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How to Create a High Performance Workspace

Effective Workspace Design

With continued uncertainty around hybrid working and economic challenges, staff performance is a challenge for many companies. If you're conscious the performance of your staff is dropping or not good enough, it's likely a major concern for you.


One of the most important aspects of your employees' performance is their work environment. In the current climate, creating a workspace that maximises the performance of your people has never been so important. However, this is much simpler said than done. Many different factors contribute to a high-performance workspace.


We've been designing and building high-performance workspaces for over 15 years. In this article, we'll walk you through the 7 key pillars of creating a high-performance workspace. By the end, you'll understand how to create a workspace that maximises the performance of your people and company. You'll know how to apply these 7 strategy pillars to your office.


Design on First Principles

What a high-performance workspace design looks like is different for every company. Your company and people are unique, so your office needs to be, too. It's not enough for your office to look amazing. If it doesn’t help maximise the performance of your company and your people, then it's not a good office.


To ensure your office is a high-performance workspace, you need to approach the design from first principles. Start with defining your current workspace challenges, goals, and constraints. By focussing on those throughout the project, you can create a design suited to your company.


To apply first principles design to your project, start by asking the hard questions. Key questions to answer centre around problems with the current office, how your staff work, and what is stopping them from being more productive. You can then build your brief around those. Keeping focussed on them throughout the project will ensure your workspace is high-performance.


Design for People

Your workspace is much more than a space where your people work. As the place where they spend most of their working lives, your office has a huge impact on their performance. The layouts, facilities, and atmosphere of your design will all affect the productivity and satisfaction of your staff.


To be a high-performance workspace, your office needs to reflect and enhance the way your people work. This does not mean a desk for everyone and enough meeting rooms. It means understanding how your people work and then creating a design around that.


To ensure your office design achieves this, you can survey your people. This will help you  to understand how they work at the moment, what is holding them back, and what would make them more productive. You can then work with your designer to create a workspace that meets the needs of your people.


Prioritise Collaboration

According to a study by Stanford University, teams that work well together are 50% more productive. As the main place where all your people are brought together, your office has a significant impact on the ability of your people to collaborate. This means collaboration needs to be a key consideration when designing your workspace.


Collaboration is about much more than meeting rooms. Typically, collaboration happens informally in small groups. This means your collaboration spaces should be designed accordingly.


However, collaboration is different for everyone. It's important your collaboration spaces are tailored to the needs of your people. By getting staff input, you can ensure your collaboration spaces meet the needs of your people. Prioritising collaboration in your office design will help improve the performance of your teams.


Tailor to Culture

To get the best out of your people, your office has to be tailored to your culture. It needs to be a space unique to your company that brings company culture to life. If so, it will be an inspiring and engaging place to work.


This will help improve your staff engagement by giving your people an enjoyable and unique space. Engagement has a huge impact on performance, so it's crucial to maximise it in every way you can.


Tailoring your office design to your culture is about much more than the aesthetic design of your space. It includes the entire experience your staff have in the office, from the location and layout to the finishes and amenities. To learn more, read How to Create an Office Tailored to Your Culture.


Enable Adaptability

However closely your office design is tailored to the needs of your people, they are all different. It's not possible to create a workspace that suits all of your people perfectly. The needs of your people will also evolve over time, and it's difficult to predict what this will look like.


As a result, a high-performance office design is adaptable. This means that you need to design flexibility into the office so that your people can adapt the space to their individual needs.


To enable adaptability in your office design, you need a variety of spaces to suit the variety of ways your people work. Modular furniture is the most important, as this allows staff to reconfigure a space according to their needs. Movable screens and partitions allow entire spaces to be adapted. By enabling adaptability, you're enabling your people to work in an environment perfectly tailored to their needs at every moment of the day. This is a key part of creating a high-performance workspace.


Integrate Technology

Today, companies are more reliant on technology than ever, and it's a crucial component of a high-performance workspace. A good technology package doesn’t guarantee performance. You still need all the other elements of a high-performance workspace. However, it's impossible to create a high-performance workspace without effective integration of technology.


Workspace technology is about much more than the individual technology your staff use throughout the day. It includes hybrid meeting suites to enable remote collaboration, as well as access control, room booking technology, and even augmented reality suites.


To create a high-performance technology package, it needs to be fully integrated into the design process from the earliest stages. As always, it needs to be based on reflecting and improving the way your people and teams work.


Keep Improving

Your company is always evolving, as is your industry and the way your people work. This means your high-performance workspace is never finished. It's a journey, not a project. You need to keep monitoring the performance of your workspace to ensure it's meeting the needs of your people and company.


Getting regular staff feedback about how they use the space, whether it meets their needs, and if any changes are needed is crucial to this. Monitoring for signs of overcrowding or any other signs you need to redesign your office is crucial.


By ensuring that your workspace is always relevant and always getting better, you will ensure it's not only a high-performance workspace currently, but will continue to be so in the years to come.


Creating Your High-Performance Workspace

Your workspace is much more than somewhere for your people to work, it's a strategic asset. Office space and staff are two of your biggest costs, so it's crucial to maximise their productivity, and a high-performance workspace is central to this.


Now that you understand these 7 strategic pillars of high-performance workspace design, you're ready to create an office design that maximises the performance of your people and company, driving your company to continued success.


To take the next step on your journey to a high-performance workspace, download the Definitive Office Design Guide. There, you'll learn how to decide if you need an office redesign, and if so, where and how to begin. To learn more about workspace design and company performance, read How Your Office is Harming (or Helping) Your Company Growth.



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