Modern people spend a huge portion of their waking hours in the office. Whether they see this office as their other home or prison where they have to serve their sentence for 8 hours every day until retirement may depend on the overall design of the place. If the place looks like a prison, it will soon start feeling like a prison. The productivity provided by these poor unfortunate souls will soon resemble more to that of a chain gang than that of a highly-motivated workforce. So, how do you turn this around? It’s easy – you modernize your workplace design!
What you’re aiming for is an office space that represents a hybrid between a traditional office and a luxury resort. Here, your employees will have the same conveniences as they would if they were to work from home, sometimes even an extra feature or two that are unavailable in their household. Here are several tips to help you give your workplace a modern design.
- Consider a new layout
The first thing you need to consider is building a new layout for your office. Here, you have two directions to take. First, you need to understand that an open floor naturally supports one’s need for collaboration. Relationship-building interactions are much easier when you have people in your field of vision throughout the day. It is also quite flexible and, since it provides you with more space (no matter how thing, cubicle walls still take space), you get to have more people in the office. Lastly, the majority of present-day offices are open floor, which is why it’s easier to find and lease one.
The second option you have available is the so-called cubicle system. Now, this method is seen as outdated by many but it is definitely making a comeback. In the age of a global pandemic, this method is a lot safer. Second, it gives your employees a sense of having their own micro-office. Individual employees should be allowed to decorate their cubicles, which should give them a higher sense of ownership of the place.
Tip: Each of the two has its pros and cons, which is why you’ll have a tough choice to make. There’s no right or wrong with either but the actual layout of the office space may play a significant impact.
- Standing desks
One of the trends that sound crazy and outlandish yet provide you with quite a bit is the concept of a standing desk. This is something quite interesting, even though it may sound terrifying to some. The advantages of a standing desk are that it boosts productivity and does wonders for one’s health. When properly set up (at an adequate height) a standing desk will improve one’s posture, burn calories and even lower one’s blood sugar levels. As for productivity, it’s easier for one to stay alert and focused while standing.
On the other hand, having a standing desk doesn’t mean that people are expected to stand through the entirety of their 8-hours-long shift. This method works the best when combined with the concept of interval working. Your staff should have a seating option somewhere near so that they can work for 25 minutes and then sit 5-10 minutes to rest. This may sound like a lot of lost time but, in practice, it results in a positive net-shift in terms of productivity.
Tip: For a lot of people, the idea of a standing desk is quite terrifying. So, even if you do decide to introduce it, you might want to start it slowly and make several standing workstations so that your staff can get familiar with the concept.
- Improve kitchen and bathroom areas
Kitchen and bathroom are two elements that you’re least likely to focus on when redesigning your office, however, they might play a huge role in the overall workday routine of your staff. First of all, when it comes to the kitchen, make sure that everything is new and well-maintained. Also, buying a high-end coffee maker instead of a cheap version of a coffee machine is one of the simplest and most elegant ways to show appreciation for your staff. This way, their productivity can also be kickstarted with a caffeine boost.
In the bathroom, there are several issues to address. We’ve already mentioned the importance of a well-maintained kitchen. This goes double-fold for your bathroom. There are a lot of people who are shy or anxious about using the office bathroom and if hygiene is less than stellar, they might feel even more reluctant towards the idea. Other than this, you might also want to invest in smart toilet seats. This way, you can make the office bathroom superior to that which they have at home. An extra incentive goes a long way.
Tip: Buying them something for work will feel like investing in their productivity (which directly benefits you as an employer). This is why these small luxury upgrades are much more appreciated.
- Recharge room
Instead of a traditional breakroom, you might want to think about making a recharge room instead. There are so many options for you to consider. For instance, you can organize your break room or cafeteria into a coffee place or a bar. If you’re an IT company, chances are that some of your employees are passionate gamers. Why not set up the room for a multiplayer LAN party. This way, you can really help them get the most out of their break. Overall, the options are numerous but you need to remember that a recharge room has its limitation. They can’t spend all day playing games and they can’t get drunk at the office bar during work hours.
Another incredible idea is the concept of providing your employees with a chance to take a 20-minute power nap. Various studies have all but shown that 20 minutes of sleep does raise one’s alertness and provides them with the energy and focus boost that they desperately need to get back to their task. Now, due to irregular work schedule, caused by weeks of remote work amidst the pandemic, recent surveys indicate that employee sleeping patterns may be worse than ever before. This makes this idea even more enticing.
Tip: Giving your employees something that they can’t get anywhere else is one of the simplest ways to increase average employee loyalty. A recharge room is perhaps the simplest way to approach this issue.
- Keep it neat
In several previous sections, we’ve mentioned the importance of hygiene in the workplace. Neatness and overall organization are just as important. Numerous studies indicate that people function the best in order and that in a messy scenario, their productivity plummets. Other than this, you need to keep in mind that the hygiene of the office may have a direct impact on the health of your employees. Consequently, it will affect the number of sick days that they take. A sick day where your office is one-person short or where someone less skilled is supposed to replace an infirm colleague always results in a productivity drop.
There are a lot of design options you can use in order to increase the level of this order. First, you need enough personal space for easier foot traffic. According to some estimates, around 11 square feet per work station is ideal. Keep in mind that these were pre-COVID-19 numbers. Today, you might want to go with even more space per person. One more thing that boosts both organizations in the room and facilitates foot traffic are cable organizers. With so many devices in the same office, handling all of this properly will be no short of a challenge. Luckily, you have many options to explore.
Tip: People have an easier time focusing when they’re in a well-organized work environment. In other words, by investing extra effort to contact the right cleaning agency and find great organizational solutions, you’ll be making a long-term investment in your team’s productivity.
At the end of the day, your employees see this office as their second home. If they don’t, you need to do all that’s in your power to rectify this. As a result, you get higher employee satisfaction levels, better overall productivity and higher talent retention rates. On top of it all, you get to work in a positive work environment yourself. From all of this, it’s more than clear that creating a modern, stimulating workplace is a both moral and cost-effective choice.
My name is Grace Wilson. I’m a 27-year-old biotechnologist and kind of a bookish girl. Surfing the Internet is my favorite, that’s why I’ve turned into blogging. Following a healthy mindset and lifestyle is what I consider my life principle. If interested, follow my Twitter.