Office spaces that are responsive to a changing marketplace and the circumstances impacting society have a competitive advantage. Employees should be able to focus even when change swirls around them, and they can use different spaces that give them the freedom to work as effectively as possible.
Keeping your team healthy and well is a high priority due to Covid-19 and ailments from colds and the seasonal flu. Sick employees, upticks in sales that create demand for more workers, or economic downturns affect how many permanent and temporary staff occupy the floor space.
Photo: Friant My-Hite Tables
A strategic office design and space plan charts the regular workflow through the workspaces and environmentsneeded to meet your goals. Each space contributes to employee productivity and achieving the results you want for your organization.
The responsibilities that you have as an employee often begin at your assigned workstation or desk. Whether you’re the CEO, Vice President, a mid-level manager, or just starting out with a new company this is where you’re expected to perform at a maximum level.
Strategic space planning will allow for an effective workflow between individuals and departments.
Workspaces that are responsive to the needs of employees are considered ergonomic and make use of flexible furnishings like the Friant My-Hite Height Adjustable Workstation or the Hon Accelerate Workstation. Multiple configurations are possible to safely accommodate individual workers side by side or in small groups.
Photo: HON Accelerate Collection
When stay-at-home orders were issued during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote spaces became a necessity and not just a cool option. Employees who were accustomed to the layout of a corporate office were suddenly asked to work from home, competing with personal needs like children taking online classes in the living room or their bedrooms.
In today’s world, if a team member has a bad cold, but is still well enough to work, then staying at a home office or other remote space is a smart option.
Looking ahead, one-third of full-time employees in the U.S. are expected to work remotely in the coming decade as noted in TechRepublic.
What makes an effective remote space?
Uncluttered space is important, one where an employee can step out of their personal life and into their professional role. An adequate surface, an ergonomic chair, and an Internet service that has satisfactory transmission rates all help to make a productive work area.
And just like in a corporate office setting, have access to natural light and move often to change the body’s position and posture.
Getting together to lay out challenges and find solutions is an important part of any business. It’s possible in an open office environment to create collaborative spaces that don’t interfere with the work of individuals who need to focus.
Look at what you can use to define the space:
- Architectural walls
- Moveable white boards
- Vertical bookshelves with decorative pillows to reduce sound
- Office plants
- Acoustic panels to absorb sound
These products create flexible, or responsive, environments. You can move different pieces to fit the needs of the moment, keep the furnishings and accessories in one place or rearrange them to create a new area.
Add personality with the OFS Obeya Architectural Structure. You can add audio-visual equipment, curtains, additional panels, planters, and other accessories.
A collaborative space can also double as personal areas for employees when a group isn’t meeting.
Don’t confuse restfulness with a lack of productivity.
Whether it’s legend, fact, or a combination of both, it’s widely reported that Albert Einstein slept for about 10 hours every night and, in addition, he’d take regular naps during the day. He’d let his sub-conscious tackle problems and then come up with solutions while he dozed.
The lesson for us today is that an office that’s all work and no personal reflection is draining. We can thrive on fast-paced excitement, but many times we also need to withdraw and quiet down.
We can’t live non-stop in a fight-or-flight response, as noted in Understanding the Stress Response on HarvardHealth.com. Chronic stress “contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction.”
What does a restful place look like?
Define the space by creating a boundary that’s similar to collaborative spaces. If possible, allow for a flow of natural lighting and use plenty of indoor plants to bring in nature. Plants help the air remain fresh, they boost moods, ease stress and deflect sound waves for a quieter area.
Photo: Nevins Climb Seating Series
A modular arrangement like the kind available with the Nevins Climb Multi-Level Seating solution allows the furniture to be used for individuals or group meetings.
You can make a rest area look more like a living room and less like an airport lounge for the most personal touch possible.
Patios are a bonus. Install sliding glass doors to connect an indoor space with the outdoors where team members can retreat to for quiet moments. You may choose to have one space like a lounge for phone calls, and another space for reading, writing and reflective thinking.
No industry is immune from some sort of change today, whether that due’s to a worldwide phenomenon like the Covid-19 virus or technology changing how business is done.
Staying up to date is essential. Dedicate a small space as a learning center. You can have books and magazines on a shelf, a computer dedicated to research, and a bulletin board where you encourage employees to post an article they’ve read that lead to an aha! moment or breakthrough.
Photo: Global Linking Panels
Defining spaces shows that you expect more than people showing up, putting in their time, clocking out and then going home. You’re investing in them and you see them as the company’s most valuable assets.
Different spaces have specific purposes. Put them together and you’re working to create community and a shared experience. The team stays engaged with their work and with each other.
Get Professional Guidance on Creating the Best Office Spaces
An effective office layout takes deliberate planning around your corporate goals.
2010 Office Furniture can help to maximize productivity and create the best office spaces possible for your company. Share your space planning and office furniture needs to get the input you need.
The team at 2010 Office has nearly a half-century of combined experience advising and supplying the most distinguished companies in Southern California.
Read Also: Office of the Future: Plan an Office that Meets Your Company Goals and Personal Needs
Main Photo: ERG International
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: ERG International, Friant, HON, OFS, Nevins, and Global Furniture Group