Does your workspace help or hinder your employees? Does it motivate or deter productivity? In dezeen architecture and design magazine, it was reported that the right office design can have a huge bearing on the happiness of employees, more so even than pay rises. Employees look for a sense of “belonging, connection and contributing to a greater good” in their work environment, reflecting high levels of connectedness in their personal lives through social media.
Of course, employee happiness needs to be balanced with business goals. In this article, we hope to share with you our top ideas for creating an optimal work environment for your employees and at the same time maximise your business ambitions. By the end, you might well be asking – is it time for an office redesign?
1. Customer impressions
They say a website is a virtual shop window to the world. A slick, clean website is undoubtedly important for winning new business. Imagine then the surprise and dare we say disappointment when a prospective client walks into your office and finds a tired and dated office space. First impressions really do count. A bright, smart and modern space suggests latest business thinking. A colourful and creative work environment suggests innovation and flair.
2. Moving to collaborative ways of working
In order to respond proactively to changes at an industry level, it might be necessary to make changes to your work environment. More and more, employees from separate disciplines and functions are required to collaborate in project teams or multi-disciplinary work teams. This might necessitate an office space redesign to facilitate collaborative working which encourages interaction and cooperation; open spaces for round table thinking, enclosed spaces for private or individual working; co-working spaces for joint projects with customers or other industry players. You might also want your office space redesign to incorporate elements of agile working, a way of working that utilises the smartest elements of time, location, role and source.
3. Improving the well-being of employees – breakout and respite areas
It is neither healthy nor productive to be sat at one’s desk for long periods. Breakout spaces provide respite from long spells in front of the computer and facilitate collaborative working and the sharing of ideas. Combined with facilities for making/dispensing hot drinks and refreshments, these areas can be multi-functional and are effective in bringing colleagues together in an informal way.
4. Running out of space!
It’s easy when recruiting new staff to overlook the issue of where to accommodate them so that you are faced with the real problem of overcrowding. An overcrowded work space has a big impact on employee wellbeing and productivity. Noisy, cluttered and disorganised workspaces can hinder creativity and affect morale. Putting workspaces in breakout or respite areas should not be considered as the answer. Instead, creative solutions such as building a mezzanine floor or re-orientating workstations, partitions or whole floor layouts should be investigated.