Your office design matters in many more ways than you think. Sure, the sleek, cool break rooms with ping pong tables and basketball courts are great for attracting prospective hires straight out of college. But once your star recruits actually start the job, it’s important to provide an office environment that promises to foster their creativity and enable them to produce the absolute best quality of work possible.
Less is more.
Oftentimes, many desks in your office sit empty throughout the day, whether it’s because those employees are tied up in meetings, working out of the office or just collaborating somewhere else in the building. Some companies estimate as many as 60% of the desks in their offices are unnecessary and can be removed, opening up the floor for more free space. But how can you get rid of excess furniture without making your employees feel like they’ve been tossed out on their own? It’s simple: Adopt more community areas and collaboration stations with modular furniture. These pieces are easy to customize and rearrange to fit your specific needs, and they offer a smarter, more efficient solution for saving space. It is important to check with your employees before making a switch like this to make sure this strategy won’t negatively impact their productivity. Most employees find that being able to move around and collaborate freely with their teammates makes it easier to get work done (and makes the day go by faster), while others may have more difficulty adjusting to working without a private, personal desk to call home.
Choice is good.
Everyone works differently and requires different conditions to reach their maximum creativity and potential at work. That’s why it’s beneficial for you to include a variety of choices in your office design. For example, some people work best with lots of noise in the background and plenty of teammates to bounce ideas off of. Include some high-density seating areas in the office for these employees, so there’s always an office “buzz” in the background that invites more conversation and positive energy. However, some employees find this kind of environment too distracting to be productive, so it’s important to also include some smaller, more private work areas tucked away in quieter corners of the office. Similarly, try to include some variety when it comes to office lighting. Some employees find brighter rooms filled with natural light to be much more stimulating for their creativity, while others will get headaches or complain about glares on computer screens. Experiment with several different light and dark office designs in order to optimize your team’s creativity at work.
In the age of social networks and information sharing, it’s no surprise that many companies are beginning to incorporate the philosophies of ultra-connectivity into their office designs. Get rid of isolating cubicle walls, and replace them with wide open, shared conference tables, modular desks or other collaboration stations to encourage employees to interact face-to-face. In addition to improving employees’ efficiency at producing high-quality projects, community workspaces offer unique opportunities to learn about teammates’ roles outside of their own, seek fresh insights from coworkers in different departments and gain an overall better understanding of the business as a whole. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your office design. After all, the more effort you put into creating a smart, innovative work environment for your employees, the more motivated they’re likely to be to produce their absolute best work for your company.