In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in employers taking drastic and unprecedented steps towards improving their employee’s experience at work. These actions have included everything from wellbeing initiatives and incentives to people-centered and research-led office design. Without a doubt, the environment you work in directly impacts your focus, productivity levels and creativity.
The impact office design has on the effectiveness of a workforce has been well researched and it’s been proven that the correct supportive furniture, office layout and other design factors undeniably create the foundation for both successful collaboration and focused work.
When workplace transformation projects go well, it’s almost always down to the fact the designers have worked in collaboration with the various other parties. Design that is research-based always seems to be the most successful, and it’s no wonder. If you’re designing a space and you don’t know anything about the people who will use it, how could it possibly work? The results of carrying out surveys and focus groups enable designers to pinpoint what a workplace, and its workers, really needs, and design accordingly.
Whether you are considering an office move or refurbishment of an existing space to improve business performance and employee retention, the collective contributions from all involved in the process is vitally important. It’s key to remember that results won’t happen overnight. Even if the fit-out project has produced a beautiful space, the team will take time to adjust to the new working environment, and the changes it entails. The best way to ensure the process is as smooth as possible, is good communication. Make sure the FM team, designers, consultants, IT and HR department are all involved in the process, and that the process is then communicated effectively to the wider workforce.
A successful office is one that offers variety, agility and collaboration. Furniture like the mobile sit-stand desk enables employees to vary the way in which they work, and where. Having the option to stand to complete tasks keeps energy levels constant and the blood flowing to the brain. Standing up not only gives employees the opportunity to stretch their body, but also provides them with a change of scenery and that all-important variation. Office workers and employers are fast realising the implications and effects that being sat in the same position for eight hours a day can have on the body, hence the success of such products.
When working collaboratively for creative brainstorming, employees work best sitting at the same level, promoting equal discussion and the sharing of ideas. Holding group sessions in unique and different spaces such as bean bag areas, low stooling or around a dining table creates a more relaxed and informal atmosphere. Similarly, when people move to a different area from their usual, like an office ‘den’, brainstorming can become even more effective. It provides the chance to switch up your environment, which is important for creating or strengthening working relationships - and so, make you work in a more creative and collaborative way. It seems now more than ever, that supplying the correct furniture to enhance creativity should be placed at the top of the office design agenda.
Smaller changes can be made to enhance creativity, such as uncluttering desks, improving natural lighting, cleanliness and adding vibrant colours to the office. All of which will contribute to clearing the mind and making room for interesting, exciting new ideas. This combined with the inclusion of effective and supportive furniture, means you’ll have the ability to take creativity to a new level. By being surrounded by dull, uninspiring furniture, chances are individuals will lose interest in work, and this is one of the many reasons so many workplaces and employers are finally starting to take the plunge and truly invest in design and spaces that enhance and support those that work in it.
There isn’t a quick fix to ensuring optimum productivity is happening in the workplace; a combination of factors will produce the best results. If your workplace works and performs at its best, then your employees, who use the space, will mirror this. We all want our employees to arrive to work able to perform at their best. A workplace that supports the tasks they complete and the particular way in which they work will mean businesses reap the rewards.
The key is to ensure your office design includes variety, and options for movement. Although there are numerous ways of doing this, it’s important to decide which are the best for your business and the people within it.