You would be hard pushed to find a savvy business leader who would be happy for any of their staff to only work at 50% capacity all of the time, after all, you want to ensure you are getting optimum output for your investment. So, why do we take a more relaxed approach when it comes to our office space? Second only to salaries, bricks and mortar are one of the biggest costs businesses are facing. While having redundant space can be a nice problem to have, capitalising on these empty spaces effectively could actually help to drive engagement, enhance wellbeing and ultimately improve your companies bottom line.
Create a new breakout area or canteen for staff
As we work longer hours, the lines of our work and personal lives begin to blur. Providing workers with spaces that encourage time away from their desks for rest and rejuvenation is essential if they are able to deliver their best work. If your old canteen is in need of a make over, and you have spare space in your office, a WorkCafe could be a welcome addition. This type of space is particularly popular with customers, as just like the name suggests, it combines our requirements for working spaces with our needs for spaces that offer the opportunity to refuel and recharge.
If the redundant space doesn’t stretch to allow a WorkCafe, opting for small breakout spaces within the main office can provide a scaled-back option. Soft seating or reconfigurable modular furniture is perfect for this setting. As we seek more home comforts within our working environments, we are seeing a trend towards resimercial office interiors trend which gives a more domestic style of design.
Promote fun and social interactions…
The best working relationships come when we get on well with our colleagues and it’s hardly surprising given that we probably spend more awake hours with our co-workers than we do our children or significant other. Allow working relationships to flourish by encouraging fun, team work and social interactions between workers. A great way to do this is by using your free space to house some office games. Many companies now have table tennis, foosball and even the odd Neuf gun, all designed get workers socialising and interacting with their peers.
Whats more – the extra movement will get the blood flowing which can lead to more creative ideas and improved wellbeing – win, win!
Use it as a space for private focus work
A pocket of empty space within a large office is the perfect place to incorporate facilities for quiet, focused work where staff can go to concentrate or find privacy. This might involve installing a standalone focus pod with acoustic properties, or something like BuzziVille which offers noise control and spatial divide through more adaptable means.
A place to display digital signage
By nature, free space will also not often receive as much footfall as other more active parts of the workplace which makes it the ideal place to install digital signage. Digital signage helps communicate messages and information to clients and colleagues more dynamically and putting it in a less busy area will increase its visibility.
Reap the benefits of stand-up meetings
Research carried out by the University of California, Riverside has revealed that standing meetings help burn up to 50% more calories, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and make workers more alert. Using the free space to hold stand-up meetings will therefore be extremely beneficial for physical health, mental wellbeing and overall concentration levels.
Keep things flexible
If you want to utilise an area of free space in your office, but you don’t want to commit to one type of work setting, you could opt for a flexible solution that can adapt to accommodate a range of impromptu and collaborative gatherings. As we already touch upon above, modular furniture is a great way of achieving this as its easy to manoeuvre around the workspace. One of our favourite pieces is Pixel by Bene as shown above. This versatile solution can transform into bench seating, individual stools and tables, and even a bar if you are having a social event. The perfect use of space.