It was the great and inspirational Sir William Churchill who claimed that while “we shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us”. This simple but insightful piece of wisdom has huge connotations in the workplace, where it is crucial for employees to remain motivated and inspired at all times.
There is no doubt that an intelligent and intuitive office design remains a key driver of workplace morale, with Silicon Valley firms such as Facebook and Google providing a relevant case in point. These firms use their creativity and immense budgets to create flexible and extremely interactive workplaces, which serve as magnets for talent and key motivational tools.
The key design elements that contribute to a Productive Workspace
While this principle is sound, however, very few businesses boast the kind of revenues that drive Facebook and Google. Rather than being deterred, however, it is important that small and medium sized business-owners maintain a proactive approach and seek out cheaper, more creative ways of using design to empower their teams. For example: –
Create a workspace that is tailored to Individual Employee needs
Arguably the most important step of all, your first step is to address the pressing needs of employees through interior design. This is supported by a study commissioned by Cabe (The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), which claims that the management and organisation of workspace represents an exercise in internal branding. Just as traditional branding addresses customers and drives external perception of a company, internal branding appeals to employees and empowers them through design. Before making any changes to your interior space, be sure to consult with your employees and canvas their opinion to determine the core challenges.
Optimise the space and create Alternative working areas
While it may be tempting to create a single, open-plan workspace, this neglects the fact that people work differently from one another. It is also fair to say that there are various type of task in the workplace, and while some need to concentrate more creative staff members must be stimulated by their environment. It is therefore wise to create alternative work areas within your office, from colourful and open-plan brainstorming rooms to secluded meeting rooms that allow for peace and quiet. This offers flexibility to your employees, and optimise their productivity on a daily basis regardless of their workload.
Offer easy access to Beverages and healthy snacks
While we all attend work to perform a professional role, it is unwise to create a rigid and restrictive workplace that has more in common with a prison. Your employees must have easy access to beverages such as water, tea and coffee, for example, as dehydration can have a huge impact on an individual’s capacity to focus. The quality of your employee’s diet is also an issue worthy of consideration, so be sure to place healthy snack machines around the workplace in a bid to optimise mental performance.
If we extend this ethos further, you should also consider placing plants throughout the workspace. Studies have proved that this actively improves the quality of airflow in the office, while it also lowers stress and anxiety on a daily basis.