Back to basics... An office redesign

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Our back to basics series brings you top tips from industry experts on the bread and butter areas of HR

Why does it matter?

The office environment can play an important part in the success of a company. While it might not be an automatic priority for executives, work spaces can have a huge impact on fostering company culture and supporting a brand’s image. Office design is also integral to team satisfaction and morale, with research finding that an intelligent space improves productivity by up to 20%.

Do...

Ask what people want and need. Before rushing into finding a new office space and making it your own, think about what your company needs. Is the location convenient for your workforce to commute to and for hosting client meetings? Are you expanding rapidly as a team? What facilities do you need? It’s vital to address these questions before getting down to business, otherwise you’ll have to make last-minute decisions along the way. The goal should be an office that reflects your ethos and encourages collaboration.

Be smart. Think carefully about the layout; an intelligent office design can influence how your employees work throughout the day. It’s important your team doesn’t feel restricted to their designated desks; you can cater for all job roles and preferences with alternative work spaces such as hot desks, outdoor seating, sofa areas, meeting rooms and phone booths. Providing the facilities your people need can help boost productivity and champion flexible working.

Embrace company culture. Personalising the office to reflect your organisation reinforces your culture, values and ethos. Displaying awards and company branding can help your team feel proud of their work and closer to the company mission. As well as enhancing employee satisfaction, a bespoke office can leave a positive lasting impression on clients or new employees. Ultimately, if you want to give your customers an awesome experience the work has to start at home – ensuring your team feels happy and productive.

Don't...

Ignore your people. You want to make sure you are creating a work space that your people can enjoy and be productive in, so get a consensus on ideas. Some team members may prefer breakout zones to roof terraces, while others may value pet-friendly spaces over gym facilities. By taking their preferences into account you’re showing how much you value them and their work. You’ll never be able to make everyone 100% happy but, by understanding what’s really important, you’ll be able to do a much better job than if you never asked.

Forget the basics. Don’t forget the simple things. Decor can have a major impact on the atmosphere and can affect mood and psychological health. Greenery, air quality and natural and thoughtful lighting can do wonders for reducing stress and helping to create a productive environment. Don’t underestimate the impact a decent- sized kitchen equipped with quality appliances can have on employee satisfaction as well.

Be afraid to be bold. Once you have the basics down you can start looking at more innovative additions. Childcare facilities and 24-hour access have dramatically increased in popularity as flexible working becomes more commonplace. Games rooms, beer on tap, and free fruit and snacks can also be added to improve morale and encourage staff to take regular breaks to improve both their mental and physical health. HR

Tushar Agarwal is CEO of Hubble

This piece appears in the November 2019 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk

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