Corporate managers need real data to help them make choices that satisfy employees and spark innovation without imperiling profits. Are high-end chairs worth the cost? How does lighting influence productivity? Is it better to spend more on sit-stand desks or an inviting lounge space? Is the noise in your open plan just annoying, or is it driving your team straight into the arms of your competitor? New research has shown that good design is profoundly and quantitatively linked to the people issues – employee retention, engagement and productivity – that keep executives up at night.
In a recent survey of 1206 office workers, only 54% rated themselves highly satisfied with their office space. (Highly satisfied = a score of just 6 or more out of 10) The relationship between workspace design and employee engagement speaks for itself:
It’s true, the office environment speaks volumes about your organisation – it is the only real tangible evidence you have of your company culture in action and you can’t make a first impression twice. A high-performing workplaces has a demonstrable effect on people: The people you work with who in turn help your organisation achieve strategic goals; the people you want to hire into the business to bring new ideas to help it grow and develop and the people you work for – your clients – the people that buy your products and services.
Google, Facebook, Sky, Pixar, LinkedIn, AirBnB….they have all created workplaces that are uniquely designed for who they are and what they do. They have realised how office space can be used as a strategic lever to improve productivity, performance and provide competitive advantage.
Whilst people do different jobs, they do similar activities and have similar needs from their office environment. People need to be able to communicate, to collaborate and have time and space to concentrate effectively in order to drive business growth forward.
Spectrum has distilled 40 years of experience into creating the 5 office spaces that people need for business success.
The Touchdown area is where you go to work for short periods, 30 – 90 minutes. It’s an ideal environment for roving sales people who can touchdown to check emails, prepare before a meeting or have a brief catch up after the meeting. it’s better than hot-desking as it allows people to work without being distracted and without distracting others. The rules are simple: No large, long or formal meetings should take place in this area and it can also co-exist as a short-term quiet area as required.
The breakout area is fast becoming part of the normal office landscape. As well as being a place to relax and recharge, it can also be used for informal meetings. This reduces the demand on meeting rooms. Feedback from clients suggest more informal conversations lead to fewer delays on decisions being made and improves productivity.
This is the area for your printer, photocopier, shredder, recycling and stationery. It’s useful in minimising disruption to open plan areas, maximises the efficiency of multi-functional devices (printer/photocopiers) and creates spontaneous communications between people who might not normally speak to each other within the course of their day-job. Its benefits are seven-fold – a specific area for stationery means it can be restocked easily, recycling increases and secure access printers has led to 50% less paper wastage for one company Spectrum worked with recently. Resources can also refer to personal storage centres – cloakrooms and lockers. Again this leads to more spontaneous conversations, and in some cases fewer trips and falls as coats and bags are stored away appropriately.
This is the area for working 2 hours or more where you are signalling that you are open to interaction and collaboration. People are encouraged to work out loud in this area where people can pop by and ask you what you’re working on. The rules are simple. Make a beautiful mess! but don’t have prolonged conversations at your desk as it can be distracting for others sitting nearby. Grab a coffee and head to the breakout area instead.
This is great for training, formal, confidential and large meetings. It reduces demand on desk space and provides an invisible DO NOT DISTURB sign above your head whilst you’re working. The rules are simple – use it or lose it! If you have a booking process for meeting rooms or quiet space and don’t use it within 15 minutes, then it’s free for anyone to use.
The research makes an undeniable business case for good design and its demonstrable impact on business results, which means it’s worth taking another look at your company’s workplace. How could a redesign impact your organisation?