Let us consider the bare bones of the modern workspace. Much of the discussion around what constitutes the optimum workspace focuses heavily on internal features such as colours, plants or furniture.
There is little question that such matters are important, in terms of how they affect a workforce’s morale and output. Too often, however, the subject of the space itself is glossed over. Understandable in some ways for startups; entrepreneurs looking to set up a new business may well decide to just take what they can find. Any space will do and we’ll dress it up later, they reason. The features should not be more important than the space itself. To that end, industrial spaces are a increasingly popular resource that commerce could make fuller use of.
What Do We Mean By “Industrial Spaces”?
In the broadest possible sense, all that the phrase “industrial spaces” refers to is multi-floor buildings on developable land. More specifically, the term here means that these spaces are open to adaptation, due to their size and sparse furnishing. That makes them a vastly malleable resource for growing businesses. Many of them have historically ended up being transformed into residential buildings. Think, for example, of the old Victorian workhouses in London now converted into flats. Terminal buildings exist on a similar basis.
These illustrate some of the potential of such estates to serve multiple, wholly different purposes – if utilised or redeveloped appropriately. Business can exploit this too.
What Use Of These Spaces Could A Business Make?
Naturally, the answer will always depend on the company in question. In general terms, however, consider the capacity for workers and products. Yes, open space offers a greater plot for product storage, in purely tangible terms. That is hardly an unexpected revelation. Beyond that is the significance for workers, giving them an open space in which to work. This marks a concerted difference from more traditional ways of working, particularly in terms of removing physical barriers between workers. Classic workplaces had seen divisions between both departments and individuals, in the belief that isolationist working produced the best results. The flexibility of industrial spaces allows businesses the licence to create a more open environment.
How Industrial Spaces Complement New Ways Of Working
Open-plan offices are growing in popularity across the commercial sphere, as a method of creating the optimum balance between concentration and collaboration among workers. The open-plan workspace is a relatively recent incarnation of the modern office, where desks are not assigned to any one person and staff can move freely. The theory is simple. By removing the physical barriers that separate individual workers or whole departments from each other, a business owner can facilitate more effective communication, collaboration and common understanding within the company. Businesses will always achieve more through collective endeavour, they now reason. In contrast to general isolationist attitudes from the late 20th century, working together is an almost universally accepted positive influence in business – in terms of morale and output.
Industrial spaces lend themselves to such a strategy because of their malleable, open nature. The business using an industrial space has an almost wholly blank canvas on which to grow a workplace strategy. They are therefore an ideal foundation for facilitating free movement between workers, as well as a strong collective identity and vision. It is this same thought process that has informed the mass development of co-working spaces in the last decade. Leading space providers such as WeWork, Huckletree and Second Home have epitomised the flexible office space policy. Businesses can embrace that – but they can also embrace their own open spaces to develop such a workplace themselves.
Industrial Spaces And Technology
The flexible office space usually occurs in tandem with a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy on laptops, mobiles and other working devices. In addition, the growth of the Internet of Things network has seen the proportion of networking devices rise in business. These are devices such as electronic locks, audio-visual screens or sound systems that can be activated through a cloud-based app, using a personal device. For ease of use and efficiency, this is an ideal business platform. Such a setup would require a cloud-based application matrix and a scalable connectivity solution, to allow workers full access and use. These solutions are thankfully becoming more and more available to businesses.
No one should feel constrained within a modern office environment. That is not to say that all businesses should follow outlandish, gimmicky ideas – adding beanbags and slides and turning space into quasi-theme parks. Most of us have seen examples of such things, but they add relatively little value. There is, however, much greater value in creating an open, flexible and interactive workspace that feels welcoming to its users, and industrial spaces are fully available and suitable for such business directives.
Viastak work to support businesses looking to leverage technology, in order to streamline the way they operate. We believe in creating flexible, dynamic enterprises that are equipped to deal with the demands of the modern global economy. To find out more, please get in touch.
Written by Oliver Kiddell
Oliver Kiddell, Author at Viastak Technologists.