A recent study found that many UK employees weren’t happy with their workplace. Close to half claimed that there was no area for collaboration, while nearly three-quarters noted that there was no specific ‘chill-out’ area in their office to relax and unwind.
Lack of contentment in the workplace can lead to various problems, reduced productivity, lack of motivation and poor staff retention, to name just a few. With that in mind, here are the latest trends driving office design for 2019 – which you might want to incorporate in your own work premises.
Humans are hardwired to appreciate the unusual and ‘different’. Don’t be afraid to use your available space in new and surprising ways, for example, adding hammocks and bean-bags to your collaboration area, or installing some of The Meeting Pod Co’s various pods where members of staff can work in quiet surroundings. In 2019, we’ll be seeing a lot more creativity in office design, which means diverse colour palettes, art on the walls, bright decals, innovative furniture, leafy plants and more. Remember, you want your employees to feel a sense of excitement when they walk through the door each morning. So, let’s give it to them!
2018 saw a big swing towards open-plan design and that looks set to continue in 2019. By offering collaborative working spaces, you’re making it as simple as possible for employees to get together, brainstorm ideas and discuss upcoming projects.
Gone are the days of those one-size-fits-all open plan spaces. The ideal workplace today is likely to be as idiosyncratic and full of as many unique tweaks as the quirky start-up it houses, with each re-imagining the norm in its own quiet way. This allows employees to feel valued and as if their specific needs are being catered for, just the way it should be! The importance of office culture is as important as office design- even more so we feel.
Your employees don’t need a lavish multi-story office to feel more productive; you just need to be creative with your space. By having access to natural light, collaborative spaces and private meeting rooms, you’ll increase employee satisfaction and productivity. People will feel free to move around and won’t feel tied to their desks, creating more opportunities for creative collaboration.
Providing employees with areas where they can focus, concentrate and have some privacy, is particularly important for employees in open plan offices. It allows them to balance constant contact with colleagues, with moments of privacy and disconnection. It can be very stressful for employees if they have nowhere to take a personal call during the day or simply “be alone”. Open plan offices must therefore be balanced with spaces for personal rejuvenation where staff can read a magazine, change posture and disconnect. Having the chance to switch off when they need to will enable staff to perform better over a longer period.
Employers must aim to create resilient workplaces, which encourage people and organisations to be more agile and engaged, which can evolve over time as needed. The physical surroundings can shape employee behaviours, feelings and attitudes towards their employer and experiences at work. To maximise its performance, organisations must think about the workplace as an ecosystem of spaces that allow people to have choice and control over where and how they work. Only then will they feel fully supported and able to perform at their best!