The modern workspace has evolved from merely a place for employees to sit and work alone in unadorned, individual cubicles, to well-designed, engaging spaces for personnel to work and cooperate for a common goal. For business and building owners, the design of the workspace has gained value like never before. Location, amenities and service offerings are just a few elements seen as essential to effective working environments. The November / December 2013 issue of BOMA Magazine explores the transformation of the designed workplace.
|“Designed to be Effective”
BOMA Magazine – November / December 2013
Commercial designers, here are a few tips stemming from the experts at BOMA Magazine for revamping a client’s office area to boost workers’ performance.
- Understand the functionality of the space. Designers need to understand that jobs are constantly progressing, thus altering the function of workspaces. Collaboration and spaces for optimal group work are becoming more necessary as, in the knowledge sector, a single person sometimes no longer has all the required skills and background to complete a job alone. In order to meet this need, a variety of collaborative spaces need to be provided. This affords employees flexibility for where they want to work as a group, which can lead to increased productivity.
- Suggest an open layout. Moving towards visibility in the workplace can promote an accessible, cohesive environment and help develop office culture and values. Robert A. Peck, director of Consulting for the Southeast Region at the architectural firm Gensler, says, “If we’re sitting where we cannot see people, we tend to forget about them. In an open environment, it’s harder to forget. So we can facilitate collaboration without forcing it.”
- Provide space for each type of worker. While collaborative space is critical, surveys have found that 54 percent of time spent by those in knowledge-sector businesses is spent in “focus” mode. Some employees thrive in distraction-free environments to focus, while others work better in ‘buzzing” surroundings. Commercial designers should have a mix of private and open spaces for their clients, so both types of people are catered to.
- Redesign or add social spaces into the office interior. By transforming social spaces like coffee bars or breaks rooms, employee satisfaction increases, including interaction, acceptance and encouragement. Often, conversations that start as social shift into business which advocates for connectivity.
Workspace design is being asked to lend to effectiveness, no longer surviving on location and conveniences. Making these changes will grant employees the tools they need to perform their best at their jobs.
Commercial architects and designers, are your workspace designs unlocking worker productivity? Please feel free to share your ideas and thoughts. To read more commercial design tips from the experts at BOMA Magazine, click on the photo below.