Why Your Office Matters
In the age of hybrid and remote working, it may seem as though the physical office matters less than before. However, the office has an essential role to play in the future of successful companies. At a time of such upheaval, you have an unparalleled opportunity to change the way your people work. By creating a great workspace, you can ensure that you are maximising the performance and profitability of your team, ensuring a thriving future for your company.
Deteriorating culture and working relationships over time have uncovered a major flaw of remote working: the lack of interpersonal connection. Your office provides a perfect hub to bring your people together, improving team alignment and relationships. In addition to this, you will be able to create a more equal workspace experience for all of your employees, whatever their background.
Here, we look at 5 simple and actionable steps you can take to improve your office, boosting the performance of your people (and company) every day.
1) Increase Variety
Variety has become a crucial part of the hybrid workspace. While there are many different types of working zones, they all fall into 1 of 3 categories: focussed, semi-focussed, and collaborative. By defining these areas and keeping them distinct in your workspace, each will develop its own atmosphere that reflects and enhances the kind of activities the space is designed for.
Looking around your office is a great place to start. By seeing what areas are empty and what areas are overcrowded, you will be able to understand how your people work, and how you can both cater to and influence that. If you have large areas of desking that are not used, you may want to consider adding a breakout space to help your staff relax and connect. If your meeting rooms are overcrowded, it may not be that you need to add more – your people may just be looking for flexible collaboration space.
Having the right mix of these environments will not only ensure your space is used as effectively as possible, but will also help to maximise the performance and wellbeing of your people too. By ensuring that your people have the spaces they need to facilitate their varied and interconnected roles, you can positively enhance their productivity.
2) Introduce Biophilia
As humans, we have an instinctive bond with nature and natural surroundings. When denied this, surrounded by harsh and engineered workplace design, creativity and productivity are slowly worn down, leading to reduced engagement as well as deteriorating physical and mental health. The concept of biophilic design is often thought of as the simple inclusion of plants, but it also extends to natural light, as well as finishes in your workspace.
The simplest solution, introducing plants, can increase oxygen levels and air quality, with all the benefits that arise from improved concentration and creativity, as well as being more visually appealing. You can also go beyond increasing the greenery within your workspace. As well as maximising natural light, you can also increase a connection to nature through the use of natural finishes, such as wood and stone. For companies that have access to balconies, courtyards, or roof spaces, giving staff the facilities to work outside can take biophilia to the next level.
3) Utilize (All) Your Space
Space utilisation is the occupancy of your office divided by its capacity - how many people are in your office compared to how many there could be. However, this definition has a serious flaw. It does not take into account the wellbeing and performance of your people - and the inevitable impact this has on your company’s productivity and profitability. There are two elements to space utilisation – making your facilities as space-efficient as possible and more importantly, making sure they are the type of spaces that your team need. This helps your office to be as effective as it can be.
Long banks of desks and rows of conference rooms waste a lot of valuable real estate. Using modular furniture can create small meeting zones that are more space-efficient and adaptable than traditional meeting rooms. Booths are also a very effective way to make sure your people have the facilities they need, without taking up much space.
Finding out how your people use your office will enable you to understand what parts of your office are delivering a high return on investment and which areas are underperforming. The most effective use you can make of your space is to create a workspace that reflects and enhances the way your people work.
4) Make It Your Own
Your workspace is an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand and culture to prospective staff and clients, as well as affirm it to your people every day. It’s crucial that the design of your workspace has the right balance of personality and professionalism to reflect and enhance your company brand and culture. This is not only the furniture within your space – the type, the design style, and the finishes. It extends to the layout of the whole space, and how your furniture interacts with the people in the space.
An easy way to make your office your own is to ensure the colours in the space are on-brand. Furniture colours and wall signage can bring your brand to life for your people, reminding them of the values and purpose of your company. It is also important that these colours match the activities the space is designed for – bright and vivacious tones are great for collaboration areas, while neutral tones and cool blues are more appropriate for focussed work.
No two companies are the same, and no two workspaces should be either. In order to get the best out of your people, they need to be surrounded by a spatial embodiment of what your company is and what it is trying to achieve, only then will your team produce their best work.
5) Design with Your People in Mind
Ultimately, the aim of your office is to make your company more profitable. To do this, it needs to provide an environment in which your people can thrive. Thinking about your workspace not in terms of features but user experience will make your office far more user-orientated. This will have huge benefits for your people and your business.
A human-centric office is about much more than installing a breakout space – it involves every part of what an employee in the space will experience throughout the day, right down to the tea and coffee. By thinking from the perspective of how to make your employees as productive as possible, you can create a space that meets the needs of your staff as well as your business.
By increasing engagement and wellbeing, your office can have a huge effect on the long-term productivity of your people, leading to a motivated and profitable workforce. In an age when the only thing your competitors can’t recreate is your people, a human-centric workspace will offer you a definitive edge in your market.
Improving Your Office
How your workplace is designed has a huge impact on your employee’s health and performance. A drab office with obsolete equipment and bare walls won't motivate and engage your staff nearly as well as one filled with variety, biophilia, and personality. At a time when the need for skilled and innovative workforces has never been greater, a cutting-edge workspace will increase their wellbeing, enabling them to achieve their full potential and create amazing results for your business.
To maximise the potential of their workspace and workforce, companies must question long-held assumptions and conventions about how and where work should be done. Rather than following the herd, you need to focus on the desired end result and re-think how to get there. This will enable your company to develop a working model that is perfectly suited to the needs of staff, clients, and shareholders, equipping your business for a successful future.
Want to improve your office? We provide a concept to completion office fit out service from initial consultancy through the design and project management stages. As specialists in fast-track office fit out in occupied buildings our team are highly experienced in delivering fit-out projects on time and on budget with minimal disruption to you or those around you. Talk to an expert today.