In recent times it is becoming increasingly clear that a brand is only as good as its employees. It is important to attract the right talent and make them feel engaged, comfortable and happy. A lot of this can be achieved by designing an office that does more than creating space for people to sit. The lines between work and personal time have definitely blurred in recent times. Employees spend hours at their office and so, the office space has become second homes to them. It is my belief that every person in an organization must be creative in order to problem solve but in most cases, their creativity and capabilities can only bloom after they feel comfortable in a space and their surroundings.
Creating a space that is inviting and productive to the work is vital to increase efficiency in the organization. Traditional organizations need to make way for the younger generation and the start-up culture of working that they are used to while growing start-ups need to understand how to evolve into a more structured and corporate environment. The answer to the dilemma is pretty simple. Interior designers and HR personnel should work together to create space that combines different elements from different cultures. It is important to understand different aspects of the office as a whole in detail when designing an office space.
I believe creativity is a key factor in every single department in an organization so it is not fair to divide spaces based on creative departments and non-creative departments. What changes is how each space is designed to allow creativity to bloom within each department or team. It has got more to do with the functionality of space vs the aesthetic. Whether you use bright colors or dull doesn’t matter as much as how the space functions and operates. It requires talent, skill, and experience to plan out functionally beautiful spaces.
Individual Working Styles
We are all created different and hence we all have different working styles. It is important to embrace each individual style to maximize results and benefits to an organization. People who prefer working in isolation may find it difficult to be productive in large offices. Many offices now have pods in a larger office space so that people who like working alone can do so despite being in a common space with a large number of people. There has to be a seamless balance between the feeling of isolation and community to ensure that people are able to drift in and out comfortably between the demands of the job and their own comfortable style of working. After all, when different thinkers come together on an equal platform they always end up exploring and establishing new boundaries which most times very experienced teams cannot.
It is important to take into account the age group of the majority of your employees. For example, baby boomers as a generation appreciate structure and minimal change while the millennial generation prefers working in public spaces like libraries and cafes. The way a designer approaches each scenario should be completely related to the specific practice and office he is designing for. It is good to sometime mix up environments so that a kind of subtle passive learning happens between generations and age groups but it is important that the change is adaptable by employees.
The concept of work-life balance, the next important aspect for consideration, is an important discussion in the HR forums these days. With the lines blurring between work and play, it is important for HR managers to find a balance between the two to maintain harmony in the organization. The longer the hours of working, the more important this factor becomes. Gyms, spas, gaming zones, etc. are some of the unconventional amenities that are now being established within office spaces. Some of the companies that are considered the best places to work understand this and have made sure to create designated spaces for work and to relax and unwind. It has become extremely important to provide employees with an area to relax between hectic hours and meetings. By providing these unconventional services within the office space, organizations are able to walk the talk about truly caring about the well-being of their employees.
Meeting and Conference Rooms
Lastly, every company needs a conference and meeting rooms for their daily functioning. Whether it is for client meetings or for simple brainstorming sessions with the team, it is extremely important for offices to design these rooms with care. Different kinds of meeting require different atmospheres to be created. For example, client meetings are more formal and require companies to be able to convey professionalism and efficiency to their clients. Meanwhile, internal meeting to discuss ideas or team –building demands a more casual and inclusive ambience. They need to create a space that encourages participation and comfort then the creativity automatically flows.
Office design can’t be overlooked in any organization anymore. It needs to be inculcated into the HR strategy when talking about employee productivity. The leading innovators in terms of office design are co-working spaces. They understand the different nuances of ideal and adaptive office space. If one visits spaces like these, you’d notice innovative design elements that conventionally don’t fit into an office space. However, by thinking out of the box, they are able to create a space that is conducive to increasing employee productivity. Talent acquisition and retention of employees can definitely be enhanced by creating the right workspace. However, establishing an interactive and engaging workspace has to go hand-in-hand with creating the same effect in the organizational culture. Only then, will maximum optimal results be achieved in terms of employee productivity?