Why We Chose to Go Free Address
Free address is an open desk policy that allows employees to sit wherever they choose. Find out why the benefits of this work style and why we chose to make the jump.
Intereum Goes Free Address
Free address, sometimes referred to as “hoteling”, “hot desking”, or simply "unassigned", is an open desk policy that moves away from assigned workstations and allows employees to sit wherever they choose. More and more companies are shifting to this policy because they want to optimize their floorplate, encourage collaboration, increase productivity, and provide variety to their employees.
Did you have any reservations moving to free address?
Our CSO shares her experience from a leadership perspective on the impacts of free address.
So, why the change?
As a growing organization, Intereum needed to better utilize our space. In our resident worker culture, we found that between meetings, sales calls, and site visits, nearly 50% of workstations would sit empty on an average day. Yikes! Talk about wasted resources. Free address helps us to maximize our floorplate by taking underutilized or unused space and making it available to other employees in a variety of settings that support an array of activities.
A Smooth Transition
There were reservations as we embarked on this culture shift. With clear communication and trust, a big shift such as this can be empowering for employees. Leadership provided opportunities for everyone to ask questions and express concerns. This was productive as it helped us avoid major issues and created an open dialogue about flexibility. The biggest hurdle is giving up work-point personalization and storage, but the benefits of a free address culture outweigh our instinctive need to display our family photos. Did we mention how freeing it is to Marie Kondo your workspace? All those bulky papers are on the network and accessible no matter where you decide to work on any given day.
Why Free Address?
Flexibility! No longer are workers anchored to a specific work point, instead they now embrace an activity-based workplace. Their workpoint can be determined by the task they need to complete. Starting the day with a video conference call? Skip the desk and reserve a small meeting room. Have a deadline looming? Grab a high-panel workstation and hideout to crank out that proposal. Need to make a private phone call? Step into a Framery pod. Workers can control their day better by choosing the right setting for what they need to accomplish.
Are you surprised by what you're seeing from people?
Candace contrasts expectations with how our workforce reacted to the change.
Capitalizing the Floor Plate with a Variety of Settings
Empowering our teams with choice and variety has improved how they work. We were able to incorporate additional lounge, privacy, and meeting settings into our workspace by optimizing the number of workstations needed. The office now promotes spontaneous collaboration and team integration. Colleagues can collaborate, mentor, focus, share, learn, converse, organize, and create regardless of their position or team. This intermixing has strengthened communication company-wide and encouraged movement. Our office feels re-energized and (dare we say) bustling!
Assess Your Needs
It is important to note that this solution is not right for every business, let alone every worker. In our recent transition to this new policy we recognized that two of our teams, administration and customer service, had unique needs that could not be ignored. These teams continue to occupy resident stations to support their storage, tool, and technology needs. The biggest takeaway is to design a space with your team’s needs in mind and provide the appropriate settings for the work they do. Change can be daunting, but we are excited for this exciting new chapter for Intereum’s work culture – with a clean desk and a fresh start every day.
Any last thoughts on free address?
Candace shares best practices based on our experience.
Looking to optimize your space?
To learn more about workplace strategies and to see if free address might make sense for your company, schedule a free, no-obligation conversation with an Intereum expert.