The way people work is changing. Since COVID-19, workers are adopting more hybrid approaches to working. Employers are offering unparalleled levels of flexibility to their workforce in an effort to keep up with an increased focus on wellbeing and productivity at work.
Developing a workplace that is both efficient and inspiring is already a challenging task. Add to that, these recent changes in people’s approach to work and it can feel like a minefield to try and get office design right.
Thankfully, there are some key things you can consider when designing your workplace that’ll make the specification and build process far easier.
There are two key pillars of workspace design that you should consider in order to design and build an office space that works for both your business and your employees: Design & Function.
Quality design is key to any business space, as it’s the most obvious way to promote your brand and its values. Colours, materials, lighting and biophilic design are all ways to create a space that sets the right tone for your business and promotes your offering to clients and customers.
Great design can also help promote employee wellbeing, helping to raise moods at work and as a result, productivity.
Function, on the other hand, focuses on developing a space that works seamlessly for your business. Space, layout, furniture and accessibility options all work to ensure your workspace is designed to support your business objectives, contributing to your efforts and success.
Great design considers more than just what you can see visually. Considered design in a workspace accounts for visuals, sounds and textures to promote the right atmosphere in the building, contributing to the wellbeing and happiness of those working within it.
Happy employees are motivated workers.
The happiness and well-being of your employees matters. This collective of people are the foundation upon which your business will either flourish or fail. Promoting an environment that is warm, welcoming and collaborative starts with their surroundings.
More importantly, their wellbeing will feed into their work behaviour. Motivated workers are more likely to drive success to your business, with reports showing a 13% increase in business productivity when workers are happy with their working environment.
But how can you help design a working environment that promotes employee happiness and engagement? Here are some of our tips to get you started:
Poor lighting can lead to a plethora of work-related injuries or ailments including eye-strain, fatigue, headaches, stress and even severe accidents.
Consider the quality and availability of natural light in your workspace design. Orienting your office layout based on light levels throughout the day is a relatively simple fix and can have significant impact on employees comfortability.
Optimised natural light can reduce the ailments mentioned above, such as headaches, eye fatigue and blurred vision by as much as 84%, based on a report by Cornell University in 2018.
Unfortunately, the benefits of colour theory are often overlooked when it comes to workspace design. All too often, businesses either leave colour as an afterthought or only consider how to include brand colours into the environment.
Branding is hugely important for workspace design. But it should never come at the detriment of those working in the building. Avoid garish colours being overused in your space, instead relying on calmer and quieter colours that reflect nature and earth tones.
White is a solid foundation for any space and conveys cleanliness and tranquillity. Greens help bring natural tones into the office representing balance and growth for your employees. Blues, instead are proven to boost relaxation and soothe an environment.
Correctly branding your offices through considered workspace design offers you the chance to showcase your brand and reveal more of your story, personality, ethics and beliefs.
This can be achieved through the use of imagery, graphics, colours and logos throughout your workspace. Brand identity, when done right, can help employees and visitors to feel engaged with your brand from the moment they enter your office.
Facilitate storytelling by going beyond your graphics and logos to incorporate thoughtful, unique features that will help you to tell a comprehensive story of your brand. Branding is achieved through even the smallest of touches, from the materials you in your lighting scheme; all of this can help to offer employees/visitors an immersive experience that is engaging and memorable.
Biophilic design revolves around bringing the outdoors into our indoor spaces. Since lockdown, the appreciation for the outdoors and nature has only risen across the nation, with many companies looking to bring biophilic design into their spaces through plants, living walls and roof gardens.
Biophilic design is proven to have a positive effect on workers. A months long study between the Netherlands and the UK showed that ‘green’ offices which introduced flora and greenery made staff 15% more productive on average.
With many businesses setting ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions and demonstrate sustainable practices and processes, now is the perfect time to introduce sustainability into your design.
When working alongside a design and build team for refurb or retrofit, you should take the opportunity to discuss the sustainability of the building and upcoming fitout. A design and fit out specialist can advise you on the potential impact & environmental output of your project and provide a range of options for your consideration, allowing you to control sustainability metrics.
Consider the infrastructure of your building, the efficiencies or inefficiencies of its systems and discuss ways in which energy consumption and wastage can be reduced.
Specifying products that are made from recycled materials, understanding your cradle to grave life cycle of the building, and minimising energy and water usage are all ways you and your design and build partner can help keep your project sustainable.
Your workspace’s main goal is to provide an efficient workspace that is functional and profitable for your business. So how do you ensure you can get the most of out of your workspace? How can design choices lead to increased efficiency and profitability?
Office space in the UK often comes at a high premium. That’s why its important to ensure you are making the most of your space, through streamlined design and clever product choices.
During the early design stages, take into account your total space and consider everything you need your workspace to achieve. Is it big enough? Its likely that you’d answer no to that question.
However, clever design choices such as ergonomic office furniture, multi-purpose rooms and streamlined layout can maximise the potential of your workspace. Bringing in an expert design and build team is the best way to ensure your office space reaches its full potential, so seek out expert advice early.
An efficient workspace hosts a range of working environments which can each be used for different purposes. Most offices require areas where employees can freely collaborate, connect and share ideas, as well as escape when they need to focus in isolation.
When considering the layout of the workspace, ensure that rooms such as meeting rooms aren’t placed next to quieter working areas. Similarly, collaborative spaces should be easily accessible, yet positioned in areas where they will cause minimal disturbance to those nearby.
Spaces that are designed for relaxation and refuge are equally important, as they give employees an area to retreat to for time alone or tasks that demand focus.
Ultimately, a streamlined building is designed around workflow. If your business works with very set processes, ensure that they are considered during the design stages, so that each stage of a project has a dedicated space where it can be planned, discussed and carried out.
Ensure your office furniture is optimised for productivity – for instance, desks, chairs and screens should be kept at the right height to ensure that employees can work at them for 7-8 hour days without dealing with strain or pains.
A desk that is too high can place strain on the wrists and arms of your employees which over time could cause serious pains or even injury. A simple display screen equipment (DSE) assessment can ensure that you’re ticking all the right boxes here.
Strategically placing work zones such as desks can massively improve employee efficiency and productivity. Space out desks in appropriately distanced clusters occupied by colleagues or teams who collaborate regularly – and consider placing dividers between them to facilitate privacy and noise reduction. These dividers can achieve the intended goal without being oppressive, consider the height and transparency of the screens to minimise this.
Pay close attention to the monitoring of controlled air flow and temperatures. The positioning of air conditioning and radiators can spell the difference between employees becoming uncomfortable because they are too hot or too cold.
Adequate ventilation and fresh air flow is vital to keep people feeling awake, alert and healthy too. Clean air flow also helps facilitate a healthier workspace, minimising the spread of germs and virus – an important consideration which has been compounded since COVID-19.
Noise in the workplace can hinder your workspace and business in a number of ways. At best, it can be an inconvenience for your team. At worst, however, excessive noise pollution can contribute to a drop in productivity, increased stress levels and unhappiness at work .
As we touched on earlier, the layout of your workspace can have drastic effects on minimising excess noise – ensuring that collaborative spaces are isolated from deep-focus working environments.
Soundproofing, such as acoustic wall panelling and wall insulation can help reduce the noise pollution in your office and even increase the sound quality for internal meetings and conversations.
As you can see, there are a wide range of considerations to make when designing and building workspaces. Not only will these considerations help make a more visually appealing space, but they can have huge effects on the productivity and profitability of your business.
As the global workforce is changing, so too are their expectations around their working environment. With hybrid working and remote working on the rise, introducing spaces that promote office-work through careful and considered design has never been more important.
At Resolution Interiors, we specialise in bringing your vision to life through interior fit-outs and refurbishments of new and existing sites, as well as relocations. We work with you to create a bespoke environment that impresses customers, employees and shareholders alike.
If you have an office building or workspace project which requires expert design and build skills, reach out to one of our team today. We’re always on hand to help and offer any advice!
Alternatively, why not give us a ring on +44 (0)1935 422 700. We look forward to hearing from you.