People from the ages of 25 to 65 (for those lucky enough to retire at that age) will spend 80% of their time working. On the flipside, work is also a place where we learn, achieve, mature, and develop who we are as people. And yet, this is probably the place that feels the least like home. Let’s try a little experiment. Take a good look around your office and ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable? Can I work to the best of my abilities here?” Did you answer no? If so, read on. We have a solution for you.
Designing an Office for you
Rearrange your office. It sounds silly, sure. After all, office design is very often the last thing we think of when trying to increase a worker’s productivity, and yet it remains a necessity. Often this “necessity” results in a stronger focus on furnishing and not on the actual design and how it will contribute to productivity.
According to our Academy expert, Jeremy Myerson, the workplace has seen three major revolutions. The first being the traditional office, also called the Taylorist office. This model was designed in a factory without the input of the well-being worker. Then came the 1950s with the cooperative office. Hierarchy took a step down to make place for companionship. Finally, the 2000s introduced a more digital friendly office with open surfaces to allow for better cooperation. This evolution foretells that as time passes, the more we will realize that the productivity of workers is a direct consequence of their environment.
Nowadays, big names have already adopted the designing strategy for their office – and it’s working well. Take Google for example. All over the world, their offices offer the best free services to their employees. May it be food, sleeping areas, gyms, car pooling services, playing rooms – they have it all. Their impact has been so great that Google has now become the new “American Dream”. Newcomers to the market, as well as elder generations, all fantasize about one thing: getting a dream job at one of the most powerful companies in the world.
If design is the key to the best productive office possible, what are the consequences for not paying attention to formation? Learning is a process of both cooperation and individual concentration. If your company is a regular customer of learning solutions, you probably have high ROI expectations every year and reaching them might be a problem. Your employees may not be fully committed to their tasks or decide not to utilize the new techniques they have learned. You may invest a small fortune in planning a good formation. If your employees cannot work properly in your office, you will constantly find yourself disappointed. Whether it is traditional formations or it’s less-disruptive solutions, such as “just-in-time” learning, you need to adapt the workplace environment to your employees needs in their day to day activities.
Here are a few tips on how to go about designing a productive office for your company.
Let’s get physical
Remodeling an office takes time and requires much more than merely going to your local furniture store to buy white desks and black chairs. You will need to provide answers on questions about your employees and your company culture. For example:
- Do I want to encourage transparency or camaraderie? How do I provide privacy when necessary?
- How much space do I really need? How can I make it flexible?
- What about working from home? Should I support it?
- What sort of reception area do I want? What should my office say about my company?
First of all, you have to reorganize the basics. Think comfortable and ergonomic, but also easily modifiable. You will have to create something that pleases your employees but that they feel comfortable in. Do not think that copying magazine office designs will grant you that, because the truth is, it simply won’t. Rather open a conversation with your company members on what they expect their workplace to look and feel like.
An office structure should also be able to make the difference between casual and quiet areas. Following advice from our expert, Jeremy Myerson, consider separation spaces, like organized areas. I call them the 3Cs: concentration space, collaborative space, and contemplation space.
On the one hand, while concentration space should allow for no sound and should feature dim lighting and easy access to information, the collaborative space should be personal for each team and allow for ongoing projects to stay in place without being cleaned out. On the other hand, there is the contemplative space. This new concept might have you wondering. It is indeed not a space for working, but rather a place for recharging your batteries during the day – an oasis of peace. Consequently, this space does not allow for any technology and noise disruption. It doesn’t need to be expensive, only comfortable and welcoming.
Finally, furnish the office environment so that it has meaning. . Adapt the design to your workers’ culture and their local identity. You probably have heard of companies whose motto is for their branches to be recognizable in any city. However, studies show this is actually working at their disadvantage on several levels, including for the employees. By decorating your office with cultural artifacts, you make it more personal, more of a home for locals. That gives them a purpose and confirms their choice to be with you.
Be well, work well
When it comes to well being at work, we often forget that the mind is as important as the body. To understand how to better their environment, let us take the results of the following study:
There are three things that employees want more than money: to feel like there is a meaning to what they are doing, to be members of the company, and to be masters in their work (the 3 Ms).
First, it is important to nurture them for who they are. Arrange the office to urge a sense of belonging. Include elements of the local community, do not use material they feel uncomfortable in. For example, vegans will not enjoy sitting on leather couches. You can repeat this process by including humanitarian activities and sustainable development at work. On the other hand, allowing for people to cook their own food in a proper kitchen at work or to have access to fresh fruit and vegetable makes for a happier crew, healthier communication, and a more productive work day. You need to design and organize with your employees in mind.
In order to know all of this, it is necessary to involve them in the process of redesigning your office. Ask them what they want and how. to come up with the ideal organization of space crowd source ideas from your team. You will be surprised at how much this will positively impact their productivity.
In addition to positively influencing the mood of coworkers; reorganizing your office will be the push you need to get the best results possible during formations.
Indeed, it will lead to a rise in motivation among your company members. By enhancing the image of your company to their expectation, you will be giving them the motivation to do their best. But most of all, it will have tremendous consequences on their learning experience. It will produce a higher productivity rate, due to the allocation of spaces for cooperation and others for concentration.
Enabling them to reach a higher psychological stability is a necessity if we wish to see a rise in cooperation among learners. An honest transparent conversation should then take place. It will enable fluid cooperation, notably when more members provide comments on the way to operate. making it easier to ask them to fulfill tasks quickly. Progressing will be easier (see the 70:20:10 for more information) and it will create a homogenous team of workers. To sum it up: your workers will make more progress in less time for a better result.
To conclude, it is important to underline that office design is also a crucial part of retaining your company’s intellectual workforce. In today’s fast-changing world and innovations to corporate structure, workers everywhere are starting to have more flexibility to work from home. Encouraging employees to come to your company’s physical space is therefore crucial to making sure your company maintains the potential it has today.