The professional workforce is changing, and with it, too, the way companies are designing their office spaces. While open floor plans are still highly favorable among established corporations and small businesses, companies of this revolving age are opting for spaces that balance collaborative work with solitude.
If you’re a new business setting up your first office, or relocating one, you have the opportunity to start with a clean slate.
Here we point out a few things to keep in mind when redesigning your office to keep up with the changing needs of the workforce.
Balancing Public and Private Spheres
The most effective workspaces promote a culture where privacy is valued just as much as social interaction is. It is in our human natures to want to connect, and then break off to digest what has been discussed to generate a new idea before merging minds once again to build on it. Successful workspaces incorporate design elements that foster this process by creating both private areas stripped of distraction and communal areas where people can congregate if they so choose.
Consider the following tips for redefining your space to promote this healthy balance:
- Create fluid spatial language by utilizing architectural wall systems that are movable, interchangeable, and allow you to “future proof” your office according to changing needs.
- Promote personal rejuvenation by placing single or multi seating areas throughout the space outside of common break areas, like bathrooms or lunch rooms, to signal rest.
- If you have the room, create a room with dim lighting for reading or resting; limit seating to a few chairs as opposed to clusters.
- Incorporate movable tables and desks that can be interchanged to encourage interdepartmental connection.
Limit Remote Work
According to statistics, companies that allow remote work have 25% lower employee turnover. While this is great news, the most successful work environments are able to draw their remote or telecommuting employees into their established work culture through flexible policies that, again, encourage social interaction while also valuing privacy. This creates a strong trusting relationship, and when employees feel secure in their jobs and their team, they work more productively and purposefully.
Consider these tips that will make remote employees feel a part of the team:
- Design offices that “feel like home” by incorporating ergonomic furniture and accessories and flexible furniture options.
- Integrate one or two conference rooms into your space that allow employees to exercise their right to privacy and have private conversations with managers or bosses.
- Combat workplace fatigue and encourage employees to recharge by offering amenities like phone charging stations, snacks, and workout/recreational rooms.
- Continue to make remote employees feel a part of your company’s culture by upgrading meeting room technology; dial them into in-office meetings by using 360-degree cameras so they can get a sense of the atmosphere and contribute more to the conversation.
- Create flexible work schedules that allow employees a certain amount of control over their work hours, but also encourage employees to come into the office through special seminars, events, lunch meet-ups, and social activities.
Setting up or redesigning an office is a stressful and involved task. We know first-hand from working with different companies that it can be difficult to manage the details. Modular Office Environments offers project management services, move and relocation services, and lease and rental options to companies who are starting their clean slates or are simply looking to redefine their spaces. Join the movement and go modular with us today!