At one time or another, everybody works a job they dislike.
The factors behind this are many and varied. In some cases, the tasks involved with the role itself may simply be dull or frustrating; in others, the management team can be unpleasant or disrespectful to their employees.
Alternatively, the workplace itself may be to blame.
The environments in which we spend our working lives have a more profound impact on us than many realize. Stuffy offices, stark lighting, distracting noise, and uncomfortable furniture all have the power to leave your body and mind craving change.
When designing a new office for your team, or simply revising your current one, what can you do to benefit both your employees and your enterprise itself?
According to research, a lack of open spaces in offices lie behind workers’ struggles to concentrate and innovate.
One, the Gensler’s 2016 Workplace Survey, found that employees were less likely to tap into their truest creativity and inventiveness if they are trapped within enclosed offices with little open space. When working within narrow cubicles or clustered together at shared desks with minimal elbow room, workers are less able to relax.
In turn, they are less likely to be as productive as you want them to be. Open spaces foster an air of relaxation, collaboration, and sharing of ideas, leading to an altogether more pleasant atmosphere in which to work.
The Gensler’s 2016 Workplace Survey further revealed employees felt more empowered to innovate and create when granted access to varied spaces, cultivated for diverse working styles.
This covers open, semi-private, and private environments – all of which aid different approaches to solving a problem. While some colleagues may thrive on collaboration most of the time, others may prefer to work alone; alternatively, a collaborative-minded person may need a little quiet time away from their team to make a breakthrough.
Show employees with different mindsets that you value them all equally, by catering to their preferences.
Making a poor choice in your office furniture leads to discomfort, reduced concentration, and, as a result, limited productivity.
Sitting in an uncomfortable chair, at an impractical desk, for hours on end may cause back pain or stiffness. While you may prefer to believe that workers will simply ‘get used to it’, a lack of consideration leads to resentment (which absolutely damages productivity).
Don’t cut corners. Show your employees that you value their comfort and satisfaction enough to invest in luxurious designer furniture; this also gives your office a true ‘wow’ factor, sure to impress visitors and potential clients.
In short, with your new office design, aim to make work feel less like work.
As anyone who has worked in a bland office, without any characteristic decorations or distinctive touches, will know, a little creativity goes a long way.
Allow employees to choose artwork for your office’s walls (provided it’s appropriate), and get their input on new colors. Place luxurious couches throughout the workspace and in breakout rooms, to ensure employees have plenty of places in which to unwind as needed.
The more relaxed, valued, and at home your employees feel, the more motivated and productive they will become.