Creating an Agile Workplace

In today’s talent market, candidates are increasingly tying their identities to their work and employers. They’re no longer working to live, but living to work – posing an interesting opportunity for employers. In this blog, we discuss what workism is, as well as how employer branding can help organizations tap into this demographic of extremely engaged talent.

Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist Written by Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist

Building a More Agile Workplace: Strategies for Employee Engagement


Organizations are opting to shift from traditional offices to more agile workplaces to capitalize on the many benefits. According to The United Workplace, these benefits can include:

  • An increase in productivity and efficiency by promoting flexibility and autonomy in choosing a work environment.
  • When empowered to choose their workspace, teams are more motivated and creative, leading to innovation.
  • The two-way trust necessary for a flexible workplace drives employee commitment.
  • Work-life balance, along with empowerment and autonomy creates higher job satisfaction.
  • Working conditions offered through an agile environment helps to retain talent.
  • Agile workspaces make a more efficient use of the footprint available, lowering operational costs.
  • The option to work remotely reduces interruptions (i.e. weather, illnesses, traffic, etc.)


In order to create an agile workplace, employers must include four critical components: open plans areas, breakout areas, quiet zones, and touchdown areas. (AllWork)

Open Plan Areas
The central element of every agile workspace is an open concept floor plan. This element focuses on promoting informal communication, organic interaction, and engagement among employees, and is perfect for computer-based work. The design is space-conscious and allows people to work on their own tasks while easily interfacing with their colleagues across from them.

Breakout Areas
Breakout areas are built for functionality, flexibility, and collaboration. These spaces typically use smaller group tables accommodating 2-4 employees for more informal ad-hoc meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Quiet Zones
Quiet zones can make or break an agile workplace. While collaborative space is the backbone of an agile office, it’s equally (if not more important) to provide sufficient quiet and private space that allows for silence, analytical thinking, focus, and concentration. These zones consist of enclosed and/or partially covered spaces designed to eliminate distraction and noise.

According to Design Taxi:

  • 53% of employees feel disturbed by others when trying to focus
  • 42% of employees use makeshift solutions to block out distractions in the workplace
  • 77% of employees prefer quiet when they need to focus
  • When employees are distracted, they make 50% more mistakes and take twice as long to get things done

Based on these statistics, it’s easy to appreciate how necessary quiet zones are to create an effective agile workplace.

Touchdown Areas
Touchdown areas provide overflow work space to accommodate employees who may visit the office less frequently. These spaces are ideal for short duration tasks like catching up on emails or completing a quick task between meetings. These spaces often consist of long tables pressed against a wall. This area should also be easily accessible from a walking standpoint to communal but enclosed meetings rooms or meeting booths and breakout areas.

Organizations and their employees require a variety of workspaces to accommodate diverse needs and working styles. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to creating the ideal workspace, and the agile methodology takes this into consideration. To truly cater to diverse needs, an agile and adaptable workspace can provide a variety of workspace options to support productivity, collaboration and innovation.