Choose the right design for your workspace.
A suitable workspace is more important than ever considering the intense competition for talent across many industries. Many employees are choosing where to work based in part on the office environment, says Tara Wolckenhauer, division vice president of human resources at ADP. (1)
A smart solution for business leaders is to devote time to observe the behaviors of their workers before making any major decisions. With these observations, you’ll be able to decide how your team can be the most productive within your workspace. To figure that out, you will need to consider the following:
- Your company culture.
- Different generations.
- Introverts vs Extroverts.
Type of Company Culture
One type of physical layout isn’t better than another, so you have to find one that suits your particular culture and employees. A law firm might require a more traditional office structure to ensure privacy, while a young tech company might have an open plan that encourages hot desking. You will need to ask yourself these types of questions: Are you fun and tech-savvy or conservative and need privacy? Is a central location for big meetings important to you? Do you need Executive suites or an open layout where the CEO is at the center? A great way to understand your employees is to send out a survey and ask them to describe the culture and rank office space features that are important to them.
Meeting Different Generations’ Needs
- Baby Boomers. For the Boomers in your office, provide quiet offices and keep the music to a distraction-free and pleasant channel. Boomers crave face to face time, so collaborative office spaces and modular workstations will suit them well.
- Generation X. Gen Xers remember the time before the Internet, so some offline work and unplugged meetings are appreciated and will stimulate creativity. “Generation X workers, for instance, might prefer working from home because it gives them more flexibility while raising kids or caring for aging parents.
- Millennials. Millennials might prefer to commute to work every day, but want to find when they get there workspaces that encourage movement and locational choice, depending on the task at hand.” According to Inc. Magazine, “Millennials have ushered in sustainability as a required benefit in the new modern office. Fond of implementing water features, living walls, solar panels, and green tech and paperless offices, Millennials want their company office to not only benefit the individual but benefit the greater good.” (2)
According to Work Space Magazine, “To design a workplace that’s multi-generational, it needs to have a mix of private, dedicated workspaces, collaboration spaces, café-style temporary workspaces and lots of meeting rooms. This type of blended approach will address the needs of some workers to have consistency and peace and quiet, while others can opt for variety and background noise.”
Introverts vs Extroverts
How can we ensure they find spaces where they can be most productive? Recognize that extroverts get their energy from being around a multitude of people, while introverts charge their batteries with quiet time and reducing external stimuli.
- Extroverts thrive on social situations, so common areas in design for office space are ideal for them. They also appreciate smart collaboration with smart tech.
- Introverts need to be left alone to recharge in order to be productive. They appreciate designs that include individual pods, nap rooms, huddle spaces that can accommodate one or two people max, and soundproofed walls.
If you need help or inspiration, contact us and we will be happy to give you advice and ideas on how to make your office space the most productive for your company.