Written by Paul Dawson, director at Meridian Interiors
Office design, employee wellbeing and therefore satisfaction and productivity have become important factors for employers. Now is the perfect time for employers to reflect on their current office environments and focus on the key features they should be considering for their staff’s return to the office. Workplaces with a modern approach to a work-life balance are more important than ever, in tune with the modern-day attitude to workplace wellbeing.
Here are five features you should consider when transforming your office into the perfect workspace for colleagues to enjoy and to be the most productive they can be.:
1. Collaborative spaces
A collaborative space is extremely important when encouraging productivity and creative thinking amongst employees. This area offers a relaxed atmosphere but has functionality built-in, with wipe boards, interchangeable desking and seating, projectors/screens etc,, allowing employees to sit down and get their thoughts and ideas flowing.
2. Social areas
A social area, which could also be referred to as a break-out area, includes a mix of sociable seating and more private areas, where people can ‘get away’ from work but also catch up with colleagues if they want to. The focus here is on providing a flexible space for individuals to use as they see appropriate.
3. Quiet areas
Some individuals find themselves most productive when working in a quiet atmosphere where they can concentrate, which is why it is important for employees to have the option to access a quiet space. Giving staff the autonomy to choose where they work is a good way of boosting morale and with many offices opting for open plan layouts, this is a type of space that is often lacking but is hugely beneficial.
4. Zoom rooms
A lot has changed since employees last worked in the office, so the concept of ‘zoom rooms’ may be unfamiliar to a lot of employers. ‘Zoom rooms’ are a relatively new addition to workspaces, which are essentially small rooms with a chair and the technology to either make phone or video calls. These are becoming increasingly popular as more business is done virtually, and through lockdown, many people have become accustomed to working in this way. We anticipate that this trend continues, as employers increasingly realise that travelling long distances for meetings is not always necessary.
5. Natural light
As well as creating a variety of types of workspaces within one office facility, there are aesthetic features that help to make those areas really work for your staff. Incorporating as much natural light into an area as possible and positioning workstations evenly throughout the area to benefit from this is a good place to start. Daylight office environments can also improve employee health with it proven to reduce eye strain, headaches and drowsiness, which could certainly improve staff well-being and productivity.
If possible, if exposure to natural light can be coupled with access to outside space, you are onto a winner! It does not need to be a massive space, but a small area with some seating and access to Wi-Fi can serve as a great place for staff to recharge their batteries.
About the author
Paul Dawson is the director of Meridian Interiors, a leading commercial fit-out, and refurbishment company that handles projects across the UK for businesses of all types and sizes.