Companies are always tweaking their work environments to boost productivity and employee satisfaction, but are they running out of ways to change the office? Not yet. Businesses are electing to create outdoor office spaces to help staff relax and reconnect with nature. However, are outdoor office spaces a good idea?
A well-designed outdoor office space makes for an effective recruiting tool, attracting top talent to the unique design. It increases employee satisfaction, reduces turnover and boosts productivity. Allowing employees to wander outside to work will give them more of a feeling of freedom, exposing them to much-needed natural lighting and fresh air. It can also contribute to the company culture, as an outdoor workspace offers a relaxed, casual way to connect across departments.
Weather can be unpredictable and sometimes brutal. Outdoor workplaces will be unusable for a large chunk of the year, due to cold, heat, wind, rain, etc. Another downside of an outdoor workspace is it can be more difficult to keep secure. There is also a fine line to walk when creating an outdoor workspace, as it can quickly become a distraction if it is too recreation-centric.
The Right Mix
If executed properly, an outdoor workspace can add a fun, unique dimension to an office. A large majority of the office should remain indoors while still incorporating outdoor elements such as natural lighting and plants. Well-developed indoor spaces will always be necessary, especially for roles that demand an environment with limited noise and distractions.
Corporations are finally thinking outside of the box and creating outdoor workspaces where employees can elect to work in a new setting or simply recharge. With the reversal in workspace design comes a number of benefits and pitfalls. However, as with most office designs, the best layout incorporates a mixture of styles to cater to every unique employee.
Increasing employee productivity has been a challenge faced since the early days of the traditional office space. Unfortunately, many companies overlook a simple yet crucial solution: office layout. Improving the overall design of a space can do wonders in improving corporate culture, leading to better productivity.
Small Changes for Huge Impact
Creating a healthy environment is essential to increasing productivity, as it impacts both the physical and mental health of your employees. The first step is to make sure the office is physically comfortable by maintaining a reasonable temperature, comfortable office furniture and adequate lighting. Consider natural sunlight and plants to make the room more approachable and improve the overall mental health of workers. (Poor lighting can cause people to feel more tired, experience eyestrain and can even amplify the effects of depression.) When planning the design of an office, it’s also important to consider the furniture, as your employees will be using it in a full-time capacity.
To foster a comfortable atmosphere in your office, limit noise in designated areas so employees may concentrate. While the open office layout is feasible for some industries, the best design will incorporate zones dedicated to employees who need to be on the phone as well as workspaces that focus on minimizing distractions. Additionally, place noisy office appliances and equipment in a separate area to decrease noise.
Rather than creating an office that is either all cubicles or one open room, design an environment that incorporates the advantages of both styles. Designated workstations will give your employees the benefit of an organized, private work environment, while an open area will promote collaboration and camaraderie. An adaptive workplace will also allow workers to find an area that best suits their current project to help their individual productivity.
The design, layout and future planning of an office is critical to the success of a business, as it can eliminate a variety of problems and induce stronger results for the company. With so much to consider when searching for a new office, working with a knowledgeable, professional broker can save you time and money, while achieving better results.