Competition is at an all time high. Between Social Media and the Internet, a steady flow of information is shared at all times, further complicating the way companies do business. It is no longer simply about the product or service you offer, but rather about the entire package, including the workspace.
Those seeking to attract and retain top talent, inspire innovative ideas, and increase productivity are now realizing the office space is no longer just about the real estate, but rather a valuable tool that has the ability to generate specific targeted outcomes. For example, one space might be designed for productivity, while another is designed to spark creativity and innovative ideas. Another might even be set up for both, just at different times. If you are contemplating an office redesign, consider the industry you are a part of, the individuals you employ, and the outcome you are seeking. Let’s take a look at a few items employees have deemed must-haves for meeting their collective needs.
If you have ever worked in an office with little to no natural light, fluorescent lighting shining down on you, you can attest to how UN-inspiring such a space can be. The unnatural glow of the bulbs generate heat and make you feel closed in. And let’s not forget the flickering when the bulb is on its last leg. Recent studies have revealed that Vitamin D is good for the body, something that a vast majority of us are deficient in. So lots of windows, allowing for as much natural lighting as possible is one of the top must-haves for any office setting.
The energy that you put into your workspaces is the energy you get back. Your company’s office design is a direct reflection on the company culture and brand, which is very individualized. Do not just assume that because your company is in a boring industry, it should be designed in a boring or unstimulating way. Your team is comprised of many very different individuals, each of which you chose for what they contribute to your brand. Ask your staff what it is that inspires them, how they view the company brand, and what you could do to achieve this look. And remember, it is not just about the decor, but rather the entire design that will help you attract talented employees.
What moves an individual one day, may not the next, depending upon the project they are working on and who they are working with. Therefore, flexibility is a must-have for all workspaces. Workers desire the ability to move around, confer with their colleagues when the time is right, and seek quiet space when they need to think without interruption. If you do not have the square footage to dedicate space for each option, offer flexibility by having one space double as another as situations arise.
Another key aspect to consider in aspiring for flexibility is various levels of office space. Ergonomically correct desks directly affect productivity, yet what works for one does not work for another. Many employees are finding standing desks are best for them, while others prefer sitting desks. Medicine balls have replaced chairs, while others have found treadmill desks keep the creative juices flowing. Having various spaces for different activities keeps the mind sharp and sets the mood for whatever project is scheduled for that day.
A Place To Get Away
Studies show that frequent breaks lead to higher productivity. In fact, in Japan, “naps are no longer being viewed as a sign of laziness or incompetence, but as an essential means of maintaining attention and performance at work.” While napping may not be something you wish to encourage at your company, most employees desire a space they can gather with colleagues on a personal level, playing a game of pool or challenging their teammate to an arcade match. In an effort to trim the budget, many people are bringing their lunch as opposed to eating out. Get creative with this space, as it is, in essence, a retreat from the hectic workday and you want your workforce to come back refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day.
Cleanliness and Organization
Whether you are that person who keeps their desk in complete disarray, yet knows where everything is, or has a place for everything, organization and cleanliness are a must. We recently polled the iOffice staff to find the top 15 Irritating Office Habits We Should All Strive To Break and found that cleanliness ranked high on the list. When transforming your company’s office space, keep this little tidbit in mind. By creating an organized space, you lead by example and encourage those around to do the same.
If you are seeking out ways to make better use of your real estate, it is important first to recognize the space as more than just an asset. It is an opportunity for growth. We spend more of our waking hours in the office than anywhere else, why would we not want to transform it into a source of inspiration? If you are still having trouble coming up with innovative ideas, take a look at some of the coolest offices in the world and draw from their ingenuity. Your staff will thank you for it.