Happy Workplace, Happy Workers!
Office environment is key to job completion! Cramped and overcrowded work spaces can cause employees to become dissatisfied and disengaged from their work. Poor office design has a great impact upon workers. In an international IPSOS survey commissioned by office supplier Steelcase, 84% of workers reported that their work environment did not allow for maximum concentration, expressing ideas freely and working without interruption. The survey found a lack of privacy to be one of the most sinister office issues, however they stated that a complete shift to private offices is not the way forward—it’s all about striking a balance.
Instead of just one office environment, an assortment of environments, each tailored to the needs the departments and individuals that will actually use them would be most beneficial to boost productivity and employee satisfaction. Here are 5 ways to support that an aesthetically-pleasing office environment can help raise employee morale.
1. CUSTOMIZE EACH SPACE TO THE DEPARTMENT AND ITS MEMBERS
How people work is what should drive office design. For example, engineers need to be in constant communication with one another, so they have a separate space, closed off by a door, where they can collaborate without distracting other departments. In finance, people who deal with sensitive issues and conversations work in personal offices, while more collaborative groups like Salespeople work in the open with their desks clustered. However some Salespeople do require privacy and own space is job involves a large number of calls. When an employee is not working effectively and efficiently, try to adapt the space to the person rather than the person to the space. Design your office around each job in your establishment, do not follow some ideology about how an office should be.
2. USE LOTS OF GLASS
The power of natural light is wonderful thing, as well as unobstructed views and unclutteredness. Glass is an extremely important material in office design. To make glass sound rather symbolic, it does help to create a clear space for free thinking. From a biological perspective, the light helps with happiness, energy, and morale.
3. OPEN SPACE ALONG THE WINDOWS
Most companies place individual offices on the exterior and “bullpens” on the interior. While corner offices may be sought after, they block any natural light from reaching other employees. Allowing as much window space for all employees creates a sense of openness, losing that claustrophobic feel!
4. PROVIDE MULTIPLE COMMUNAL AREAS
Although own space is important in the office place for privacy and engagement, it is beneficial to have a place to go where the atmosphere is more sociable and relaxed.
In order to address these needs in the workplace, you must establish collaboration spaces where no one would expect privacy anyway e.g kitchen or sitting areas with comfortable furniture where people from different departments can socialize, brainstorm and refuel.
5. MAKE YOUR WALLS INTERACTIVE
Walls and windows in our office can be written on or used as a board to display ideas. If you’re in a meeting and need to flesh out an idea, the wall’s right there. For note taking, virtually every employee is arm’s length from a wall.
There are two interesting benefits to this method. First, ideas become contagious—walking around the office, you constantly see and absorb ideas from co-workers who work in other departments. Second, a lot of us have a tendency to be more visual. We draw out relationships and connections in ways we wouldn’t if we were stuck on paper or limited writing surfaces.