since the start of the global pandemic there has been a lot of talk about the virtues of teleworking, as we have been forced to abruptly and transversally change our interaction with colleagues and customers. but the truth is, this current scenario has only accelerated something already desirable and which was expected to be inevitable in the future. the dynamics of work were already changing from day to day, in constant acceleration, having now been exponentiated. this transformation has come to promote something that I have always considered to be very important and that will define our future – flexibility in work dynamics.
and why is flexibility important? flexibility reflects various desires for change. since personal and professional life are increasingly interconnected, flexible dynamics will allow a better reconciliation of the two, having schedules more adapted to each person, reducing daily commutes, with a focus on improving quality of life, social sustainability, and the environment. for companies, flexibility is certainly a challenge to management processes, but it has an enormous potential to define corporate identities and foster greater harmony between employees and structures, a factor that is proven to have a direct influence on people’s motivation and productivity. it is in this sense that, for success, companies must review the dynamic of working practices and ensure changes are adapted into the workplace. this is why I believe that flexibility is so important.
the most visible transformation that these changes will bring to companies is flexibility in spatial terms. what do I mean by that? companies change every day. its activities and state of maturity are different year to year. I say this from personal, firsthand experience. a few years ago – when I started my professional life at POLIGONO, an architecture company that together with others gave rise to the HIMO Group, which also owns the sitio brand – a friend shared with me that his team had declined, but that he was “tied into” to a lease on an apartment in Saldanha, which functioned as his office. that is, he had vacant rooms that he was not using. that’s where POLIGONO came in. we renovated it into an office and transformed all the rooms so that they could be monetized. basically, we created a mini-cowork with six rooms. we were there for only two years, but POLIGONO grew with the launch of new projects that, meanwhile, became independent and reduced the central team, so that space no longer made sense to us. today we are at sitio, a network of shared workspaces that offers the flexibility that companies are looking for, because it allows them to have access to private offices according to their growth. after all, in the days we live in, the economy rotates at such a high speed that it forces all players to adapt quickly. and the workplace is no exception.
changes in work dynamics will necessarily lead to changes in space. increasingly, company managers are looking for a space that adapts to their business reality, to the reality of their employees, and not the other way around. and I do not speak only about questions regarding the size of the team. I also speak about dynamics related to the organization of work. with work meetings. with team moments. with work events. for example, if one of your clients is more receptive to meeting in a formal, conservative space, and if your office does not have that environment, what do you do? if your client happens to be in the creative field and likes offices with an industrial style, do you have an option? a company does not normally have these different spaces in its facilities. of course, a company can be successful with only one typology, but it seems to me not very versatile. not very flexible. that is why sitio has a network of distinct spaces. that is why we continue to create differentiated spaces. because we believe that although each company has an identity, and values one type of space more than another, it will want to see its needs answered by spaces of other natures or environments, along its path.
I believe that these new professional dynamics have tended to stabilize in a balance between face-to-face moments of teamwork, fundamental for social interaction and promotion of a sense of belonging and of group, and moments of individualized work that can be carried out at the company’s headquarters, at home, or in shared spaces as the employee and the company deem to be most beneficial. and it is in this context of a new relationship that spatial flexibility becomes central and for which sitio offers several alternatives.
at sitio, the idea of business flexibility is reflected in three ways. the first is related to the possibility that members can enjoy the various locations, regardless of where they are based, hold their meetings or work in any of our spaces. the second concerns the fact that a member has different alternatives to carry out his events, always receiving all our support. third, a company can have teams located in various sitio spaces, either with private offices or with mobile stations for its employees to work in dedicated places, but closer to home – something that can be interesting for both medium and large-size companies. for growing companies. for companies that see advantages in these work dynamics, that see a future, inevitable, but with a future.
author Pedro Snow, partner of sitio and architect at POLIGONO