The quest for greater employee engagement and improved workplace productivity is nothing new.
In the 1970’s businesses began converting multiple private offices into a single open plan workspace. And while an open plan design can foster collaboration and open discussion between teams, it’s also being now linked to a breakdown in productivity… a recent study by the University of Sydney states that…
“Small distractions can cause us to lose focus for upwards of 20 minutes. Nearly 50% of staff with a completely open office floorplan are dissatisfied with their sound privacy. Only 16% of people in private offices said the same.”
In more recent times, breakout spaces, activity-based working, and working from home have become more popular, as employers look for new and better ways to motivate and enable their workforce, but this in turn has been linked to a breakdown in collaboration.
So what’s the answer?
Offering staff workspace choice is the key
In the words of US-based analytics firm Gallup… “Employees who have the ability to move to different areas at work are 1.3 times more likely to be engaged than other employees.” Facilitate movement for individual staff and teams, and you’ll boost morale, productivity and retention.
According to Adam Felson of Officemorph.com, some simple variations on established trends can help your staff find the right workspace for their need…
The “acoustic space”
Designed to meet the challenges of open-plan and noisy environments, the Acoustic Office Pod range is the ideal solution for group meetings or focused work without disruption.
The “living room”
Consider comfortable office furniture and build a space where employees can bring their laptops for a few hours. As an example, office kitchens are now being used not just for a lunch break, but increasingly are being fitted out to enable communication without tying up a conference room.
The “phone booth”
Convert under-utilised space into private rooms just big enough for one or two team members.
We all know what a library is like… quiet, peaceful, with multiple spaces for your team to read, write or think. And remember, no talking!
A big trend in larger corporate offices is the evolution of the reception area into a more collaborative space, often with access to a coffee bar, which encourages meetings with guests to occur at the front of the office, which minimises disruption for other staff.
If you’d like some free advice on how to transform your office, please contact us.