If your business has been growing for years, it might be time to expand and redesign your office space. To motivate your team to work even harder, you must design it to reflect your company’s culture and make your workers comfortable and happy coming to work every day. So, before you get on with it, here are some important things to consider when designing an office.
1. Multifunctional Spaces
Multifunctional spaces are some of the significant features that modern offices should have. It’s vital to consider this during the early stages of the office layout. When implementing collaborative spaces and meeting rooms into your office design, allow for potential situations that could happen in the future. You should think of these rooms as more than just a space to conduct team meetings. If you have to regularly welcome visitors into your office, you may want to consider having a larger office space to account for this. In addition, if you are expanding, your initial design concept should consider this. It would be a waste to lay the groundwork for your new office only to change it again after only six months.
There are many benefits to having multifunctional workspaces. First, it encourages employees to interact and collaborate since you provide them with the space to do so. By designing an office area with multifunctional spaces, employees can break the monotonous of their daily routine and be more comfortable sharing ideas, thanks to the welcoming space that a multifunctional workspace can offer.
2. A Space for Socialising with Colleagues
Your office space should encourage socialisation and relaxation amongst employees, where they can eat and work simultaneously in cafes, pantries, or cafeterias. The lounge concept promotes safe and social interaction while also maximising productivity. Some office spaces offer more than just an excellent interior-designed workspace for employees. A good idea would be to provide amenities like playrooms, fitness rooms, wellness rooms, etc. The way that people work in this modern age is far from the usual. People these days tend to prefer working for companies that offer flexibility and a healthy work-life balance.
Transforming your office space into more social hubs can also help workers overcome their worries about returning to the office setting after working from home in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Having a work lounge can encourage socialising and can be optimised to help shift between collaboration and individual working scenarios. The space should exude a welcoming appeal and accommodate changing working postures while enabling collaboration. After working hours, it can transform into a place that supports socialising and relaxation together as an organisation.
Aside from encouraging socialisation, the space should be able to support the organisation’s needs. It should foster a sense of belongingness through comfort and collaboration.
3. Breakout Areas
Breakout areas should be a significant aspect of designing an office. Depending on the size and location of your office, you may need to create a space where employees can relax and enjoy breaks between work. Office breakout spaces can come in the form of comfy areas, kitchens, and places to chat and relax with colleagues during a break. The space can also be utilised for other purposes, including a room for conducting online compliance training, or any other form of online course. Just as it is essential to create a productive environment for your team, you must also give them an area to unwind and relax. Employees often take advantage of their breaks to chat with colleagues and switch off. Taking breaks throughout the day can help them stay focused, preventing burnout. By providing breakout areas for your employees, you will reap the benefits once they return to work since they will feel refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to take up as much work as possible.
Consider providing other means of mental stimulation or entertainment for your employees to enjoy during a break, which can be very useful in an extremely busy work environment. For instance, you can install a TV in the break room, allowing employees to unwind and zone out between work. You might think an entertainment system can distract your employees and negatively affect their work performance. However, these are actually helpful for relieving stress.
4. Comfortable Furniture
The key to a good breakout area is comfort. Much of the value of a dedicated break area in an office setting will be useless if it can’t provide some level of comfort. Therefore, when it comes to seating and other furniture, choose something that can help make everyone feel comfortable. Your employees will love stepping away from the conventional office setting and into a homier space. It allows them to better disconnect from the pressures of the workday and take advantage of the relaxation zones. Provide enough tables and chairs where your employees can leisurely eat and lounge around. Equip it with couches where they can comfortably relax after their lunch. The breakout space is an area in the office where inviting furniture can make a huge difference. Providing a space where employees can put their feet up, relax, and hang out for a few minutes after lunch break is key to helping them stay motivated at work.
When designing your office, make sure you consider the lighting. Natural light in an office space is a crucial aspect that helps keep employees stay productive and motivated. You may also consider installing controllable light in each workstation, allowing employees to alter the lighting according to what suits them. Good office lighting can help drive productivity in the workplace. In case you didn’t know, light plays a central role in our circadian rhythms, creating balance and routine throughout the day. A well-lit office space can improve your employees’ wakefulness, helping them to focus more on their tasks. Well-lit offices have also been found to have lower absences and workers getting ill, which further contributes to productivity. One study found that 68% of employees complain that lighting is one of the reasons they can’t stay productive at work. Thus, lighting should be a priority when designing your office space.
Photo credits: Coworking London