Redesigning Your Office
Many companies find it difficult to know when they should redesign their office. As a result, they continue with their current design, even though it’s reducing their productivity. If done well, office design can improve the productivity, collaboration, and wellbeing of your staff. On the other hand, poor office design can hold your people back by preventing them from focussing and communicating.
There is much more to office design than just the finishes. While these can have a big impact on productivity, the main impact is in the way your office is laid out. Having the right amount of the right types of spaces is crucial to getting the best from your staff and real estate.
At Zentura, we’ve been helping companies across the UK solve their toughest office design challenges since 2008. Working with many workspace experts has given us a detailed understanding of how workspace design can solve some of the toughest challenges companies today face, from collaboration to talent attraction & retention. In this article, we’ll share 7 of the most common signals that your office needs a redesign.
The most common reason companies reach out to us needing help with their office design is that their space is now too small due to staff growth. Exactly how much space you need varies from company to company. If you have less than 100 sq/ft per employee, you should definitely look at an office redesign.
Running out of desks isn’t the only sign you have outgrown your workspace. How crowded are your collaboration and breakout areas at different times of the day? How much has your staff count grown since you signed your last lease? Did you plan that level of growth into your office design then? If not, it’s likely you have outgrown your workspace, and the productivity of your staff will decrease as a result.
Office space is expensive, so it’s important you get the maximum return on your investment. However, overcrowding will create a distracting and cramped environment, reducing the productivity of your people. This will impact you long before you see the obvious signs, such as running out of desks.
Poor Space Utilisation
The average organization has 30-50% more real estate than it needs! Not only do most companies have more space than they need, but many have the wrong distribution of spaces within their offices. The role of the office has completely changed over the last 3 years. with the rise of home working and coworking spaces, the office is no longer the only place to work. The office is now a collaboration hub, where your staff can meet to work together on specific projects, while they can work on focussed tasks alone at home. companies with a desk-based workspace are not using their office effectively.
In 2019, collaboration spaces took up an average of 10% of the office. In 2022, it is between 35% and 45%. If your office no longer suits the way your staff work, your people will be far less productive than they could be. If your space has some areas empty while others are crowded, it’s definitely time to consider an office redesign.
Poor Staff Attendance
If you are struggling to persuade your staff to return to the office, then it’s quite likely your office design has something to do with it. If all your office offers is rows and rows of desks, then staff will have no incentive to come in, as they can get a personal workstation at home. Besides, you not only want staff to come into the office, but you also want to maximise the culture and communication benefits that can result. To do that, a great office experience is essential.
To get your teams back together in person, you need to offer them a better workplace experience than they can get at home. To overcome the hassle of the commute, it needs to be significantly better. You can achieve this by creating a space plan that matches the way they work and a design that brings your brand to life.
Over time, brands and cultures evolve. If your office doesn’t keep up, it will start to feel outdated. Your office may have been the perfect representation of your brand 5 years ago, but is that still the case? Working in an outdated and tired office will harm the creativity and collaboration of your staff. A redesign can fix that by updating the finishes throughout your space.
Making sure your office design is on-brand is essential. It’s easy to get carried away with amazing designs and features, but your office is the home of your company, and it needs to reflect that. This is about more than the colours on the walls or the logo graphic in the reception. It’s about the entire experience your people have while they are in the space. If your office is a workspace that brings your brand to life, then your people will produce results in line with your culture.
Poor Staff Wellbeing
Personal health and wellbeing have risen up on staff priority lists in recent years, and are now among the top concerns of office workers. Outdated office designs that focus on cramming desks regardless of staff wellbeing have seen a steady decrease in productivity.
There are many different elements that contribute to the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff. If your staff often raise issues with you about the lack of natural light or plants in the office, introducing biophilia is essential. This will not only make your staff happier and healthier, but more productive too.
Ergonomic furniture is also crucial to the wellbeing of your staff. 7 in 10 office workers say that their chair has caused them back pain. Insufficient ergonomics can also lead to higher levels of fatigue through inactivity and poor posture. By making sure your office caters to the physical and metal needs of staff, you can maximise their performance.
Amid the current economic challenges, improving productivity has never been so important. Alas, the productivity of workers across the UK has actually fallen 3-6% over the last 3 years. The single most important element that determines an employee’s ability to focus is their environment. No matter an employee’s role or seniority, their workspace is crucial.
The crucial benefit of fixing your workspace design problems is the improvement in engagement that results. According to research by the Harvard Business Review, an engaged employee is 45% more productive than a satisfied worker. The better an organization is engaging and inspiring its employees, the better its performance. Office design is a crucial component of this.
Office design can help improve staff productivity by creating a space that matches the way your people work. Two of the most common complaints about offices in recent months have been the lack of spaces to work in small teams and the lack of spaces to focus. By creating spaces within your office that meet these needs, you are giving your people the environment they need to improve their personal performance.
Recruitment & Retention Issues
Your office design plays a crucial role in attracting the best staff to your company. First impressions are crucial, and a well-designed office is central to this. A survey of 1,000 UK office workers found that almost half of respondents agreed that the room where they were interviewed would influence their opinion of whether or not to accept a job offer.
Retaining your top staff is just as important as attracting the best people. If your office is a frustrating and unproductive place to work, your best staff will have no shortage of options to change jobs. They can easily go and and work for a company that provides them with the workspace they need. If you are having trouble attracting and retaining the calibre of staff necessary to drive your company’s performance, then it’s time to consider an office redesign.
Planning Your Office Redesign
As the place where your staff spend most or all of their working lives, their environment has a big impact on their performance. As a result, it's crucial to make sure you’re paying attention to signs that your office may need a refresh.
Want to learn more about office design? some resources you might find helpful are:
If you’d like to discuss your office design requirements with one of our workspace experts, you can request a call here. You can share the challenges you are having with your workspace, and your brief for your project. Our workspace consultant will be able to help you define your brief and see if we’re the best company for your needs.. Whether it’s a light-touch refresh or a complete redesign, we have the track record to deliver your office refurbishment project with minimal disruption to your business.