Based in Brussels, BNP Paribas Fortis Chief Information Officer (CIO) Sonja Noben is leading the...
Flex Office, teleworking: when the workspace adapts to the digital
According to a recent study by the workspace experts Actinéo, many professionals are growing more and more comfortable with working remotely. Already, nearly 50% of professionals work from outside their company’s office at least occasionally. From teleworking to flex offices and coworking spaces, the workplace is becoming more and more flexible. Here’s everything you need to know about this trend.
Companies are shaking up the way they workThough they remain the norm for 67% of office workers, individual workstations (cubicles or open offices) are gradually being replaced by new ways of organizing work.
In France, at least 50% of office workers work occasionally from outside their company’s office, and 28% do so regularly, working remotely several times a week, either from home or another location—what we refer to as teleworking.
This trend is also changing company premises. With the flex office, employees no longer have assigned desks, but can choose instead to work in different spaces according to their needs—individual workstations, open-access meeting rooms or privacy bubbles. They can even share their daytime desks with coworkers—that’s the idea behind desk sharing, when office equipment and computer systems are shared among several employees.
Companies have fully grasped this trend, as growing numbers seek to enhance the agility of their offices by offering workspaces that are modular, multifunctional and flexible. In this way, the office can adapt in order to operate in different ways—as an individual or collaborative workspace, a site for socializing and creativity, a platform to welcome stakeholders (clients, partners, startups, etc.), and a hub to host meetings and events. It’s also a fluid space where movement is encouraged.
The end of the fixed office—the reasons behind a growing trendThese new ways of organizing work respond to the changing needs of employees, as practices and behaviors become more digital.
Using their mobile devices —smartphones, tablets or laptops— many employees can now work from anywhere. They can even do so with the same efficiency as in the office, thanks to new collaborative tools, videoconferencing and instant messaging. This approach also suits companies that are moving towards becoming paperless.
Shared workspaces replace paper documents with digital ones that employees can access anytime and on any device, which translates into savings by reducing property and office costs.
Along with greater connectivity has come a growing desire for flexibility. Twenty percent of office workers say they would like to choose where they work based on their needs. Expanding worker freedom and autonomy in this way would not only help boost their productivity, it would also enhance well-being and help maintain a healthy work-life balance.
More flexible workspaces also reflect the new management approach taken by many companies. Less hierarchical and compartmentalized than before, these new approaches tend to favor flexible, interdepartmental and decentralized organizations, where information travels faster and collaboration is encouraged.
BNP Paribas, a key player in the transformation of Grand Paris
In Paris and nearby, BNP Paribas has adopted an expansion strategy that favors these new ways of working. Its long-term strategy is tied in part to the Group’s changing size (now almost 30,000 employees in Paris and nearby), while accounting for the accessibility challenges inherent to the development of the Grand Paris project. Aligning with the Group’s transformation and growth strategy (BNP Paribas Way and 2020 Development Plan), this approach includes:
- Updating real estate assets and developing eco-responsible buildings—offices with higher energy performance, lower energy use and optimized waste management.
- Workspaces that promote a new way of working: more digital, more collaborative, with larger meeting spaces, more freedom to choose where to work, and a wider line of services offered to employees.
- Greater mobility by integrating teleworking for a better work-life balance.
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