Flexible Furnishings: A Lesson from Bruce Lee
“Be like water.” Bruce Lee’s words may seem mysterious until you consider how water behaves. Water bends. It adapts. It takes the form of the moment. It’s the ultimate flexible element. Can the principle of spatial flexibility have benefit in the workplace?
Indeed it can. Within the fixed boundaries of walls, adaptive workstations can be rearranged in almost limitless configurations. They can seat individual staffers, or group together to accommodate teams, or convert from desk cubicle to lunch booth to conference area in a matter of minutes. And when they’re not needed, they fold into remarkably compact packages that roll into closets or corners until they’re needed again.
For an office manager, this means you can roll with changing staffing needs at a moment’s notice. No need to purchase additional desks when staffing up, only to have them take up valuable space when staff is reduced. No need to hire expensive labor to rearrange dozens of workstations for a new project. You can adapt on the fly. You can be like water.
What about cabinetry? That too can be flexible. Modular cabinetry is designed to be reconfigured when usage or storage needs change. Unfasten the modular cases from their current position and rearrange them for a new purpose. Yesterday’s break room is today’s media room – the casework changes form to fit the new space, just like water.
You may even discover surprising flexibility when budgets are being developed. Comptrollers and accountants are more inclined to bend your way when you point to the cost savings of flexible furnishings.
Bruce Lee incorporated flexibility into his martial arts philosophy, and it was a winning strategy. Apply this principle of flexibility to your office space, and you too will be like water, adapting smoothly through any fluctuating staffing and project requirements.
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