retention rates, boosting employee engagement and attracting talent.
Going agile on a shoestring budget
But there is a way to do it on a budget that’s just a tiny fraction of the amounts that the likes of Google and Unilever – the leaders in agile work concepts – have at their disposal.
Here at BRM Projects, we are committed to bringing high end ideas to our entire client base.
Here’s how we do agile working on a tight budget:
- Re-use the best parts of the old layout (front of house zones, meeting rooms and boardrooms, partitions and cabling can sometimes be blended into the new design)
- Re-use loose furniture in a different way (individual workstations can be re-oriented to create collaborative areas and quiet pods)
- Source second-hand items and get inventive (for example, second-hand lockers wrapped with branded film create inviting personal storage zones)
- Sit to stand desks (for a small additional investment, these add a lot of extra freedom)
- Lots of planning (non-standard solutions require time and effort at the initial concept stage)
- Trust and communication (access to senior management to explain and pitch concepts facilitates the success of these innovative projects)
Still thinking it sounds impossible?
Read more about a recent agile design project we delivered for under $50K here.
Typically, this style of project would demand $300-400K. That’s a big saving!
If you’d like to talk to us about the possibility of implementing agile working solutions in your organisation,
get in touch.