How Flexible Workspaces Lead to More Productive Workers

Business consultants who study productivity have come to some startling conclusions. For years, experts have believed that the traditional assembly line model or, more recently, the cubicle model, lead to greater productivity through rigidity and structure. However, a number of new studies have showed that flexible workspaces—both outside and inside the office—can actually create better results, including greater productivity, a more engaged, collaborative office culture, and more innovation.

Workplace Flexibility Outside the Office

A series of posts from Forbes Magazine has made a case for companies promoting greater flexibility for workers—allowing your employees to work when, where, and how they want to work. Among other findings, several reputable studies have discovered that a long-hours, 9-to-5 workplace culture has a negative effect on both individual and collective performance, and that flexible workers are both more productive and happier in their work. By focusing on outcomes and encouraging self-directed professional development (rather than requiring face-time and punching a clock) companies can reduce workplace stress for employees and prevent burnout.

Clear Touch Interactive® panels and our collaborative business software suite keep employees connected and on task, even when working remotely. For instance, with EasiConnect and DisplayNote, participants can check in, connect to the display from any device, attend meetings, and share what’s on their screens—whether they’re onsite or offsite. The optional integrated Panacast® 2s video camera allows companies to schedule real-time video conferencing that looks seamless and natural, as if people are in the same room. Finally, with EasiCapture and EasiNote, companies can quickly and easily record meetings, create training videos for professional development, and save their ideation sessions and meeting annotations at the touch of a button. In other words, Clear Touchhelps offices get the right information into the hands of the right people when they need it, empowering flexibility and choice.

Workplace Flexibility Inside the Office

Coming into the office for work is still necessary in many circumstances, and a lot employees actually prefer to do so—but our workspaces need to change to create greater flexibility and more opportunities for interaction as well. According to a recent article published by Harvard Business Review, numerous studies and other data are all pointing to the same conclusion: collaborative, social spaces promote greater growth and innovation.

These studies argue that the offices of the past were designed to increase efficiency, which is defined as maximum use of space with the least effort. So, for instance, everyone from the accounting department might be in one area, while the sales team worked elsewhere. However, efficiency, as researchers are discovering, is not the same thing as productivity. As a result, new office designs are re-engineering spaces to promote interactions over efficiency—especially interactions between various departments. This means highly networked, shared, multipurpose spaces that reflect how people actually work rather than trying to force one way of working. In one study, for example, researchers found that when their sales staff interacted just 10% more frequently with team members outside of the sales department, their sales also increased by 10%.

Clear Touch Interactive® displays can help office designers plan for this kind of flexible, open architecture, cross-departmental office culture, improving sales, innovation, product launches, and time to market. Our multi-functional interactive panels work well with all devices and in a variety of settings—from large conference rooms and board rooms to intimate huddle spaces. This design flexibility makes it easier for companies to grow and adapt as their corporate culture evolves.

“More than a century ago, Frederick Winslow Taylor brought his stopwatch and principles of scientific management to the office, instilling efficiency as the highest calling in what was then a factory for processing paperwork. Today we have the means to measure the performance of modern idea factories. Even these early insights suggest a future in which we must aggressively change the definition of what workspace is, from where work is done to how it’s done, and then design spaces—physical and digital—around that. The office of the past was a literal box of cubicles and desks, meeting rooms and common spaces. In the office of the future, we’ll be thinking and working outside it.”

—From Workspaces That Move People, Harvard Business Review