By Penketh Group Insights Team
22nd August 2017
We often read tips and blogs about why it’s important to design a small office space carefully, using every square inch of space efficiently. But, what if your office isn’t small, instead there are large areas that need dressing and designing to ensure that the space is not only a welcoming and inviting environment for workers, yet still working efficiently as a business resource?
A larger workspace can come with its own set of obstacles; poor acoustics leading to noise and disruptions, the distance between teams and departments, making it difficult for workers to collaborate, or even blank, plain open spaces which lack culture and personality and are a far cry from your company values.
If these situations resonate in your office, then chances are you would welcome ideas on how these issues can be overcome. Below we look at the points above and give tips on how you can design your large workspace to become a destination employees enjoy spending time in.
What can you hear?
Acoustics can be a pain point for many companies and with the perception that it’s often difficult and expensive to overcome; it’s a problem that is frequently dismissed when assessing an office design. While kitting out your large workspace with the very best in acoustic technology and furniture can prove costly, there are key items that can deliver a great solution that don’t cost the earth and can actually aid in dressing your space. It will also help improve communication in a large office setting.
If your collaborative spaces are within a large open plan office, consider opting for a BuzziVille. This flexible freestanding furniture system can be arranged to either create a private area for focused or sensitive work, it is also perfect for collaborative work between teams as it shelters the noise created.
Another great piece of acoustic furniture that looks visually interesting is Fabricks by Ocee Design which can be used to create walls and semi enclosed spaces in the workplace. If you already have your furniture, this is a great addition, as its flexible nature enables it to be easily added to an open plan environment to reduce both noise and visual distractions.
If you have a lot of empty, bare walls around your office, adding frames and wall art is a simple cost effective way to help reduce noise echoing around your space. In our Manchester showroom, we have opted for abstract artwork in pink and grey tones, within simple frames for our Impromptu meeting area.
Is everyone in the know?
Having a large workspace with departments split across several areas or even floors, can mean that it is often difficult to ensure that all workers are up to date with the latest company news, and let’s face it – when you see another company wide email, do you really take the time to read it all?
Try adding some digital signage around your office, it’s a fantastic way to display the latest company news and getting urgent or important information to everyone company wide. They can be displayed around the main working areas, even in breakout spaces and in the WorkCafé, meaning that workers can read the information while grabbing a brew or taking their lunch.
How much time do you waste?
We’ve all been there, we start a conversation with colleagues and quickly realise that you actually need to have a meeting and involve further members of your team, but where do you meet? What rooms are available and at what times? Or, maybe you have arranged your meeting and you go to the space you have reserved in advance and it’s already inhabited by another department? In companies of all sizes it’s frustrating, but in larger spaces, with more people, it can be a frequent occurrence.
Reserva is an interactive meeting room booking solution that can take away the stresses that come with booking and finding spaces to meet. By using smart space management, workers can quickly see which space are available to pre-book or instantly use, in a way that is fair and efficient.
Time for tea?
We are British, we love tea, (and coffee) so in a large office space allow for smaller ‘brew stations’ on each floor. Encouraging regular short breaks is important if everyone is going to remain focused and ready to work. Having local breakout spaces that can be easily accessed by employees around the business will reduce overall down time as the space is close by, while also promoting a culture that recognises the benefits of staff wellbeing.