The Importance of Office Design
As a business executive or office manager, you know your office space plays a crucial role in the success of your company. It's so much more than just a place where your staff come to work. It’s a space that brings your people together, inspiring creativity, fostering collaboration, and maximising productivity. That’s why it's so important to invest in an office design that maximises the performance of your people and your company.
Every week, we work with current and potential clients to help them plan their office redesigns. A crucial part of this is building a solid business case that justifies the investment required. Here, we’ll go through the 8 most common benefits of redesigning your office, and how you can maximise their impact on your next project.
Creativity is essential for any company wanting to stay ahead of the competition. When you invest in office design that encourages creativity, you create an environment that inspires your employees to be more innovative. From inspiring office design to dedicated collaboration spaces office design can play a significant role in boosting the creativity of your people.
To encourage creativity in your new office, make sure your design scheme encourages connection and activity. By using creative and activity-based office design, you will encourage your people to move around the office depending on what tasks they are working on. This will not only mean they are surrounded by people working on similar tasks, but they may meet and connect with people they wouldn’t usually. Having inspiring graphics and artwork throughout your space can also help you people to be more creative.
Collaboration is key to the success of any team, and yet many office designs hinder collaboration rather than encourage it. If all your office has is long rows of bland desks and boardrooms, your people will find it hard to work together effectively. Collaboration is about more than just sharing information. It’s about working effectively together as a team, which is much easier if your office design encourages such collaboration.
When designing to improve collaboration in your office, you first need to allow enough space. 5 years ago, collaboration spaces comprised about 10% of the average office. As a result of hybrid working and changing workspace needs, collaboration spaces should now be about 40-50% of your office. It’s also important to consider how your people actually work together. For many companies, this is in groups of 2-5, rather than 10-20. Consequently, you should design collaboration spaces specifically for these size groups. An open-plan workspace can also help collaboration by encouraging people to move around, meet, and network with other staff.
Improved productivity is undoubtedly the most important benefit of any office design project. Without it, it is impossible to justify the investment of time and money required. An office that hampers the way in which your staff work will inevitably limit their productivity. On the other hand, an office that is designed to support your people to be as efficient and effective as possible will maximise their performance.
To create a space that maximises the performance of your people, you need to have a variety of different spaces to suit the variety of different tasks your staff work on. For collaboration, you will need specific areas that promote working together. For focussed work, you will want a space that minimises distractions. Specific breakout spaces are also helpful to allow staff to relax and create a clear distinction between working and relaxation spaces.
The physical and mental wellbeing of your people should be a top priority. It is impossible to create a high performance office without designing for wellbeing. If your office is a bland, restrictive environment, it will hamper the motivation, energy, and creativity of your people. On the other hand, a space that promotes both physical and mental health will help to get the best out of your staff. This will, in turn, improve company performance.
Natural light and biophilic design two important components of improving wellbeing. Artificial light negatively impacts productivity and wellbeing compared to natural light. By keeping your office open plan and placing the most popular areas of your office near the windows, you can make the most of natural light. You should also maximise the use of plants and natural materials throughout your office. This will help create a soothing environment and improve the air quality.
It's easy to overlook, but brand identity is a crucial component of office design. When you design your office with your brand in mind, you create an environment that reinforces your brand values and messaging. Many people think of office branding as a logo in the reception and a few walls in the brand colours. However, branding is much more than the colours in your space. It includes the entire experience your staff have throughout the day, from the chairs they sit in to the coffee they drink.
To ensure your new office is on brand, you need to create an office that brings your brand to life. The first part is to make sure the layout of your office matches the way your people need to work. The finishes are also important. Digital graphics, graffiti, or artwork can help communicate your brand. It can also be extended to every finish in your space, from the carpets to the upholstery on the task chairs.
Talent Attraction & Retention
Attracting and retaining top talent is absolutely crucial to the success of any business. The design of your office can play a significant role in both keeping your best employees and attracting more. Creating a great employee experience is central to successful talent retention, and the office has a key role to play. It can also help talent attraction by delivering a great first impression that distinguishes you from your competitors.
The first step to improving your talent attraction and retention through office design is by creating an on-brand office design. This will make your staff much more engaged, and deliver a unique experience that they can’t get anywhere else. An impressive and welcoming interviewing area will also help make that all-important first impression as good as possible.
As well as being great for your people and your company, a new office design can be great for the environment, too. At a time when your corporate social responsibility is under more scrutiny than ever, having an environmentally friendly office will set you apart for investors and potential employees alike.
The most impactful thing you can do to improve the sustainability of your new office design is to reuse as much of your existing office as possible. By not unnecessarily replacing features, you can not only reduce the carbon footprint, but also the cost of your project. Your new design should also make use of recycled and responsibly sourced materials and furniture with minimal environmental impact.
Redesigning your office can also result in a significant reduction in running costs. Operational costs typically comprise about 25% of annual rental costs, so even relatively small savings can have a big impact.
The biggest way an office redesign can reduce your office operation costs is by transitioning to more energy efficient utilities. Energy costs have risen sharply in recent months, and efficient systems are more important than ever. For example, air conditioning often accounts for around 40% of a company’s total energy usage. Modern HVAC systems are up to 50% more efficient than systems from 10 or more years ago. This can create a 20% saving in your total office energy costs. Modern electrical appliances are also much more efficient than outdated options. Removing the need for consumables can also help reduce your ongoing office running costs.
Office Design and Company Performance
The design of your office has a significant impact on the performance of your people and, in turn, your company. From boosting creativity to improving employee retention, the design of your office can have a significant impact on the success of your business. By investing in office design, you're not just creating a space for your employees to work. You're creating an environment that promotes productivity, collaboration, and success.
To learn more about the benefits of office design and how you can build a business case for your project, read “what is the ROI of an office fit out?”. There, you’ll learn about the 5 most important financial implications of an office fit out, and how you can use them to maximise the return on investment that your project will provide.
If you’re ready to talk to us about your office design project, we’d love to hear from you. One of our workspace experts will be happy to discuss your specific needs and how you can maximise the benefits of an office redesign for your company. Book a call here.