Is your company’s workspace affecting your staff’s attitudes towards work?
It’s scientifically proven that environment has a significant impact on mood and productivity. Here we draw from recent studies into office planning to show how considered design choices can contribute to a happy, and therefore more motivated, workforce.
The layout and design of your workplace can have a huge impact on the well-being of your staff. Your workforce are your company’s most valuable asset and looking after them isn’t just about good moral practice, it also makes sound business sense to ensure they are kept motivated, productive and are therefore giving you the best ROI.
In its report ‘Healthy people, healthy business: why well-being matters’ employee engagement specialists and providers of The Best Companies Accreditation Standard, Best Companies advise:
“Be sure to regularly take stock of the atmosphere in your office – is it a happy place to be? Are people stressed? Is the design of the space really working to grow close working relationships, or to create divisions and tension? There’s nothing like walking into a company where employees feel truly cared for and valued – the difference in atmosphere is palpable. Consider how you can create an environment that is genuinely buzzing with excitement, motivation and positivity.”
While the right office furnishings such as comfortable and supportive chairs, effective storage solutions and computer desks that encourage correct posture can all be simple and cost-effective methods of improving staff well-being and making your business operate more smoothly, the overall layout of the space is also crucial. As InteriorsTeam’s director Richard Peutherer says:
“It is extremely important to consider how staff interact in their daily work. Providing areas for breakout or quick ‘touchdown discussions’, along with quiet concentration areas is a great way to provide focus for the space.”
Workers who feel proud of their environment tend to value their organisation more, are more likely to display professionalism and put more energy into representing their company in a positive way. It is therefore sensible for employers to use their office space as a tool to boost their workforce’s brand perception.
In a study commissioned by Cabe (The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) and BCO (The British Council for Offices) ‘The impact of office design on business performance’ it is suggested that:
“When an organisation focuses on the design, use and management of its space in terms of the messages it communicates to staff, it embraces the notion of ‘internal branding’. By using space to respond to employee needs, values may be communicated throughout an organisation; and the effect of such communication may be gauged through proxy measures such as staff satisfaction and turnover rate. Internal branding may impact on the performance of staff by allowing them to understand and embrace the ‘brand promise’, so that employees who believe in the brand work harder and better.”
As well as providing your workforce with a motivating and engaging environment, the correct office furniture and design can reflect and project your brand image, not just internally but also externally. Quality furniture and modern design can really help to promote your business as one that is trustworthy yet fresh and forward thinking, and can genuinely result in clients holding your company in higher regard. As Richard Peutherer says:
“Time and again we have seen the positive effect that an improved working environment has delivered for our clients. From effective space planning to maximise functionality, to fit-outs that enhance brand perception, there are a number of options for businesses.”
To keep your staff happy and motivated, make the best use of your office space to provide areas suited to both work and leisure. This will help to promote a general feeling of work-life balance in your office that will keep your workers on top of their game and not feeling overwhelmed by their workload. In its report into ‘Could office noise be damaging performance’, Best Companies suggests:
“Many Best Companies Accredited organisations have chosen to create a dedicated quiet space, or room, in the office. This is a place that can be used for downtime; napping, meditation or just chilling out in whatever form that may take. However, we all need to make a bit of noise sometimes, so rather than trying to quash human instincts, provide a home for them. The canteen, games room or meeting room can serve as vibrant hotspots for debate and, well, a bit of a carry on too. Everyone needs to let of steam now and again, so integrate this into your workplace design.”
Social spaces are key to any office environment. Not only can comfortable areas allow your workers the quality breaks they need in order to stay productive, providing areas where staff can mingle can really help improve working relationships and greater cohesion among your team.
It’s not just about motivating your staff; it’s also about attracting and retaining the best workers. Creating an appealing workplace will be reflected in the talent your company wins and keeps. This, of course, is of huge importance to the success of an organisation, as Best Companies suggests in its Engagement Lab report ‘Employee turnover & engagement: what you need to know’:
“Is your company suffering from “revolving door” syndrome? A high employee turnover can lower morale in many ways, but particularly by creating a climate of instability and uncertainty. Every time a colleague leaves, or a new employee is introduced, workplace dynamics are subject to a degree of change. While a certain amount of flux is healthy and inspiring, too much instability can create anxiety, as teams struggle to build healthy bonds and a sense of group identity.”
While naturally there are many factors that work together to attract and retain the best staff, office design can definitely be a large contributing one of these. First impressions count for a lot and if interviewing candidates are impressed by their surroundings, this will impact on the effort they put in to win a role and then to keep hold of it. Striking reception areas and well-designed meeting rooms can enable your company to attract the right people and keep them engaged and productive in the business.
The world’s leading players invest time, energy and resources into designing and creating the best possible workplaces. They recognise that this leads to happier staff, increased productivity and greater business success. If your company would like to do the same you need to choose a specialist, like InteriorsTeam, who can provide the creative vision for beautiful workspaces that truly reflects your company identity.
Richard Peutherer says: “With a myriad of options available, our collaborative approach ensures that our trained consultants work with clients throughout the consultation process. It is essential to understand the functionality and interactions of each department to better advise which furniture products, layout and space usage could be adopted – crucial for the success of the investment long term.”
InteriorsTeam have helped many different companies create striking office design while saving money and improving efficiency. To read case studies please click here. You can also register here and our expert team will be in touch about helping you design the office that’s perfect for you and your employees.