Building an office interior that genuinely supports people from a diverse range of backgrounds has significant benefits to an organisations CSR, staff retention, and performance. A diverse workforce includes people of all ages, genders, nationalities, religions, disabilities, etc.
However, a truly inclusive office requires more than just hiring employees from a range of backgrounds. Companies need to create an inclusive environment that offers a safe, accommodating, and considerate space reflective of all their employee’s values and cultures.
Listen to employees
To facilitate diversity in workplace it is beneficial to talk to your employees about their needs and how you can most effectively create an inclusive work environment. Understanding what employees want from there office space is an essential stage in creating a workplace interior that supports diversity.
Understand employee needs
Creating an open and inclusive environment is the first step in facilitating a diverse workforce. It is important to understand the needs of your employees and how you can support them within the working environment. Employee needs can be as diverse as the workforce itself, however once you understand these you can begin to create a truly inclusive and diverse workplace interior.
Ask employees at all levels of the business to regularly take surveys, provide feedback and engage in conversation surrounding this topic. Additionally, observing how employees interact and work with the space will allow you to better understand their needs and how these can be addressed.
Create a flexible working environment
Creating a flexible workspace allows for the space to be changed and adapted as the workforce evolves. Creating a variety of spaces, such as collaborative areas and quiet spaces encompasses a range of working styles as well as providing areas for employees to observe aspects of their cultures or religions in a private and appropriate space.
As well as looking at the space itself, considering the furniture within the space is also important when facilitating diversity in workplace interiors. Incorporating a range of surface heights, furniture with easy accessibility, and ensure accessibility and usability throughout the workspace.
It is important to consider lighting, materials, and colours, as these elements can either make a noticeably positive or negative difference to the office experience, especially for employees within the neurodiverse community.
Don’t just focus on physical access
Considering the physical factors of a workspace is a key factor of creating a diverse workspace interior, however it is important to consider employees psychological needs too. Creating an environment that understands and facilitates employees’ psychological needs can be achieved through some simple interior considerations.
How can your office space provide for your employees and their needs? Are you considering all aspects of your employees’ workday? Create spaces such as reflection rooms to take a breather in, private spaces for religious employees to pray, or new mothers to pump, etc. This will create a more inclusive and supportive working environment. Considering the mental wellbeing of your employees is important when designing your workspace interior. Our article on Using office design to support good mental health in employees can help you support your employee’s mental health through workplace interior.
Interiors can play a crucial role in facilitating diversity and inclusivity within the workspace. Understanding the needs of your employees is incredibly important, however finding a team that can support you in creating the ideal inclusive office space is vital. Resolution Interiors understand the importance of designing for your employee needs and will work with you to create the best space for your business.
Need to get your office up to date? Get in touch with our team to discuss your project.