Considering that the average person will spend over one-third of their life at the office, working in a comfortable environment is essential. And that’s not only for the benefit of employees but employers as well.
Stressed, fatigued and uncomfortable employees are not productive employees, and unproductive employees lead to an unstable bottom line. Business success and profits need to be stable and reasonably predictable for accurate planning, forecasting and budget control.
But too many business owners overlook the design of their office space when it comes to figuring out why profits are not where they should be.
Reality is that where we work matters!
A poorly planned office can impact employees’ performance, mood, efficiency and even their health. Stress is linked to all kinds of physical and mental illnesses, and our working environment is one of the main contributors. That is why the office design is about so much more than just aesthetics.
There is no one-size-fits-all in office design:
When planning the layout and fittings in an office, it is essential that the type of work and purpose of the office is considered. Often businesses are so focused on aesthetics and uniformity that they forget completely about the ‘what and why’.
Different teams thrive in different types of environment, and that is why it is so important to consider what type of team will be occupying each space before the cash investment is made on furniture and fittings.
Productive employees are healthy employees who look forward to coming to work and are focused on the success of their employer. Productive employees see their job as an extension of themselves rather than a Monday to Friday slog.
Things to consider:
There are a number of factors that contribute to a productive working environment and here are some of them:
When team performance is key:
People who work in teams want to communicate with each other without effort, while still having enough private space to do what they need to do. An open plan environment allows easy communication, while well-placed screens offer privacy when required. But technology in an open plan office can become really messy, so wireless is essential.
People who are responsible for speciality tasks like accountants, developers, etc. prefer to work in their own private space, and their jobs mostly require infrequent verbal communication. If open plan is the only space available, ensure that there are plenty of screens to create an environment of privacy so that these specialists can focus without distraction.
Even in an environment where team members rely on each other to get the task done, there are still times where people need to do something on their own and would appreciate a quiet space. Creating equipped offices that are allocated as temporary quiet spaces allows employees to escape the hustle and bustle to get specific tasks done in less time and more efficiently.
All employees need frequent downtime during the day so that they can relax and refocus. Expecting employees to have their downtime at their desks is as bad as having no downtime at all. Downtime areas should look completely different to the general office environment in every way, from the furniture to the colour of the paint on the walls. Downtime areas should allow for hassle-free relaxation.
If you are cramped, sitting on a hard chair and squinting against fluorescent lights you are not very likely to be happy, and even though people can learn to cope, discomfort will impact productivity in the long run. The choice of office furniture is as important as the design.
Businesses cannot always choose the size and location of each teams’ office space, but they definitely can design each office space to suit the needs of the team rather than expecting the employees in each team to adapt to their environment.
No matter what type of business, having a variety of workspaces that are suited to different work styles, teams and tasks is the key to ensuring that every employee can do their best at work. Teams are not just about what they can put out at the end of the day, but also about individual people and what type of working environment brings out the best in them. Some employees handle noise and disruptions with ease, while others will become stressed and their performance will suffer as a result.
Most businesses don’t have enough time to spend on careful planning and detailed office design, that’s why investing in professional consultants is worth every cent.
All Office has over 30 years’ experience specialising in bespoke office designs; speak to a consultant today.