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Tips to Help You Begin the Office Redesign

Tips to Help You Begin the Office Redesign

Posted In // Design Tips

In 2017, office redesign is far more complex than a coat of paint and rearranging some new furniture. It’s a major investment that can affect everything from reputation, worker satisfaction and ultimately revenue. So where does the right office redesign begin? It begins with a lot of questions to hone in on why a redesign is a smart move and what is needed to achieve.

Are basic needs being met?

According to a recent report titled “Innovative Workplace Strategies,” the U.S. General Services Administration offers the “Hallmarks of the Productive Workplace” and recommends examining:

  • Spatial equity: Is there enough space for workers to to get the job done?
  • Healthfulness: Is there clean air and water, sufficient artificial and natural light, and freedom from distracting noises and smells?
  • Flexibility: Can the workplace adjust to changing needs?
  • Comfort: Can workers adjust light, temperature, furnishings and acoustic levels to their preferences?
  • Connectivity: Can on- and off-site workers share the same networks and data, and communicate easily?
  • Reliability: Are technology systems and the physical office systems (heat, cooling, water) reliable? Are upgrades necessary for an expanding office?

Consider the seven attributes of workspaces

Harvard Business Review takes those basics a step further and suggests managers discuss with their teams the following seven attributes of workspaces, identifying what would be ideal in the context of what the team does:

  • Location: The degree to which space is accessible to all.
  • Enclosure: Walls and doors or totally open?
  • Exposure: Public - or visual and acoustic privacy?
  • Technology: High-tech or low-tech?
  • Temporality: The degree to which the space invites lingering.
  • Perspective: The direction in which the space focuses the user’s attention.
  • Size: What is the usable square footage?
All the findings are then assessed to help prioritize needs.

Now contemplate the workforce

Business.com says 89 of the U.S. Fortune 100 companies use personality testing, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to select ideal candidates. That same testing has applications in office design.

Extroverts are most productive in casual, open spaces where they can brainstorm and collaborate. For them, a flexible work environment is ideal, with big tables, large sofas.

Introverts can work in bigger groups, but productivity will fall without access to quiet areas. They tend to find constant social interaction draining and distracting, and can achieve the same results and be as valuable as extroverts, but need a private space in which to prepare for a presentation rather than respond off-the-cuff.

Ambiverts are interchangeably powered by social interaction and periods of quiet.

To accommodate all personalities, the 4 Zone model of agile working is recommended:

  • Focus zone offers access to little rooms, acoustic pods and quiet areas. Should comprise 50 percent of the space.
  • Collaboration zones accessible for non-planned and informal meetings and should comprise 30 percent of the space.
  • Meeting zones for formal, confidential meetings.
  • Social zones where staff can recharge. The 2010 International Workplace Productivity Survey indicates that employees need regular breaks to operate at peak performance.

And the company’s goals?

Because there is no one-size-fits-all office redesign, entrepreneur.com suggests those in charge ask the following questions:

  • What should the office space to convey to clients and employees?
  • Is the reception area warm and welcoming?
  • What are the problems with the existing design?
  • How can the space be as green as possible?
  • How much space is really needed? How many employees are working remotely?
  • If camaraderie and transparency are key, then how can privacy be provided when necessary?
  • What employee behaviors, such as recycling or interdepartmental mingling, should the design encourage?
  • How can flexibility be incorporated into the new design?
With so many questions to consider, and the potential high cost of wrong answers, why not tap into the expertise of Beaux-Arts Group for a streamlined redesign? Contact us to learn how we can help you and your growing business.
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