Office Design that Makes Teamwork Easier
If teamwork is vital to the success of your business, you must create an office environment where teams can thrive so selecting the right furniture and design for the office space is key.
Office furniture doesn’t just provide employees with a place to sit and work and make your office look good; it is also vital to employee productivity and continuous workflow. By choosing the right pieces of office furniture as well as the best design, you can promote communication and collaboration between employees and improve teamwork.
In reality, office furniture and design can either make or break teamwork.
Here are some do’s to consider:
- Make it open-plan:
Nothing hinders teamwork more than closed off offices and meeting rooms. Teams thrive in open, flexible areas where they can communicate on the go and hold impromptu meetings at will. Keep the office design open, light and airy, so people feel instinctively free to move around.Make sure that office furniture is light and more mobile so that people can easily bring themselves and what they need around a table or desk. Wireless connections, whiteboards and chairs on wheels, as well as tables or desks that are easy to move, is essential.
- Keep it multifunctional:
Don’t waste space ondesignatedrooms and money on hard and fast pieces of furniture. Use space efficiently and choose furniture creatively so that there are different ways to maximise the use of space and every single piece of furniture.
- Accessible power points:
Pen and paper are no longer the norms, so make sure that there are plenty of easily accessible power points available to keep laptops, tablets and smartphones charged. There’s nothing more likely to stymie creativity and teamwork than too few power points and slowly dying battery power.
- Teamwork is anywhere:
Meeting spaces should not be confined to conference rooms or designated spaces. Employees live in a mobile world and employers must keep pace. Recognise that impromptu meetings can happen anywhere, like in the pause area, hallway or parking lot. Rather than force employees to meet in one spot, make impromptu meetings easy where ever they happen by adding seating and work surfaces. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a few benches or high tables dotted around will do the trick.
- Make it look nice:
Nothing kills creativity quite like a dreary, pallid and poorly lit office. Inspire your employees by including bright colours, prints on the wall, real plants and natural lighting into your design.
And here are some don’ts:
- The meeting room is unavailable:
Many employers are still accustomed to the conference room concept for collaborative work or meetings, but that is so outdated. Making employees wait for the conference room to become available, or having them book time ahead for the conference room is a creativity and productivity killer. With the right office furniture and design, no team meetings have to take place behind closed doors.
- Closing people off:
Walls and partitions do protect employees from noisy brainstorming sessions and prying eyes, but if you are looking for creative teamwork it also stymies the flow of information within a workspace. High-walled cubicles prevent conversations and chance encounters, and individual employees end up working in isolation. This is fine for jobs that require high levels of concentration and focus, but it is a destroyer for creativity and teamwork.
Uncomfortable furniture and cramped spaces mean that most employees will want to keep collaborative meetings as short as possible and this hampers creativity. Adjustable chairs that are well padded and have adequate back support, as well as good ventilation and plenty of fresh air, are vital in team environments.
Motivate teams through design:
The design of their office space can have a significant impact on individuals and teams, which in turn impacts productivity. Teams function best in open plan, user-friendly spaces that have a warm and comfortable ambience with good lighting and plenty of fresh air.
And this doesn’t just impact employees when they are at work. Uncomfortable desks and chairs can lead to back, muscle and joint pain as well as bad blood circulation. Poor lighting can lead to eye strain and fatigue. A cluttered environment that is difficult to navigate creates low-grade stress levels that can eventually convert to depression. Poor ventilation can lead to drowsiness and the spread of bacteria and viruses.
An office environment can either frustrate employees or motivate them. Frustrated employees are irritable, demotivated and unproductive. Motivated employees enjoy coming to work, take up the team challenge and aim for success. What type of employees do you want working for your company?
All Office has over 30 years’ experience specialising in bespoke office designs; speak to a consultant today about designing the perfect environment to create a winning team.