What Goes into Designing Workplaces that Actually Work?

What Goes into Designing Workplaces that Actually Work?

Did you know that office productivity is largely affected by the working environment that employees have? Some companies understand that a good workspace is actually a good business tool. So if you want to create an office design that attracts and motivates the workforce, here are the essentials you need to take into consideration.

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The demand for high productivity among employees leave management teams brainstorming on what to do to stay above this competitive survival. Besides pushing the envelope with the quality of work that must be produced, companies are also looking into the people side of productivity because it has a direct correlation to the revenue that a company generates. Therefore, such a factor should not be simply overlooked.

According to experts, “businesses that ignore the design and layout of their workplaces are failing to optimize the full value of their human capital”. A poorly designed office can hinder basic tasks which results in a waste of time and frustration. Meanwhile, those who saw the value in having a good workplace design saw a marked improvement in attraction, staff satisfaction, motivation and retention.

To create an environment that invigorates your workforce, here are some pointers.

1. The Right Balance of Sensory Stimulation

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A good design should be considerate of the physical and emotional needs of the employees which can be translated through an effective work design. The right use of color, space, lighting, furnishings and even the aroma all evoke a positive sensory stimulation.

For instance, inviting in more natural light into your office space provides a wider color spectrum which allows people to perform basic tasks. It reduces eye fatigue and complaints about headaches. To create that airy feel, experts suggest a glass wall to give an illusion of more space instead of interior walls that creates claustrophobic work spaces.

Experts say that sound levels in a workspace also impact an employee’s effectiveness. Poor noise conditions can have a significant effect on the employee’s physical health and psychological well-being. Outside noise, ringing telephones, and voice levels can create chemical reactions that increase stress and irritation. As a result, workers end up being less productive. Therefore, it is important that noise control and acoustic partitioning are also considered in design.

2. Embracing Individuality

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If a company wants to promote creativity, productivity and efficiency, it should go beyond just placing workers in generic cubicles. A 2016 survey shows that employees felt that the current design of their workplaces is making them less productive, while some believe that productivity can be improved when they attain the ideal office environment. This means that the physical environment, and how the design is made to complement the nature of their work, is essential in boosting a company’s morale.

By also applying the principles of good ergonomics, the workspaces are made to adapt to the worker. Imagine having the right leg room while drawing those plans or enjoying a comfortable space and lighting while you huddle over that project the entire day. It allows workers to be more effective.

Not only does this promote efficiency, but it also reduces medical costs and absenteeism because it reduces fatigue, physical discomfort, and tension. In a study conducted by Gensler, an employee is able to do their jobs more effectively when a company provides working spaces that positively influence their ability to work and their overall well-being.

In this regard, it is important to start with the end in mind when planning a workspace design. Determine what the activities are that you want people to succeed in on their job and design a work space that will make them more effective towards achieving the goal.

3. Privacy

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Among the top design variables that contribute to workplace dissatisfaction is privacy. As open-plan spaces have become widely popular today, many employees find it to be more distracting for their work than it is constructive. Survey even shows that employees are losing up to 86 minutes per day due to distraction.

Those who have a sense of privacy in the workplace are reported to be the most engaged. Numbers have shown that this can be a problem as disengagement in the workplace has been estimated to cost American companies up to $500 billion a year.

We have mentioned earlier that open spaces also boost creativity and productiveness. However, companies should also keep these stats in mind, and come up with a design concept that meets these needs at the middle.

Yes, it is possible to collaborate without having to sacrifice focus. A balanced workplace offers a variety of settings that allows employees to personally align their tasks and spaces to provide optimal performance.

4. Variation of Spaces

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Offering workers, a range of physical options will help them have a more dynamic working environment. For example, they can have their personal desks which they can customize, a thinking area or a brainstorming space, or a range of informal social spaces where employees can gather.

Experts suggest break-out spaces where workers can just chat, lounge, and come into for a change of scenery. Such spaces help take down communication barriers among employees hence encouraging spontaneity in the office. By incorporating these inspiring casual spaces into the workplace not only serves as a casual meeting place where employees relax but also exchange ideas.

It should be time that we go beyond what typically an office is for us. Instead of draining workers every day, it should expose them to an environment that would fuel their creativity and productivity.

5. Communicating Your Brand Through Your Space

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Branding should not be limited to calling cards or wallpapers. It can also be communicated through your interior design, which can go beyond simply putting your logo on the wall. Using the brand’s identity as a space identifier should get your started. For instance, if you brand yourself to be a modern company, you should not have Victorian or shabby chic chairs to fill your space. Rather, an office design aesthetic should be cohesive and reflective of the message you want to put across.

The physical appearance of an office also lays the foundation of the corporate culture you aim to imbibe. Which is why in conceptualizing design it is smart to inject in these spaces the company’s logos, philosophy, slogans, or color palette. It is a way of displaying the company’s culture at elementary level.

Office interior design is essential to a company’s success that it is well worth getting the help of professionals to get it right.  With the competitiveness in Singapore, it is indeed necessary that companies consider the environment that best drives the best performance at the employee and organizational level.

Get the help you need at OPUS. Schedule an appointment with us and let us design and build the spaces you need for success.

Photo Source: Pexels.com

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