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The Impact Of Office Design On Business Performance

Your office is more than just bricks and mortar, it can also be a key tool to motivate and inspire your workforce.

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Your office is more than just bricks and mortar, it can also be a key tool to motivate and inspire your workforce.

Opinions

The Impact Of Office Design On Business Performance

Your office is more than just bricks and mortar, it can also be a key tool to motivate and inspire your workforce.

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Many companies fall into the trap of looking at office facilities as a pure balance-sheet expense. However, the forward-thinking ones consider their offices to be a key component of their corporate strategy. Office designs have been widely known to positively impact productivity, enhance employee well-being, and reduce staff turnover numbers.

The design of an office should inspire and capture imaginations, of those working within it and visiting clients and customers.

With Generation Z now entering the workforce, who are influenced by their devices and social media platforms, the likelihood is photos of the office space will regularly turn up in front of audiences sometimes unbeknown to the CEO of the business.

There are often two key components that affect office workers’ productivity: the quality of environment (ventilation, heating, natural lighting, décor, cleanliness) and the office layout (Informal/formal meeting areas, quiet areas, privacy, storage, desk, circulation space)

Productivity and retaining staff

Clearly, no office-design can be applied to suit every type of business and work function. Differences have been found in what is optimal for different business functions and indeed the various demographics of the staff found within it.

However, when taking the design of an office into account, there’s more than just the layout to consider when the objective is to assist the occupying business boost productivity levels. This includes:

-       Air quality - there are clear health benefits from good indoor air quality, and it can certainly improve employee productivity.

Figures from Harvard University revealed that workers within green buildings with suitable ventilations scored between 61%-100% higher in cognitive functions than those that were monitored in conventional office blocks.

-       Thermal comfort - employees experience a 4% reduction in performance at cooler temperatures and 6% at warmer temperatures.

-       Lighting - office workers with windows sleep an average of 46 min more per night and experience 27% less headaches.

-       Noise - office workers’ performance drops by 66% when exposed to distracting noise.

Company culture

Office interior design has never been more crucial for employers who want to build a thriving company culture, which constitutes their brand. Office design is one of the most effective ways to establish, communicate and foster a positive company culture.

Every element of the office design, from the colours to the furniture styles used and the art on the walls can speak volumes about a company’s values.

Office design has untold value in engaging employees and helping them to become brand ambassadors. Every company has a dominant culture, but they also have subcultures that can be acknowledged and expressed without damaging the overall personality of your business.

For example, a company can have a collaborative culture that is demonstrated in an open floor plan with a very flexible layout, but contains more controlled subcultures within some other departments.

Attracting and retaining talent

Design, profitability and performance must be part of the conversion in the boardroom simply because it can positively impact a company’s staff turnover numbers.

Imagine a stylish London-based office complete with cabins for meetings, tranquil and inspiring colours which harvest productivity, and spaces which enable employees to have proper breaks.

This would be an office that employees would be proud of and would simply want to keep coming back to. Such offices promote the entrepreneurial spirit and provides people with the freedom to think and meet.

Good office design counts for nothing if there isn’t a company culture shift to go with it. The building itself must be carefully aligned with the company’s philosophy and ethics. A good office environment only works when everyone knows how it works – and when people are given control over their space and time.

Stuart Eatock is Managing Director of ECE Architecture. Email: SEatock@ecearchitecture.com

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The Impact Of Office Design On Business Performance

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