5 Hints Your Office Design Needs a Shot in the Arm
Designing an office isn’t a one-time event. Spaces are meant to be fluid. Today’s office spaces have to be fluid. With today’s modern workforce, plus the continual changes in technology, frequent updates have to be commonplace in your office space planning strategy if you want an office design that keeps your workforce motivated and productive.
Here’s when you know your office design needs a refresh, and the office design ideas you can use to give the space an effective makeover.
1. Focus and productivity are low.
Have you noticed more and more projects aren’t getting completed on time? Or you star-employees who used to hammer out a task in an hour now take three hours to finish the same task? These are signs it’s time to minimize distractions, maybe update your current color schemes and bring in some natural light.
If you currently have an open-office layout, consider getting desk partitions or building small breakout meeting spaces so employees can focus and get their heads-down work done distraction-free. And the color of your walls and office artwork might seem like something minimal, but color has been proven to improve focus and productivity. Paint and decorate your office in blue, green and yellow shades to boost focus, productivity and creativity. You should also add in green plants, as they’ve been found to increase productivity by 12%.
Lighting is another area that can have a positive or negative effect on productivity. Poorly-lit offices cause eye strain, headaches, drowsiness and boredom—none of which are good for workplace performance. The solution is natural light. As a study found that people who work in environments with this lighting sleep better at night and therefore show up to work better rested and ready to be productive.
2. You want happier, healthier employees.
Employees who sit at the same desk, surrounded by the same bland white walls, 40+ hours a week can driven to the madhouse really quick.
Again, color is an easy officespace facelift here. Bring in blues and greens for happier, more effective employees, and yellow since its hues represent optimism. Natural sunlight also improves people’s health, so by adding a few windows or moving work zones near windows will ‘brighten up’ their day and ensure some strong bones with the extra Vitamin D throughout their workdays.
The other ways to have happier, healthier employees incorporating things they’ll enjoy : rooftop garden, individual pods for gaming, climbing wall at on-site gym, bowling alley or even just a simple a break room ping pong and foosball to get away from their desk and quickly recharge. And if your office still keeps your employees stuck in cubicles, knock down those walls or, at least, have lower dividers to encourage socialization and collaboration.
A balanced work environment that offers ways to work as well as have a little fun and socialize helps workers be more relaxed and happy, which ultimately ramps up innovation and productivity.
3. Teams or departments need more space flexibility.
Having a total open-office layout may not be your answer here. Creating more flexible work spaces might be as simple as rearranging furniture or putting in a few adjustable walls. Maybe creating floor neighborhoods for each team that are tailored to how each needs to work and collaborate would be a, or perhaps desk hoteling, is the answer to your space flexibility needs.
When employees have the flexibility and freedom to move as their day or current task calls for it, employees will perform better, be more satisfied and better motivated in the jobs, according to a workplace survey.
4. You’re experiencing growth.
Business is booming, and you’ve recently had an influx of new hires. But your old office design isn’t going to hold your employees or allow them to effectively work. This is where the workplace design trends of desk hoteling or activity-based working come into play.
Desk hoteling is good for company growth. It allows you to let employees work remotely, cut down on any unused office space and furniture but maintain growth and the right working spaces for employees who come into the office. Activity-based working is similar to desk hoteling in that there aren’t any assigned desks or workstations, but you have a variety of workstations (i.e. standing desks, couches, open tables, conference rooms, etc.) so employees can come into the office and work how, where and when they want to.
Effectively using your office space for your growing workforce means providing a range of work environments that facilitate all the different working styles of your different employees. If current furniture is taking up too much space, get rid of it. If your second floor is lined with cubicles, get rid of them and repurpose the area to include areas that cater to different tasks or teams. But key to maintaining a frictionless workplace—because friction makes nobody happy—make sure to incorporate the right tools to avoid friction between employees
5. You want to attract new talent.
A company’s reputation matters in recruitment, but so does office design. One study found that a company’s workplace design has a bigger impact on attracting employees than salary. Another study showed that 59% of millennials expect a best-in-class tech stack in the workplace.
Look around your office. If you were a new, younger job seeker, would you want to work here? If your answer was no or you’re unsure, it’s time to make some design changes.
It might be time to consider offering additional physical amenities, like an in-house gym, yoga studio or childcare services. Make your office more modern by updating to the latest tech gadgets and adding colors, textures and furniture that creates a modern environment while encouraging engagement. And like has been said earlier, provide a workspace that gives employees options to work how they best can. The General Services Administration found that flexible workspaces help companies hire and retain talented workforces, and that’s exactly what you need to do to continue being a successful company.