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February 07, 2017

How a mixture of spaces in your office can support your workers

The secret to having a productive and effective workspace is through careful planning. A thoughtful design plan carefully considered in line with an organisation’s main objectives can boost overall productivity while keeping employees engaged and motivated.

An open plan is a common feature of a collaborative workspace, which in recent years has increased in popularity due to the belief if employees can communicate freely with one another innovation and productivity are likely to occur.

But should your workspace solely cater for a collaborative design? What if, for example, your employees prefer to work alone and in silence? In this blog we will look at how a mixture of spaces in your office can support your workers.

Plan ahead

A good office plan is necessary to ensure the needs and requirements of your business objectives and staff are met.

With a comprehensive office space plan, the overall productivity of your staff will be increased since the amount of time it takes for individual workers to complete their tasks will be reduced.

As mentioned, research shows that an open plan allows workers to communicate freely with one another which not only does wonders for workplace morale by allowing relationships to form, but innovation and a collaboration of different ideas are more likely to occur to drive the success of a business. However, when designing an office it would be advised to make space for individual working areas so, when needed, individual workers can concentrate on specific tasks.

Community spaces

Some organisations believe that organising spaces into “neighbourhoods” could be beneficial to the success of the business and its staff. These “neighbourhoods” make employees feel less overcrowded and claustrophobic. Overcrowding inevitably leads to untidiness and a lack of organisation. Working in an untidy environment, where piles of paper, sticky notes and general clutter are left to accumulate, causes distress for employees and a general struggle. Productivity also takes a back seat as it is not only impossible to find what you are looking for, but incredibly frustrating. Workers can waste valuable company time searching for files or stationary.

By organising your workspace into groups your employees will have the choice to work in collaboration or alone. There is a direct correlation between employee interaction and satisfaction, productivity and innovation. Therefore, employee engagement should be encouraged. Take a look at our blog about creating office design for collaboration to find out more about the benefits.

An office must also have organisation. To reduce chaos in the workspace, during the planning stage you must ensure you have areas for storing important documents which are to be filed correctly, drawers, cupboards and a labelling system.

The feeling of crowding within the workplace can also make people feel stressed. When designing your workspace try to include lighter, brighter spaces that allow natural light to flow. Also seek out rooms with high ceilings and walls with mirrors. These will reduce the perception of overcrowding.

A changing, working environment

As discussed, office space can be used to enhance the performance of your employees and create a number of different outcomes. For example, one space could be designed to create productivity and another for innovation.

Therefore, before starting a refurbishment, fit-out or office move it is important to recognise office space as an important tool for business growth.

It is also important to acknowledge evolving and emerging working trends. It is now the 21st century and with new technologies and material continuously being made available the way we work has changed. Our blog about how the workspace has changed in the last 20 years demonstrates the effect these changes have had on workplace strategy.

And you?

Do you think that having a mixture of spaces within the workplace benefits organisations employees? We love to hear from you. Get in touch by either leaving a comment below or via our social pages.