Posted on September 28, 2016

An engaged and happy workforce is linked to increased productivity, improved organisational success and ultimately happier customers. 

It is well documented that office design and layout can have a huge impact on those working in it, but how?

This blog post looks at 6 specific ways in which you can expect your staff to react to a better office design…

1. Better teamwork

With a professionally designed office layout, you can expect there to be space allocated to group working and/or social gathering. These less formal spaces in an office design promote teamwork and encourage group working.

Having a dedicated space for groups to meet and discuss work or projects, is often preferable to a more formal meeting room. Meeting rooms, especially boardrooms, carry with them an element of formality which can sometime inhibit the shy and suppress creative, free-flowing ideas. Not great for productivity!

Having a dedicated breakout space for group working will often encourage this way of working, leading to more teamwork and better results.

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2. Improved communications

Offices which have been designed by experts will have been laid out to both manage noise disruption and encourage communication. Whilst this may sound like a contradiction in terms, the clever use of screens, partitions and desk positioning can go a long way to reducing waste noise, whilst at the same time, improving inter-departmental communications between colleagues.

If teams of people working on the same project are all sitting together, it is far easier for them to all share pertinent information with each other if they are all sat in a pod or island of conjoined desks.

It is also more likely to spark spontaneous communication if the desking and seating design is centred around your business dynamics – rather than how it has always traditionally been.

3. Less sickness absence

Office design is so much more than what goes where in a space – the office furniture used can play a huge part in the reception your new office design gets from your staff.

Spending a little more money on the right furniture for your staff can improve posture, reduce headaches and increase general fitness. But how, I hear you ask?

Basically, the use of standing desks, ergonomically fitted desk mounts and a correctly fitted support chair can go a very long way to reducing the amount of time your staff have off work. And this is just the tip of the furniture iceberg.

Lighting is another feature of office design which is often overlooked but can have a huge impact on staff comfort. With the correct balance of natural and functional lighting, your staff will suffer with less headaches and eye strain.

These are just little things but they can have a big impact on your staff’s comfort and productivity at work.

4. Less distractions

As discussed earlier, noise can be a big distraction at work, but office design can accommodate this. However, noise isn’t the only distraction. Inadequate storage leading to clutter and mess everywhere can be a massive hindrance to staff and can lead to messy working habits.

Another common distraction at work can be the tea and coffee making facilities, especially if they aren’t adequately accommodated for.

Both of these problems, and many more, can be easily resolved through careful planning and effective office design.

5. Improved morale

One of the collective impacts of these little changes will result in increased morale as your staff become more comfortable at work. By facilitating team work, reducing noise and accommodating staff comfort, your staff are far more likely to bound into work – and be happy there!

6. More productive

If you combine all of the above factors, and add in the fact that you’re showing your staff you’re investing in them, you will end up with a far more productive workforce.

Productivity is a direct result of having a happy workforce who have everything they need, conveniently within their immediate working environment, to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Office design can go a long way to helping you achieve this, but only if you invest in it and work with people who understand your business and its people.