Flexible Office Spaces (02-28-19)

Research by Soiland and Hansen again indicates that multiple factors influence how spaces are used. As Soiland and Hansen report, “Flexible office concepts offer organisations the ability to adapt quickly to changes, and provide users with possibilities to work flexibly. Ideas about flexible working shape the design concepts employed in office design, and have consequences for users’ everyday work practices. . . . The paper draws on data from a case study in a Norwegian public organisation. Our findings suggest that flexible architecture on its own does not produce flexible workers. Rather, flexibility can be co-produced by users and architecture through emergent practices of appropriation and negotiation. Enhancing flexible work for users requires an understanding of what flexibility entails in their particular context, and adjusting strategies to their needs over time. Users should able to actively engage with and adapt architecture to their specific needs, which may require less standardisation in office design.”

Elisabeth Soiland and Geir Hansen.  “Ideas or Reality?  Flexible Space – Flexible People?”  Intelligent Buildings International, in press, https://doi.org/10.1080/17508975.2019.1573355