Whether you are opening a new office, expanding or renovating existing space, there are a few key points that any business type should consider at the onset of the project. These include functionality, brand identity, creativity and budget, and schedule. Each of these considerations will help make your project a success.
In the past 5-10 years, there has been a big shift towards collaborative workspaces. The goal is for team members to easily and effectively work together on projects organically and fluidly with a relatively small footprint.
Studies have shown that without the right support, this type of workspace is killing productivity. While some thrive in a busy, noisy environment, others have a hard time concentrating over other conversations, ringing phones, people moving through space and other endless distractions. Some people have a hard time completing their day-to-day tasks in this environment. It is important to consider these factors, designing to accommodate both introverts and extroverts.
If you plan to move towards this type of layout, it is important to provide private spaces where individuals can make phone calls, have private meetings or close themselves in as necessary.
There is a trend towards a variety of furniture types to provide unassigned workspaces and support a wide range of activities. Small break-out rooms for private tasks and lounge areas with smart boards for collaboration allow your team to work in an environment that best supports the task at hand and is strongly encouraged in the office interior design world. Furniture designers are offering more and more innovative systems to support this trend. We expect this to become the norm in office design.
Does your team have the tools they need to prevent carpal tunnel, eye strain, and back pain after hours of desk work? It is surprising how many employees say they do not need them or that their employers will not provide them.
There are varying levels of ergonomics in the office. At very least, each workstation should have a good quality chair with several adjustment options, keyboard tray and monitor arm. If a $2000+ workstation scares you, start small.