Regardless of your job title or description, one thing is certain about office design: it’s absolutely necessary to have a variety of office environments that are tailored to the needs of the individuals that occupy them. Many office design concepts that have been implemented too widely have the reverse effect than what was originally intended. In an international IPSOS survey provided by Steel Case, 84 percent of workers reported that their work environment did not allow them to concentrate easily, express ideas freely, work in teams without interruptions or choose where to work based on the task at hand. Office design should be viewed as an important tool to leverage productivity, well-being and engagement. Finding the right balance of the right office design techniques is the key to employee satisfaction. Fast Company shares five office design strategies that could make employees happier.
Design each space for that department and its members. First and foremost, how people work should be the leading factor behind office design. Adapting the space to the person, rather than the person to the space, is important to keep in mind. Designing around each job function is how an office should be.
Implement glass. In space planning, the implementation of glass welcomes natural light and clear views. Glass allows a clear space for thinking and promotes happiness, energy and morale.
Open space along windows. A large number of companies place individual offices on the exterior of the floor plan and corner offices in the middle. Corner offices block light from reaching most employees, which is why other companies place corner offices along the exterior and individual offices in the interior.
Provide multiple communal areas. Researchers at Gensler found that “the threshold for effective collaboration space is relatively low; people collaborate in a wide variety of space types and find those spaces by and large effective.” These same researchers found the opposite is true of focus spaces. People need uninterrupted privacy and quiet to stay engaged. An answer to this conflict is multiple collaboration spaces where no one would expect privacy anyway.
Make your walls interactive. Some offices are building walls that can be written on. Glass, chalkboard and whiteboard are all materials that can be written on and have special, erasable writing utensils. So, wherever an idea strikes you, you can always be sure to write it down.
From function to fashion. If you’re planning to redesign your office, let function inspire fashion. Ask employees about the office environment and find out what helps or hinders their work. Don’t withhold essential tools to your employees’ environments that will reduce the quality of work they accomplish.
To kick off the new year, rethink your office space by adding a subtle touch of glamour and start to view office design as a tool for employees to thrive and flourish!