Take a step back in time to the year 2000 and picture a typical corporate office for a moment.
Did your mind’s eye conjure up any images featuring ping pong tables, bean bags, whiteboard walls or nap pods?
We’re going to bet that your vision didn’t include any of those features. After all, until very recently the benchmarks for ‘good office design’ have been functionality, practicality and not much else.
In recent years, creative office design is becoming more and more popular as businesses finally realise how much it matters.
Despite this, only 11% of workers are highly satisfied with their work environment, according to a Steelcase / IPSOS study. This statistic shows that the majority of businesses still have a long way to go when it comes to getting office design right.
In our recent piece discussing our approach to award-winning workplace interior design, we showed that as well as just being aesthetically pleasing, various elements of office design can have an impact on a business’s bottom line.
Let’s take a look at three key areas where design can enhance your business.
Did you know that the British Council for Offices foundthat 97% of workers view their working environment as a symbol of whether or not their employer values them?
With more and more studies showcasing just how much employee morale is impacted by design, office interior design has never been more crucial for employers who want to build a thriving company culture.
The truth is, office design is one of the most effective ways to establish, communicate and foster a positive company culture. Every element of office design, from the colours to the furniture styles used and the art on the walls can speak volumes about a company’s values.
No matter whether your business is a super cool startup or a 100-year-old financial institution, a successful office design should make everyone within the office feel comfortable, engaged and inspired.
With this in mind, when was the last time you stopped to take stock of how your office space affects staff, clients and prospective new clients and new hires alike?
When considering how your office design reflects your company culture currently, why not ask your employees directly? You’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you will uncover, and when your employees are part of the process, they're likely to be more invested in shaping your company culture moving forwards.
Productivity is integral to business success, yet countless studies show that many workers feel that their offices are not designed to maximise productivity.
In the past 10-15 years, we’ve experienced a shift from cubicle-style office spaces to open plan offices. This shift has not been without its critics, as Steelcase / IPSOS research recently unveiled that 85% of employees said that their work environment doesn’t allow them to concentrate easily.
So what is the ‘right’ office layout to maximise productivity?
At DMA Partners, we are huge advocates of workplaces with different zones, each with a specific purpose. For example:
Quiet pods - perfect for those who want to minimise distractions to work on a deadline or take a call without background noise
Breakout rooms - where groups can host meetings, creative brainstorming sessions and collaborate on projects without distracting people at their desks
Relaxation areas - where people can take a break, eat lunch and bond with colleagues
Office layout aside, another critical factor in workplace productivity is ensuring that staff have the best facilities and technology to do their jobs. Outdated hardware and clunky software can drastically reduce productivity, so it’s important not to overlook this area.
With your employees likely to be spending around 40 hours in the office every week, it needs to be a space where people’s health and wellbeing is considered and supported.
There are a few ways that office design can impact upon employee health:
Ergonomics - staff tend to be healthier and happier when they have comfortable and spacious desks and chairs, and a study by the British Council of Offices reported a 23% increase in productivity when uncomfortable furniture was replaced
Lighting - research has proven that natural daylight is incredibly beneficial to employees and that 40% of people claim that light is the most important factor when considering their workplace environment
Plants - biophilic office design is a huge trend at the moment and for a good reason, as it has been foundto improve worker wellbeing by up to 13%
Temperature - perhaps one of the biggest causes of employee tension, a Cornell University study foundthat the ideal temperature is around 22 degrees Celsius
All in all, research proves that in the modern working world it’s no longer enough for employers to consider just the basic needs of their employees. To compete in the war on talent, they need to make sure their employees are taken care of physically and mentally.