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Agility

The newspaper about work.

How will we work tomorrow? It is a topic on everyone’s lips, but hardly anyone asks the question, ‘How do we create more and new corporate values?’ A turning point lies ahead: it is time to rethink work methods and forms of organisation, and to move away from established routines.

"The successful companies of tomorrow are driven by curiosity and creativity. They create new values for the company by recognising their employees’ untapped skills, redefining work and identifying new possibilities."

Agile working originates from the ‘Manifest for Agile Software Development’ written in 2001, and is today much more than just a buzzword. Derived from digital technology, this organisational and work philosophy differs radically from the practices of most traditional companies.

Agility is not an end in itself. While many firms have successfully introduced agile processes, others have failed and returned to previous structures. Agile working is no solution if it does not suit the company and brings no improvements. Companies that wish to adopt agile methods must undergo a major cultural and organisational transition, while also adapting their offices to these new work processes.

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From the mid-1960s, Vitra marketed the Action Office, a system devised by designers Robert Probst and George Nelson. This kindled an interest in developments in the working world. From 1991 to 1993, the designers and thinkers Andrea Branzi, Michele de Lucchi and Ettore Sottsass conceived the Citizen Office project at Vitra’s request, which was presented in the form of a highly acclaimed exhibition. The interior designer Sevil Peach created the Network Office in 1999 on the Vitra Campus.

In 2006, Vitra launched the concept Net ’n’ Nest for communication and quiet retreat in openplan environments, and the Office of Options in 2012. Along with these theoretical roots, Vitra’s knowledge is founded on the experience it has acquired from countless office projects for clients across the globe. Agile companies wish to act with initiative, and be adaptable and inclusive. This should be reflected in the flexibility of their offices and furnishings.


"Agile organisations need agile offices. If you bring a flexible, agile way of thinking into a room, then the room also has to have the flexibility to change. Free thinking requires a clear mind. Agility doesn’t stop at the door; it encompasses the office space itself. The office is in fact a manifestation of the thought process."