Most of us are old enough to remember the old style office space, with desks and employees packed in like battery hens, and the boss hiding away in their own private office with the door permanently closed. Can you also remember having to knock if you wanted to speak to them, and it felt like you were intruding?
A good sign of career success used to mean that a nice private corner office to yourself meant you were going places, but things have drastically changed over the years. Nowadays, you may even find an employee logging in and working from home, which would be unheard of 30 years ago!
So what’s the difference between a traditional and modern office space?
Times have very much changed, and the realisation of more spacious office layouts and colourful interiors are recognised as having a positive effect on productivity and creativity, as well as improved interaction and team work.
In the past, the office space was designed to segregate positions and departments, possibly as a mark of respect and a show of position and authority. However, this is not the most effective layout, and certainly doesn’t allow for an efficient productive team to collaborate and share ideas equally.
This of course doesn’t mean to say that the modern day office space should be completely open plan, as this of course could create a noisy disruptive atmosphere. Quiet rooms for thinking and allowing creativity are an absolute must, as well as having designated rooms for meetings. The office space layout should be designed and implemented around your business needs and staff requirements, to get the very best out of your workforce.
Does your current office allow for collaboration and sharing of ideas in a creative environment?
We are all aware of companies like Google who are leading the way with their innovative office layouts. Pool tables and slides to get from one floor to the next are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how forward thinking Google are. But even small business with a relatively modest office space can follow suit and move with the times.
Small changes to your office layout and furniture can make all the difference to your employee’s wellbeing, morale, team work, productivity and creativity. And you don’t have to install a slide to get the best out of your team.
Firstly, make sure the desks are spaced out well, and are not making your team feel cramped and in each others way. The desks also need to be setup perfectly to allow anyone to sit down and work quickly. Internet ports, telephone lines and laptops or PC’s need to be adequately installed on all desks allowing anyone to sit down and get to work straight away. Even though most of your team would be expected to use the same desk each day, it’s important to be ready for any instant changes that need to be made in an emergency. It’s also handy for anyone visiting your offices that need to borrow a desk for a short while.
Natural light is also something that’s heavily overlooked. Although it might seem cruel to allow your employees to see outside and feel jealous of the glorious sunshine, it’s actually been proven to improve morale and the sun shining through your office makes everyone feel happier. Position your desks close to windows, and be careful not to build too many obstructions near the windows which could block natural light.
Why not also consider changing some of your furniture; especially in the meeting or creative rooms? Laid back, lounge style furniture will allow your team to make a home from home, and a relaxing atmosphere can inspire. Can you imagine having a meeting whilst sat on colourful sofas, rather than the standard and dull huge mahogany meeting desks? This may seem quite unprofessional, but this has the opposite effect. Sure, meetings are meant to be serious discussions about shaping and planning the businesses future, but meetings are also about being creative and provoking thought. Brainstorming is much easier when everyone is relaxed and feeling more creative. And it doesn’t mean to say that you still can’t have a more formal room for more serious conversations that require it.
Why it’s important to modernise your office space
One of the key factors of having a modern office is the attraction to new employees looking for a fresh and vibrant place to work. Although the job market is fiercely competitive and hundreds of applicants may be queuing at your door, it’s important to attract the right people to your business. Showing them around during one of the interview stages is a great way to find out if they are going to fit in with your style of office, and ultimately, your style of productivity.
A fast paced, lively, vibrant office with a relaxed but hard working atmosphere is going to be a great place to work. So don’t hesitate to show it off to potential employees. Prospective clients will also benefit from visiting a colourful office, and will be suitably impressed when welcomed into a bright reception area, a coffee machine, and a warm smile.
Above all else, times are changing, and very quickly! Everything must evolve and change with the times, and offices are no exception to this rule. Moving your business forward, attracting the right employees, and providing them the tools they need to be inspired and motivated to work hard for a company they feel at home with, is the key to success.