If you are seeing signs in your business like employees seeming less enthusiastic or just the right amount of goals being met or having ideas that used to come in droves just shriveling up, then it may be time for a renewed office design. A change in design can always get things moving along again and bring the energy back into your business. Changing up your office’s layout and look is a safe choice because it doesn’t drastically place your processes into a period of revolution and it can transform your people’s excitement by providing them with something fun to look forward to.
Aside from getting the cosmetic changes in place, there are other factors you should consider with the office design you’re about to undertake. Here are some of those factors and the benefits they will bring along with it.
1. Usage of space
Remember, the primary purpose of your office space is to provide a nice, conducive work environment for your employees. Providing ample space is essential to accomplishing this. Having ample room makes your employees feel comfortable and provides them with enough privacy to work effectively on the tasks they are required to do. Giving them that extra room also allows their creative juices to flow more freely and will give them the right environment to think more out of the box than ever.
You’ll need to factor your headcount when planning your big redesign so you can accomplish an efficient use of space. Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of planning for only your current headcount, you’ll need to pitch in a little bit of clairvoyance and forecast your future headcount as the business grows. Redesigns take some time to do and cost a chunk of change so always ensure you are planning for expansion for the next 2 to 3 years. A good approach would be to fill empty spaces with decorative pieces that can be moved around easily so when you grow there won’t be a need to suddenly shrink people’s workstations or deprive your employees of a benefit that they have grown used to, like getting rid of their foosball table.
2. Efficient flow
Excellence in design isn’t just about beauty and visual pleasure, it’s also about usability and efficiency. Your office should reflect this same kind of mindset when moving things around. You’ll need to make sure employees have the shortest amount of travel between their workstations to office tools and amenities they use often. For example, if you run a technical support team that requires a lot of access to hardware units to help them assist a customer, there’s no point in placing them at the other end of your product laboratory. While it’s nice to get an employee fitness program in place by encouraging them to walk the entire length of your office, remember that time is of the essence and more productivity can be gained by putting this office design consideration in place.
Aside from resources, you’ll also need to consider the importance of departments or people that work together quite often. Putting your human resources team in an isolated, barren wasteland area of your office is not a good practice because every employee and practically every department needs support from that team. Placing them in a centrally located area or near the entrance of the office is a great idea that will pay itself off by higher employee engagement levels and lower attrition rates.
You’ll also need to be aware of the externalities some departments generate that may be detrimental or may compliment other departments as well. For example, putting your sales team right beside your research team may not be the best use of design elements. Sales teams generate a lot of noise and need a lot of audible encouragement; this places them at odds with the more reserved and quiet world that research requires.
3. Employee preferences and making the most of your office’s benefits
While it may seem difficult to accommodate all of your people’s preferences when creating your office design, it’s a great way to increase their level of job satisfaction with even little perks and features that let them know they are important. Some employees may need to use the bathroom often and would like to be seated closer to it, some employees don’t like the air blowing so cold while others love it, some employees like peering out the window while others are afraid of heights. Putting these little consensus matters into consideration will go a long way with your employees and contribute greatly to their motivation.
Take advantage of some of the elements you’ve been given in the office to make it work out. If, for example, you’ve been given limited window space and not everyone would get to sit beside that space, then it would be wise to use that to place your break room or an employee chill-out lounge. This ensures everyone can have the opportunity every once in a while to peer out and let them know they aren’t confined into a tiny box.
4. Dress to impress
Of course, you shouldn’t overlook what seems to be the primary factor for your office design. You want to be able to bring energy back to your workplace and have people love coming over to work. Having your office dressed up in an impressive way with smooth and creative designs, spotless cleanliness, and the comfort of home places a sense of belonging, an awareness that this company cares about your employees, and a strong feeling of pride that their company is doing so well that they have an awesome office to brag about.