There are many components to a successful business, marketing strategies need to be right, the product or service needs to be in demand, and the people who run the business should be focused, customer orientated, and have tangible goals. These are the basic essential ingredients to a successful company, but if we delve a little deeper, there are other important areas that make up a winning team. The working environment has an impact on performance, and that could be positive or negative, depending on the design and ambience. Research suggests the people respond positively to a friendly, open environment where everybody’s opinions are accepted and all are working towards a common goal, which is the success of the company.
Well-being is essential if a person is to excel in the workplace, and that doesn’t just refer to interpersonal relationships, with immediate environment and ambience also playing a part. The ideal office layout should be efficient, pleasing to the eye, and above all comfortable. The right lighting is critical, as this has a bearing on human emotion. If your business is based in the UK and you are a little too far from the capital, Saracen Interiors are experts in office designing, and with a comprehensive service, they can take care of everything.
The difference between a mediocre employee and a high flyer could be something as simple as the physical environment of the workplace. Many Studies have revealed that the immediate environment affects people significantly, and by using the right colours and lighting, it promotes well-being, and a happier disposition, which can be infectious. People respond well to increased responsibility and involvement, so why not bring your employees into the frame when redesigning the office? It is, after all, their arena.
The Communal Area
Even in an open Office environment, there needs to be an area where the employees can gather. This communal area should be equipped with tools and gadgets for successful brainstorming sessions, strategic planning, and to facilitate other decisions that need to be made when running a business. Adequate screening would ensure privacy, and with a never ending supply of coffee and cakes, the creative minds will flourish. Group sessions in an informal setting often create the perfect solution to a problem that people have spent days trying to solve. Whiteboards, masses of marker pens, reams of paper, and a large circular table would be the ideal arena to stimulate creative, out of the box thinking, and the big hi-tech giants like Facebook are demonstrating how effective dialogue can be, with their open dialogue environment as a major source of inspiration.
A badly designed office would naturally look cluttered, and with stress hanging in the air, as the employees desperately try to maintain a level of orderliness, it would be very apparent to a visitor that this organisation is not at all organised. If your clients sometimes visit your offices, then you need to bear this is mind when designing the reception area. If you would like to delve deeper into the importance of office design, look no further.
Focus on Success
There would be a waiting area, with quality seating, furniture and décor. This is the ideal place for a flat screen TV that loops a video presentation, highlighting your company’s successes, and also providing information about your planned future. Company brochures should be liberally distributed in any area a visitor might occupy, and any awards or trophies should be prominently displayed. If your visitors are constantly being reminded of your success, they will subconsciously be more confident in dealing with you.
The most important component of all, as this is where your employees actually operate, and while you want to give everyone a degree of privacy, the layout should encourage open dialogue, with half size partitions to allow face to face dialogue, even across the entire space. The ideal workstation has the following attributes:
- Plenty of hidden storage space
- Adequate seclusion
- Comfortable swivel chairs
- Task lighting
- Adequate wall space
Sufficient power outlets are also required, and with partitions and screens, one can discreetly hide the cables, either that or they can be contained in underfloor channels. The future looks wireless, so this will no longer be an issue soon.
Research suggests that by spending some time analysing the various tasks that staff members have to undertake, it can vastly improve the efficiency of the operation, and with careful consideration regarding who sits where, you can really oil the machine. Some companies prefer to isolate different departments, allowing them to focus on their specific task, and if your organisation fits into this group, semi-permanent partitions and walls can effectively separate different sectors of the business.
If you subscribe to the 21st century business model, freedom and creativity will be high on the list. Informal dress and irregular working hours are the norm in this arena, and by placing more responsibility on the individual employee to ensure that their work is completed to a set standard and according to schedule, it brings out the best in them, and they strive to improve. Open plan office design has very much stolen the show in terms of modern office concepts, and with the relaxed ambience of flexi-working, creativity and initiative are always welcome.
Time for Change
The smart manager might look at the office revamp as the ideal time to make major changes, as any visual amendment will reinforce any strategic or motivational exercises that would likely result in a turnaround for the business. Announce the fact that the office refit is just a small part of the overall plan to make the business a stronger and more effective organisation. Invite all staff members to participate in the planning, and with team building exercises regularly introduced, the winning spirit will soon surface.
Office redesign is no longer something that happens when furniture is faded, as it has been proven to be an essential component to a winning organisation, and with professional help, you will reap the benefits of something you initially thought was insignificant.