Designing a fresh office floor plan that encourages productivity, teamwork, and job satisfaction is a daunting task. To be successful in your mission, you must take into account the work habits and job descriptions of both your long-term and yet-to-be-hired workers. You must see your company’s future to envision an office that grows to accommodate the inevitable changes in your specific industry.
Office arrangements are undergoing radical transformations as companies move away from old-school cubicles and rows of same-size offices. The sharpest floor plan designers today use research about human nature, productivity, and future innovations to develop office environments that produce results. Office planners create workplaces that make employees want to come to work by offering the four following benefits every staff member needs to succeed.
1. Sense of Community
As companies pare down the workforce and more people work from home, businesses must find ways to build a sense of community within their ranks. This ideal is accomplished using high-tech tools and office arrangements in the modern office.
Instead of hashing through the week’s agenda with a conference call, a wise company uses videoconferencing applications that allow everyone in attendance—no matter where they’re scattered around the globe—to be seen and heard. The office should have at least one space large enough for all employees to interact via videoconferencing to encourage workers to view their tasks as a group.
Another development that increases the sense of community is a glassed-in office. With this setup, staff members are not hidden behind walls and doors but can see and be seen. This feature increases a sense of collaboration while decreasing the sense of isolation some workers feel. If you have a problem with people approaching managers or co-workers to solve problems, the see-through walls encourage the active communication and participation every healthy workplace community shares.
2. Places to Think and Work Comfortably
The most productive workers today are not content to let their employers dictate how they must structure their workspaces and workflow. There are too many innovative companies snatching up the best employees for your business to grow complacent and retain an authoritarian edge to office assignment and task management.
While large open spaces are crucial for collaboration and meetings, sequestered spaces are also highly desired by the most productive workers. Recent research reveals that 58 percent of highly productive workers want more places in the office to get away from the crowd. 54 percent of the same high-performing respondents consider current offices too distracting. It’s clear that the office of the future will include sound-dampened, private rooms where the high-capacity thinkers and creators can work without interruption.
The loners and private types aren’t the only workers making managers rethink office layouts. The smart office of today is designed to enable a variety of working styles. In the same office, both the engineer who needs a nearby window with a view and the marketing specialist who needs to be closed up in a small, windowless room are afforded spaces that align with their preferred working environments.
3. Human Comforts to Boost Morale
Company policies that demand strictly enforced break times are becoming less common. Likewise, smart workplace designers are putting an end to offices devoid of proper accommodation for nourishment or hydration. The best workers are simply not going to stick around and toil for companies that begrudge them snacks and time to rest and regroup.
Research shows that workers who are hungry are not productive workers. Workers who can’t periodically step away from tough mental tasks are also prone to more stress and the related problems stress causes. Offices of the future will be more humane, encouraging staff to take time to properly care for themselves.
Creating a nurturing office doesn’t mean the workplace must become a free-for-all of socializing and slacking. What it means is that the office offers comfortable places for your best and brightest people to take breaks during extremely long workdays. It means creating offices that include kitchens where workers can store and create healthy meals. It means designing relaxing break areas where workers can enjoy their food in peace.
4. Technical Connection and Interaction
As the internet of things (IoT) grows, more offices will become part of the process. Smart offices will have every system and device monitored for efficiency and patterns of use. Workers will be able to view the ways other people in similar capacities manage their systems and devices.
For this reason, it’s wise to include office-wide Wi-Fi and other technical capabilities in your office plans. For one thing, opening the entire office to Wi-Fi is a great way to eliminate cords and wires to create a more minimalist office. More importantly, the completely connected office is integral to both internal and external staff communication.
But this inclusion comes with great responsibilities. Your high-tech plans should allow for dedicated space and infrastructure so your IT security team can keep your business data and operating systems as safe as possible.
Cloud storage should also be part of your connected scenario, allowing you to safely store important files off-site. This technology ensures an office tragedy or natural disaster won’t devastate your business if important files are lost. Cloud storage also saves space by lowering the need for an entire room devoted to filing cabinets and boxes.
The commercial real estate pros at Hartman Income REIT are ready to show you the office buildings you need to utilize the above-listed office features. Contact us today to schedule your tour of the incredible commercial spaces available right now in the Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio areas.