Expand Your Office Space to the Great Outdoors


EXPAND YOUR OFFICE SPACE TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS - Tag - Blog Header

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?

The Perks

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.

The Pitfalls

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.

Adjust Your Office Layout, Increase Employee Productivity


Adjust Your Office Layout, Increase Employee Productivity - Tenant Advisory Group

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.

Distraction-Free Zones

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.

Adaptive Workstations

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.

Overcrowding an Office is Bad for Business


OVERCROWDING AN OFFICE IS BAD FOR BUSINESS - Tenant Advisory Group

When building your office floor plan, it’s always better to have more room than not enough space. Packing people into an office lowers employee satisfaction and can lead to a counterproductive work environment, which may negate any money you save in rent. By offering your staff more free-space and a comfortable office, not only will you leave room for growth, but morale will maintain a healthy level, leading to a happier and more efficient business.

Office Environment

The structure of an office plays many roles from safety (overcrowded spaces can block exits) and employee happiness to an effective recruitment tool. For example, the open office design has become popular among employers and employees in recent years. Originally, the idea was that it promotes collaboration and enhances the energy of the office. However, the reality of this layout is that only a small subset of businesses benefit from it. Oftentimes, this style of office layout amplifies the negative effects of overcrowding, as finding a quiet moment to compose emails, reports or make phone calls can be a challenge. A poorly strategized, overcrowded work environment can have a direct effect on the productivity of a business.

Less Productive Employees

Employees are the lifeblood of any business, and their productivity is directly tied to their happiness. Smaller, packed offices have a negative impact on the mental and physical health of employees. Not only are environmental stressors increased by the higher noise levels and reduced concentration, but funneling employees into a compact space can also increase the risk of communicable illnesses. (This means colds can incapacitate more of your workforce). Additionally, more workplace conflicts can arise from the frustration of a packed, loud environment. More sick days, frustrated workers and a lack of privacy all lead to a decline in employee happiness and productivity.

Prepare for the Future

A strong business model considers the future growth of a company. In order to avoid overcrowding an office, search for an office space that accounts for reasonable projected growth. Oftentimes, an extra ten or twenty percent of office space can prevent a lot of issues from arising. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, it has the potential to provide greater returns in the future by avoiding terminated lease fees, increasing the lifespan of office equipment and better lease terms that come with a longer lease duration. Not only that, but a company that places its employees first with a comfortable work environment will attract more top talent.

Properly building your office for its current population plus future growth will offer many long-term benefits to your business. Increased productivity, safe workspaces and a boost in employee morale all stem from providing employees with a comfortable workspace. Speak with a professional broker when searching for a new office, as they will be able to offer valuable advice that can contribute towards the success of your business.