Whether you’re relocating to a new building or simply redesigning your current workspace, it’s important to factor in the needs of your staff and the desires of potential employees. A substantial part of keeping your workforce content is creating an atmosphere that is enjoyable and tranquil to spend time in. A desirable workplace is vital, especially if the majority of your staff work nine to five.
Contrary to popular belief, work isn’t all about finances. A considerable percentage of staff loyalty lies in the environment, accessibility, amenities, and much more. So, what exactly do people look for in a desirable workplace?
What Makes a Workplace Desirable?
Many factors contribute to a desirable workplace. The more factors you consider the more likely you are to build a positive reputation with your employees. In today’s world, more and more companies are taking the employee-centric approach when it comes to workplace design and atmosphere.
Tailoring your workspace to the needs of your employees is a great way to boost morale, build loyalty, and improve productivity and wellness amongst your staff. Which in turn, supplements the development of the business as a whole.
A survey carried out by Furniture123.co.uk further proved this. Their findings showed that more than half of job hunters (53%) would turn down a job role without question if they weren’t fond of the company’s office environment and design. Of the 1,014 UK workers who took part in the study, more than a third found a lack of natural lighting off-putting, and 41% stated they would be reluctant to accept a role where the office displayed outdated decor.
What are the key points to consider when relocating or redesigning your workplace?
An Employee-Centric Design
What do your employees want when they come to work? If you’re unsure, why not ask them!
Putting your staff at the heart of your business when considering your design creates a place where people want to be, rather than a place they have to be. Asking your employees to give input and listening to their ideas and needs is also a fantastic team-building exercise. This grants empowerment, and builds trust and respect between the company and personnel.
What should you consider when creating an employee-centric design for your workplace?
There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ layout for every workplace. Each team has its particular factors that must be considered. However, there is one type of office that research has taught companies to avoid: The open-plan office.
According to increasing research conducted on open-plan designs, this type of layout is particularly detrimental to individual performance. Open-plan offices have a habit of decreasing collaboration and productivity. This is due to the large volume of people in one space, creating loud ambient noise and distraction.
A survey carried out by Oxford Economics revealed that out of the 600 millennials who took part, a high majority chose open-plan offices as their last resort for a place of work. Millennials in particular are extremely opposed to noise and distraction while working, resulting in headphone-wearing and sneaky desk escapes.
Open-plan offices were also shown to cause a lack of self-esteem, especially in women. As employees battle to work while sitting in close proximity to crowds of colleagues day-in, day-out.
So what is the ideal office layout for your staff? Try to add flexibility to your workplace layout. Think multiple zones, to allow staff to choose a location depending on the work they’re conducting that day. A mix of focus and collaborative zones work great, with an added community area for employees to come together during break-times. Include quiet rooms, for individuals to find a moment of peace during the day.
Keep things minimal, uncluttered, and bright. Clutter can be harmful to productive minds, as it creates unnecessary distraction. Limit noise pollution to collaborative rooms, allowing employees to work in a tranquil space, to get work done efficiently.
Being encompassed by too much noise in the office correlates closely with spikes in blood pressure, and increased heart rate.
Colour and Creativity
Colour can drastically affect your mood, and certain colours have been proven to boost productivity and improve positivity in the workplace. Working in a dull, drab environment day-in, day-out decreases stimulation in the brain. This causes us to become drowsy, fatigued, and unproductive.
It’s important to keep your offices light and airy and add a creative flair where you can. Some popular workplace colour themes and their benefits are:
- Blue: Blue is calm, refreshing, and collected, aiding in relaxing overwhelmed minds and assisting concentration. Blue is a popular colour used in office workspaces, due to research showing that people are often more productive in blue rooms.
- Yellow: Yellow is well known to be energizing and bold. Looking to add a splash of positivity and lift to your workplace? Yellow is the route to follow. However, be careful with the amount of yellow used, as it’s the most fatiguing colour to the eye, and overdoing it can cause feelings of frustration. A small pop of yellow can give a cheery, energetic, and warm feeling to your office.
- Green: Green is all about balance and abundance. Green evokes feelings of being surrounded by nature, giving us a sense of rest, peace, security, and refreshment.
As well as comfortable furnishings, consider the temperature in your workplace.
Research shows that 50% of UK offices are considered generally too hot, and during the winter months 52% are considered too cold. To keep morale high, keep the temperature in your workplace at an average of 21 degrees celsius throughout the year.
Office spaces that are too hot can increase lethargy, an inability to focus, and a lack of motivation to complete tasks. And offices that are too cold can cause distraction and lack of concentration.
The wrong type of lighting in a workplace can have a detrimental effect on the productivity and wellbeing of your employees.
Lighting that is too dim can lower concentration dramatically, as well as causing eye strain, headaches, and drowsiness. Lighting that is too bright can also cause headaches, most commonly in the form of migraines.
It’s important to balance your artificial lighting with natural daylight, to avoid any potential health issues. Especially if your staff will be spending hours looking at luminous screens.
Natural lighting has also been shown in numerous studies to have a positive effect on mental health, by increasing employee happiness and focus in the workplace. In a recent study, 80% of office workers stated that sufficient lighting in the workplace is highly important to them.
Try to ensure that you choose an office space that has an adequate amount of windows that allow natural sunlight into the building. Or if you’re redesigning your current office, move your employee desks closer to any windows you have currently.
Considering the wellness of your employees is a huge factor when choosing a new office space, or redesigning your layout.
Businesses must ensure that they meet the criteria when it comes to wellness in the workplace. Including good air quality, clean running water, natural light, and areas where staff can sit quietly to work or relax.
Some ways to promote wellness in the workplace are:
- Promoting physical activity
- Offering mental health support
- Serving healthy food and snacks
- Creating a comfortable working environment
- Incorporating natural light
- Offering flexible working hours
- Creating pet-friendly spaces
- Adding quiet spaces for peace and reflection
- Reducing noise pollution
Desirable Workplace Round-Up
Although money plays a huge factor in whether someone considers a job role, it’s not the be-all and end-all.
There are so many key points that create a desirable workplace. Whether you’re relocating your business or redesigning your current offices, it’s always essential to consider your staff in the process.
Creating an environment people want to immerse themselves in, rather than drag themselves to, is the key to a thriving business. Putting your employees at the heart of your relocation or redesign project shows that you care, which in turn increases reciprocation in the work they do for you.