Given how much time the average person spends in the office, you’d think that office spaces would be at the top of issues for company manages.
But more often than not they aren’t. Many managers don’t seem to understand that offices are about more than just a place to stay out of the rain.
They directly affect the well being of those residing inside. Many of us started in jobs where the office environment was truly awful. Some of us worked in basements with no windows, or porta-cabins with horrible lighting.
And, when we reflect, we realize that these environments affected our mood and creativity.
For many employees, a horrible office can be a deal-breaker. It can be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back and causes them to leave.
So what can you do to your office to help make your staff want to come to work?
Office Fit-Outs Are An Investment
An office refit isn’t necessarily a sunk cost. New lighting fixtures and commercial carpet installations can be an investment too. The key here is to be clever in the way that you update your office.
Ask yourself whether there are any opportunities to rethink the design and layout of the space. Often there are opportunities to do things that’ll increase worker productivity.
And in the long run, this can pay off in dividends. One thing you could try would be to create more informal, carpeted spaces. Many offices are now using what’s called the “adjacent principle.”
The idea is to build more relaxing spaces where colleagues can have flash meetings away from other areas that are best left quiet.
Some of the more innovative Silicon Valley offices are also experimenting with time-out spaces. These are again areas cut off from the rest of the office.
And they’re specifically for employees to put their feet up mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Short breaks, as it turns out, helps to make people think more creatively when they return to work.
Let Your Office Speak For Your Culture
Perhaps the biggest problem with office design today is that it is generic.
If you suddenly found yourself magically inside a random business’s office, you’d be hard-pressed to work out what the business was. Aligning your office design with your company’s culture helps to change all that.
For instance, take Nuffield Health, one of the biggest healthcare providers in the world. It recently had a refit of its offices. But it didn’t want something generic or purely geared towards productivity.
It wanted something that reflected the values of the company. As a result, it commissioned work designed to maximize the health of its employees. The new offices had a healthy-living canteen, a great gym, and mobile desk support.
Thus, Nuffield went a lot further than putting the company logos on the walls. The whole office space was designed around their health ethos.
Companies like Nuffield and Google take an evidence-based approach to their office spaces. There’s now over fifty years of social science research on what makes a great office. They use this evidence to make their employees happier and more productive.
So what are you doing to change the culture of your company in a way that makes people want to come to there job day after day, week after week, and even year after year?
Take a moment to share your thoughts and comments below.