When it comes to sitting down with a client to discuss a new office fit-out project, we often encourage them to focus their thoughts on the people who work within the business.
Getting the best from staff by making them happy, healthy and productive can (surprisingly) be a forgotten factor for many businesses when they start out on the journey of redesigning their office.
Research shows that given the considerable amount of time we spend at work, the quality of the work environment can have a demonstrable effect on the output of a business.
Creating an environment which caters for the wants and needs of the people who work within it, means staff are more likely to not only stay longer as an employee of the firm, but if they are happy and healthy, will work at an optimum level on a more regular basis.
Health, both mental and physical, are greatly impacted by the work environment, so taking a pro-active approach to these issues rather than ignoring them and dealing with resulting absenteeism is the way forward.
Poor staff retention can have a damaging impact on any business. When an employee leaves an organisation it generally prompts others to question their own future and whether there are alternative job opportunities that should be considered.
At the core of this issue is the important role of social relationships within the workplace. Workplace friendships often bind people together to the point where they stay loyal to their employer for this reason above all others.
Businesses which suffer from a high turnover of staff can spend significant time and resources in replacing staff, not to mention the loss of momentum in projects and the potential loss of valued clients.
So what can be done to turn your office from being an energy vacuum to a buzzing hive of activity?
Here are 5 ways you can make your people the central focus of your office design:
- Provide a choice of working areas – Creating a range of areas in which your staff can choose to work caters for different personality types, work tasks and moods. Think – private booths, quiet reflective spaces and informal breakout meeting areas.
- Invest in your furniture – Quality ergonomic furniture such as high tables with stools, standing desks and sofa seating should all be considered to provide staff with comfort and choice.
- Think about acoustics – Eliminating unwanted background noise can have unexpected benefits on communication but also on the mental health of staff, especially those who prefer peace and quiet within the workplace.
- See the light – Light, both natural and artificial, affects how we feel and how we perform. Whilst it is not always possible to improve the level of natural light, the vast array of modern light fittings and controls mean there are many ways to make improvements in the workplace.
- Extra Facilities – Think about the amenities that you can incorporate into your office that would prove popular to your staff. For those focussed on health and fitness it could be showers and a mini gym. For others it might be features such as a gaming area, coffee bar and outdoor picnic tables that help to keep them engaged and in a positive mind-set for the working day.
To see how we can help you with your next fit-out project please get email us at firstname.lastname@example.org