What Are Dynamic Office Layouts? (And How to Create One)

Wondering if a dynamic office design is right for your business? Find out more about dynamic office layouts and how to create them.

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Encouraging Employees to Take Risks

Here's what you need to know:

  • Much like its name suggests, a dynamic office design is one that’s anchored in flexibility
  • This interior design philosophy refers to the ability of a space to not only transform but to be able to transform quickly to serve multiple purposes
  • Dynamic office design offers benefits for employees
  • To create a dynamic office design, focus on space over furnishings and choose portable, lightweight furnishings
  • Opt for modular solutions whenever possible and follow the lead of small living

You probably haven’t thought that much about your office’s layout. Especially in rental situations, choices can be, well, limited. But the way your office is designed can have a big impact on everything from your brand story to your employees’ well-being.

Sounds like a lot of pressure to get it right, doesn’t it? Making major investments in an office can feel especially precarious in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that shook up everything we knew about working.

This is especially true about the space where we work. Seemingly overnight we pivoted from offices to working from home. The change was fast, sweeping, and unpredictable.

Sinking time and resources into the best office design can seem like a gamble these days. Enter dynamic office design and the built-in flexibility it brings.

Never heard of it? Not quite sure how to pull it off? Wondering if a dynamic office design is right for your business? Read on to learn about dynamic office design and how to create it.

What is dynamic office design and its purpose?

Much like its name suggests, a dynamic office design is one that’s anchored in flexibility. Unlike static rows of cubicles or even a set-in-stone open office layout, dynamic designs are all about the capacity for change.

This interior design philosophy prizes the ability of a space to not only transform, but to transform quickly. When it comes to dynamic office design, it means applying the broader interior design philosophy to office spaces in particular.

The idea is that, by deploying this approach, one space can have the ability to serve multiple purposes. Maybe you’re not quite sure what your office space will be used for in our new normal.

A dynamic design approach can also be a solution for a rapidly changing business.

Perhaps you have a small space and need it to be as functional as possible. Dynamic office design could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

A dynamic design approach can also be a solution for a rapidly changing business. As the pandemic taught us, operations can be required to grow or shrink on short notice.

A dynamic office design lends itself to these changes. A design that’s built on flexibility is able to adapt better and more quickly to changing business needs.

What are the benefits of dynamic office design?

A dynamic office design isn’t just an excellent way to meet the changing needs of office spaces. It also has direct benefits to offer employees, too. According to Global Office Solutions, a dynamic office design can:

  • Improve morale. By creating an office design that each person can customize to create a work environment that works the best for them, this approach gives employees power and choices they typically don’t have. How many people can say that they get to create their own ideal workspace each day?
  • Boost creativity and collaboration. Spaces can be constructed and deconstructed as needed. If employees need to collaborate, they can quickly devise the best creative working environment for their collaboration.
  • Offer a socially distant working environment. Especially in the wake of the pandemic, it’s important to be able to adapt a space to public health needs. A dynamic office design can expand and contract as needed, bringing people together or spacing them out.
  • Change based on who is in the office on a given day. As COVID precautions fade into the background, many businesses are bringing their workers back into the office a couple of times a week. That means that each day, the people who are working in the office and the work that’s being done in the office are different. A dynamic office design helps to ensure that the needs of each day’s different workers are met.

How to create and implement a dynamic office design

For those who came up in more static office environments, it can be difficult to envision how a dynamic office design might work. Luckily, many of us have already seen a dynamic office layout and have likely worked from one at some point already — coworking spaces!

Not every coworking space uses a dynamic office layout, but many of them do. As the Home Journal notes, there are plenty of hybrid, multi-use spaces already in existence to draw inspiration from.

New York City’s Spring Place is both a collaborative working space as well as a private social club. The venue houses everything from executive suites to a restaurant and private dining rooms.

Her Majesty’s Pleasure in Canada is a cafe, boutique, bar, and beauty salon all wrapped into one.

While these places likely have much more space to work with than the average small business, you get the gist: It’s all about making 1 space serve multiple purposes.

How do you do that in an office, you ask? Here are some key elements:

Focus on space over furnishings

The place to start with a dynamic office design is with the space itself. There are 3 takes on space to consider: The immediate surroundings of every employee (think desks and the like), the larger environment (individual rooms), and the overall environment (the vibe and ambiance of the office as a whole).

Additionally, there has to be space for everyone who comes into the office to work and meet. There also has to be a unifying and cohesive approach to the entirety of the space overall. Once you know how you want to use the space, then you can move on to furnishing it.

Choose portable, lightweight furnishings

The goal is to be able to quickly and easily move things in and out of the way. If your office’s furniture is too heavy or too large to move by just 1 person, then it’s not lending itself to a dynamic office.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t have bulky items like super large plants in the office, just that you should think about how you can move them. Dollies are a great way to ensure that even the heaviest of furnishings are able to be easily wheeled in and out of the way.

Opt for modular solutions whenever possible

In addition to furnishings that are portable and lightweight, you’ll also want to opt for modular solutions as much as you can.

Whether it’s desks or couches, a modular design means that the furniture itself is meant to be assembled in different ways depending on the space and its needs. Movable partitions can go a long way in helping to transform spaces for different uses.

Follow the lead of small living

Especially if you have a small office space, taking tips from small living can help make the most of your space. But even if you don’t, the multi-use, make-the-most-of-every-square-inch philosophy that rules tiny homes can be applied to your office.

As much as you can, don’t waste space by not considering it or letting it be multi-use. If you have a staircase, can you turn it into storage or a bookshelf? Don’t forget to make the most of all of your vertical space, especially if you have a small office. There’s more than just floor space available to use.

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Start small with dynamic office design

If converting your space into a dynamic office design sounds stressful, don’t worry. Start small with little tweaks here and there.

Slowly swap out heavy furniture for more lightweight, modular pieces. Put heavy things on wheels. When you make new investments in office accoutrements, opt for things that can be multi-purpose.

Pivoting to a dynamic office design doesn’t have to be a major investment all at once. Of course, you can do a big overhaul if that’s what you prefer, but you don’t have to. It’s all about finding what works for you, your unique business, and the employees who compose it.

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