As technology changes and becomes more mobile, a number of companies are re-thinking the layout of their workspaces. Open concept is in because people believe it sparks collaboration among employees, but there can be limitations.
With multiple people sharing the same space, issues can arise. A major concern tends to be the high-noise level and the loss of privacy often caused by open workspaces. People can overhear conversations they are not supposed to be involved in, and there can also be many distractions. Pleasing every single employee is a challenge so here is a list of things you can do to make sure the majority of your employees are satisfied with their workspace.
Make the Workspace Comfortable
If you’re going to have your employees working in an open or communal workspace, make sure the desks are functional and the chairs are comfortable. Some employees might prefer to stand for most of the day so standing desks could be a good alternative option for them.
For those employees who prefer to sit all day or who tend to spend most of their days sitting in meetings, ergonomic chairs are a good option as they’re known to increase both comfort and productivity. It can save employees’ necks and backs from pain and reduce other health risks.
Also, have some larger monitors available for people who need something bigger than a laptop screen to get their work done.
Have Some Private and Collaboration Space
Having everyone working together in one big room can make meeting in small groups difficult. You don’t just want several people gathering in one area talking to each other while another person in that area who isn’t involved in the conversation is trying to work. What if someone needs to have a difficult conversation with another coworker and doesn’t want others to overhear? Having small meeting spaces where impromptu gatherings can happen can help fix this problem.
Also, having private spaces for employees who need a quiet space to work for a few hours is important. Sometimes a collaborative space can be more harmful than helpful – that’s why having a separate space for people who need to focus to get their work done is necessary.
Lighting is Important
Natural light can increase employee productivity, decrease tiredness, and relieve stress so make sure the workspace has a good amount of windows. Also, consider the types of artificial lighting in the space. Too much artificial lighting can affect employees in a negative way by giving them headaches, for example, so be mindful of what kind of artificial lighting is in the space and how much.
Control the Temperature
It’s impossible for one temperature to satisfy all workers. Some people like it cold, others hot. It’s also almost impossible to have precise temperature control throughout an office space.
If the temperature varies in your workplace, allowing employees to move to a workspace with a better temperature for them might be a way to keep everyone happy. Having a small space outside where employees can go work could also be a good option.
Keep Things Clean
Germs are everywhere. Cleaning crews often clean places where people handle food, but don’t always clean the workspaces. Nobody wants to work on a sticky keyboard because the person using the shared workspace before them just ate lunch.
Keeping work areas and communal areas clean can not only stop germs from spreading around the office, but also make employees happier. This responsibility should not solely rest on the cleaning crew, but the employees using the space as well. Leave signs around reminding employees to clean up after themselves.
Don’t Ignore Relaxation and Community Spaces
Having a place for employees to get away from their work is important. Grabbing a good cup of coffee or a snack in a nice kitchen area can help reduce employee stress.
Nice things on the walls and a comfortable chair or two doesn’t hurt. Informal and inspirational areas can increase productivity and promote employee communication.
If you’re looking for help designing your office space, look no further than the professionals at Beaux-Arts Group. We know all the latest trends in office space and can help design a space that is right for your company.