There are many options available when designing a workspace or office. Some people prefer to go for a minimalistic approach, and others like their offices to look like glorified playrooms. Either way, the functionality should be the first thing to consider when building an office. But how much does workplace design affect your employee’s productivity, happiness, and efficiency, and how can you implement sound design principles in your place of business? Let’s find out.
Employees Need Collaborative Spaces
While some observers have started exposing some of the caveats of the open office, siloed spaces aren’t making a comeback soon. As a matter of fact, 45% of employees surveyed in a survey by Office Genie stated that they didn’t have enough collaborative spaces in their office. 20% even said that their workplace design actually hindered their work. According to one major architecture firm, four types of spaces are essential for your employees’ well-being and efficiency. They need spaces where they can socialise, collaborate, focus, and learn.
You have to go beyond the idea of a floor plan. It’s about offering your employees multiple ways to work. Standing and hot desks, private rooms, breakout areas, and lounging areas all collaborate to create a better environment for you and your employees.
Different Environments for Different Jobs
While some offices might reconsider opting for an open design, a recent study found that while they do pose some issues, the good largely outweighed the bad in most cases. For people who do creative work, for instance, being in an open space can help foster creativity. But for people who need to do work that requires more concentration, the noise and lack of privacy of open offices could be a detriment.
Also, you have to make sure that your workplace’s design will be universal and won’t affect some of your staff members. For instance, some of your workers may have declining vision, so curving walls or any type of disorienting geometry could cause issues. The design also has to facilitate those with limited mobility, be it your employees or clients. If you want to speak with a firm that can help you implement universal design within your office and create an environment that will be both effective and beautiful, you can check out this useful page.
The design has to Fit Your Business’s Needs
It’s one thing to create a space that is aesthetically pleasing, but the main goal shouldn’t be to create the most avant-garde office space that you can. The main goal should be to focus on eliminating any pain point or bottleneck that could get in the way. The most beautiful offices are not always the most efficient, and we are seeing a return to more stripped-down designs. You also have to factor in how the environment affects the well-being of your employees on many levels. That includes focusing on things like ambient sound, natural and artificial lighting, and visual aspects like greenery, for instance.
When You Invest in Design, You Invest in Your Employees
Workplace design shouldn’t focus solely on efficiency and productivity. You also have to add a certain element of fun if you want your employees to actually be there. The important part is making sure that you keep the balance between functionality and design.
One great example is the Ministry of Sound’s office design. They tried to set themselves apart from generic workspaces by dedicating nearly a third of their floor space just for socialising. This doesn’t affect the flow of employees in any way and doesn’t create pain points. Rather, it provides a way for employees to mingle and actually enjoy their time there. All these things contribute to better morale, which in turn contributes to better productivity.
A stylish and fun environment can help you attract and retain some employees as well and give you a more energetic and motivated workforce. According to one expert, the office only counts for roughly 15% of an average company’s overhead, which is much less than what is spent on employees, so investing in the former is usually money well spent when done the right way.
Design and Psychology
Imagine a beige carpeted office with endless rows of cubicles. Doesn’t sound too appealing, right? Now imagine how a new hire would feel coming into the same office. This alone could put a lot of weight on their shoulders. Configuration, colours, and design elements all have an effect on our psychology and can affect how investors, clients, and employees view your business. That’s why it’s important that you choose colours and a design that is in line with your company’s identity. You can also make different style choices depending on what will be done in the space. A place where a lot of creative work will be done could benefit from brighter colours and lighting. On the other hand, spaces that require more concentration and focus could benefit from more muted tones and a stripped-down design.
Design and its Effect on Employee Engagement
Most companies are trying everything they can to boost employee engagement in any way possible. Employee engagement leads to better-performing employees, less absenteeism, and less employee turnover, all things that have a direct effect on your bottom line.
One study by Steelcase mentioned that a third of the world’s global workforce is actually disengaged at work. And workplace satisfaction, which is directly correlated with workplace design, seems to be a major reason behind it. Employees who reported having more control over their physical space, which includes access to private spaces, reported higher engagement rates. The reason behind that is that more control allowed them to concentrate on their tasks better when needed, and switch to collaborative mode effortlessly, which limits frustration and facilitates work.
Workplace design affects your business at all levels and neglecting it comes with a consequence. It is your responsibility to create an environment that will not only foster creativity, efficiency, and collaboration but one that truly reflects your company’s philosophy and personality.