Tips to Create the Perfect Office In 2019

“These days, we demand everything from our workspaces: privacy, personality, hospitality, flexibility. We want sitting desks and standing desks, napping areas and play areas. We expect our workspaces to be all things at all times, such that we forget their essential purpose: for thoughtful, productive work.” – Paula Wallace

So how do we create a space that will help employees create meaningful and productive work?

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Openness, transparency, and collaboration are some of the attributes companies strive for today. Sometimes these designs work well; however, research shows that this collaborative push may be too much of a good thing. Increasingly, people are rediscovering the value of quiet and focus and asking for spaces where they can concentrate.”

Collaboration and quiet are two ends of a continuum with a range of in-between work modes — each with an optimal setting. The best way to identify these is to identify everyday work patterns that correspond to office design decisions.

To get everyone speaking the same language, Harvard Business created a Collaboration and Quiet Index consisting of seven attributes that can more concretely enable people to match a desired way of working with a physical space: location, enclosure, exposure, technology, temporality, perspective and size.

To better understand how this works, try the exercise on your own or with your team. Pick an example of a work activity that happens regularly, like a daily or weekly standing meeting and try to identify the ideals for your particular situation: https://hbr.org/2016/05/7-factors-of-great-office-design

Here are some tips on creating the perfect office in 2019:

  • Create opportunities for movement
    • “The best way I stay focused during a long day of work is to acknowledge when I’ve hit a productivity wall and to take lots of short, quick breaks to gain a new perspective on what I’m working on.” – Jamie Fertsch, director and co-founder of XDesk
  • Make it comfortable 
    • “Designing a comfortable office environment is about more than aesthetics; careful attention to design can give a boost to employee happiness.” – Lois Goodell, Principal at CBT Architects
  • Take advantage of color, light and space
    • Choosing the right color and lighting scheme for your office is one of the simplest ways your environment can enhance your performance. Different colors and light levels have different psychological effects so these will need to be considered when choosing your ideal workspace design.
  • Make use of plants and windows
    • If you only do one thing to optimize your workspace, invest in a green plant or two. Research has repeatedly shown that the presence of office plants has a range of benefits including helping workers recover from demanding activities and lowering stress levels.
  • Gather employee input
    • According to Invoice Berry, although the physical aspects of your workspace are important, it’s also important to have a good emotional environment in the office. Ask your employees for input on how the space should be organized. Take note that employees enjoy being asked to help with even just putting up pictures or bringing in plants. One study found that workers increased their productivity by 32% compared to the control group, when they were just simply able to arrange as many photos and plants as they wanted.
  • Hear what employees have on their wish lists
    • Here are the top 10 physical and service features that employees considered to be the most important in the workplace, in order of preference:
      • 1. Functional desk
      • 2. Comfortable chair
      • 3. Tea, coffee and other refreshments
      • 4. General cleanliness
      • 5. Temperature control
      • 6. Small meeting rooms
      • 7. Restroom privacy
      • 8. Functional printing, copying and scanning equipment
      • 9. Natural light
      • 10. Nearby restaurant or canteen

Ready to refresh your workspace? Speak with one of our workspace advocates! Call us at 800.427.5811 or email: info@rigroup-us.com.

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