By Penketh Group Insights Team
23rd March 2017
A well-designed office space serves many a purpose.
A big deciding factor for people coming to work for a company is the quality of the workplace and what it has to offer. More than ever before, people are attracted to businesses that understand the importance of a well-designed workplace.
Employee workplace satisfaction surveys regularly show just how highly staff value the quality and variety of their workspaces and the tools available to them. Here, we look at how you can design the ultimate office space.
Consider ‘space for people, freedom to work’
Aside from your staff, the biggest cost to your business is likely to be your property. So first, look at how much space you have, what you can potentially to do with it and how creative you can be. Think outside the box: to create a truly innovative workplace you need to do things a little differently.
Put your people at the centre of your plans. Ask your staff what they want. As a business, you need your people to feel energised and excited when they come to work – developing innovative and exciting workspaces will help to get the best out of them. Find out more about our workplace surveys and workshops here.
Look at how you can maximise staff engagement
As a rule of thumb, the more your staff can feel a sense of control over how and where they work, the more engaged and satisfied they will be with their work. So, look at incorporating break out areas for colleagues to reconnect, private areas for focused work or flip the traditional meeting room on its head. Take inspiration from Commercial Property firm Bruntwood, who opted for a meeting table with a difference!
Understand how collaboration and private spaces can benefit your business
Breakout spaces are highly valued by today’s busy employees. There are all sorts of spaces available, such as WorkCafes, soft seating areas and welcome areas which can provide solutions for informal meetings, quick brainstorms or connecting with colleagues.
But don’t forget that private spaces are much sought after too. As more and more offices in the UK become open-plan, the need for spaces that allow staff to focus without interruption is only becoming greater.
Make sure you incorporate your brand and office culture
The design of your workplace is a reflection of your company values and making a good first impression counts.
So, take a moment to think about how you would like your business to be perceived. Are you looking to position yourself as a forward-thinking, innovative business? A business that truly values its staff? Keep this in mind during every part of the decision-making process.
Ensure your workplace is a powerful combination of your colour schemes and branding. Doing this will naturally make staff feel more engaged with your organisation, fostering a culture of belonging.
Invest in staff wellbeing
The UK Statistics Authority reported that stress cost the economy more than £2.4 billion last year. It is becoming clear that staff wellbeing is no longer just ‘nice to have’.
Today, the most progressive organisations are using staff wellbeing initiatives to attract – and retain – a higher calibre of candidate.
Consider how you want your staff to act during the working day. Which behaviours would you like to encourage or discourage? The design of your workplace – with collaborative areas and private spaces for staff – will help to shape this.
Consider the three types of wellbeing:
Physical wellbeing – focuses on how staff can physically work better and increase movement throughout the working day, utilising products such as the sit-stand desk and Gesture chair.
Emotional wellbeing – looks specifically at how staff are feeling, with the idea that staff who come to work with a positive state of mind will be better-engaged employees. Implementing a WorkCafé in your workplace can help staff to connect with their colleagues, the business and their own work, bouncing back more energised and productive as a result.
Cognitive wellbeing – focuses on ensuring your staff are mentally prepared to be at their best at work. The average office worker is distracted every 3 minutes, according to a study by The University of California, so creating areas within the office for staff to focus without disruption is essential.