Longing for an inspiring office?
HOW TO CREATE YOUR IDEAL WORKSPACE - PART I
Are you longing for an inspiring office like Google's? Or maybe you'd just settle for a splash of colour? Look around you - if your office is enclosed by uninspiring off-white walls and rows of open plan desks, you don't have to break the bank to achieve an inspiring office space.
As our understanding about the impact of good workplace design on productivity and wellbeing grows, more and more companies are moving this up their agenda. So if you're fired up but not quite sure where to start, and before you commit to a project and pay out a penny, start by:
1. Defining what your goals are - are you trying to inspire greater collaboration or productivity?
2. Defining the character of your office - most importantly what should it feel like to the people who work there as well as your customers and wider audience?
3. Colour is key - understanding how effective colour can be on the mind as well as the body, which colours to use and which to avoid
4. Considering the use of other features with tremendous effect, such as flooring and lighting
5. Taking into account our other office improvement tips, such as positioning of desks and encouraging movement to improve productivity
1. Define your goals:
In this article, the first of five, we look at some of the different goals and reasons for redesigning your office space:
If your goal is worker retention and improved productivity:
- Do: Locate meeting rooms and executive offices towards the interior of the workspace with the workforce, who spend most time at their desks, positioned near the windows - we all know exposure to natural light improves mood and increases productivity
- Don't : Reserve corner offices and meeting rooms adjacent to windows just for executives - it can create a psychological hierarchy or barrier
If your goal is to encourage team-working and collaboration:
- Do:Provide shared spaces such as informal seating and breakout areas (but ensure that these areas afford a level of privacy - see below). Other ideas include shared enclaves, enclosed mini-meeting rooms, meeting pods which are in close proximity to workers' desks mean they can spontaneously collaborate without having to leave their immediate area
- Don't:Provide large, fixed meeting rooms which have to be reserved or random clusters of seating in large, noisy open plan areas which cause distractions to those working nearby
If your goal is to support a more mobile workforce:
- Do: Provide flexible workspaces to suit employee's roles. For example, "hub" employees require a fixed desk, "club" employees have more flexible roles that involves shared time between the office and other locations, "home" employees drop in to the office but are home-based for 3+ days per week and then there are "roam" employees - the ones that are on the road and seldom in the office. Make fixed offices and open plan areas smaller but allocate areas for those employees who are on the move but who still need to drop in for meetings or to use the office facilities.
- Don't: Not all workers require the same size or type of space so don't provide traditional, uniform-sized offices and large open plan desk areas that are will not be accommodated for the majority of the working week.
If your goal is support the different work functions and styles of your staff:
- Do: Give people the choice of where and how to work. A mix of open plan and enclosed, private areas as well as social spaces will ensure you support the different work functions and styles of your staff. The mix should include kitchens and social spaces, sofas and informal seating where staff can socialize and brainstorm as well as a range of different sized meeting rooms for focus work, formal meetings and privacy.
- Don't: Ignore the fact that a lack of privacy and too much interaction has resulted in employee dissatisfaction - employees feeling unmotivated, unproductive and stressed, that they are unable to think and work creatively and constructively. It's important to provide spaces to go for focus or just for privacy, somewhere they can concentrate effectively without distraction.
At Cashman Interiors, we not only design workspaces that match your business goals and objectives but which also work for the end users. So whether you are looking to provide a more collaborative workpace or to improve productivity, challenge the specialists in office refurbishments and fit outs to deliver a workspace that really works.