The digital age has informed a whole new approach to workplace design which is constantly being reformed as our needs for these spaces morph and change. We hear from our friends at Chair Crazy about the need for quality workplace design.More and more companies are realising the impact that workplace design has on productivity and a company’s bottom line. Studies have shown that poor workplace design can result in a massive loss of productivity and general work ethic. In fact, research from Gensler, a global architect and design firm, reveals that poor workplace design costs American businesses about $330billion in lost productivity each year. Goes to show just how vital design can be!
There is a lot to consider when designing a workspace. It needs to be both friendly and functional so as to attract and retain high-quality employees. For example, in today’s economy more people are having to take late retirement, so while attracting the more Gen-Z employees who are starting off their careers, companies need to take care of their older personnel too. This mix of ages proves beneficial for most organisations as each generation brings in their own experience and skill set which provides a well-rounded workforce.
There are many other factors that contribute to planning a functional workplace, but here are some of the most significant ones to inspire you.
Activity Based Working (ABW) is a transformational business strategy that provides people with a choice of settings for a variety of workplace activities. A space that is designed with this in mind would typically feature a combination of open, private, team and breakout spaces. The idea is for people to choose where and how they work depending on the task and their work style. This leads to higher productivity and lower employee turnover.
Alongside this philosophy comes the transformation of the breakout space. These areas are becoming more than just a place to relax or eat lunch. They can be used as additional meeting rooms, or feature spaces specifically aimed at team work. These spaces generally feature domestic-style interiors, where employees feel more relaxed and at ease in their surroundings as well as able to communicate with a group of people without the feeling of a stringent boardroom. This is also an opportunity to play with design concepts that are not necessarily confined to a typical office space.
As these ideas grow in popularity we are bound to see culture and values become more integrated into workplace designs, and customised and unique features including furniture will grow in popularity.ADAPTABLE WORKPLACES
The ability to continuously monitor how a workplace is used means we can regularly analyse their impact on the employees and their productivity. If a workplace needs constant altering, or if your company is growing, your spaces and furniture need to be adaptable.
Technology is another factor that is constantly changing, meaning companies need spaces and furniture that can adapt to new equipment.DESIGNING FOR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING
The well-being of employees is vital to any company worth their salt, however, workplaces that integrate well-being into their design aren’t so common. We are starting to see more architects and designers taking this into account and trying to encourage movement throughout the day.
This means looking into ergonomics and incorporating furniture that ensures comfort and support for those that spend long hours utilising them.Designing for well-being goes beyond just the physical aspects and looks at employee mental well-being as well. Social interaction and positive relationships with colleagues contribute to a constructive attitude towards work. Areas, where employees can eat together or relax are important as much as it is to have some level of personal space where one can concentrate.
Another factor that can help psychological well-being is incorporating natural elements into workplace design. ‘Biophilic design” incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature views and other experiences of the natural world into the modern built environment.
Research has shown the positive effect features such as plants, natural light, and views of nature have on employees. This has greatly influenced the trend that has designers looking beyond simple additions such as plants and live walls, and taking a more wholistic approach, such as using natural elements as a framework and developing the workplace around them.More focus will also be on the materials throughout the office including furniture. While natural looking finishes will be popular, the emphasis will go beyond their appearance, to consider how they’re produced and sourced.
Chair Crazy has several ergonomically efficient office chairs on offer.
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