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  • Writer's pictureLynsey Woods

5 Reasons Why Office Design Does Matter

What do your people need to do their best work? The right setting.

What do your guests first notice when they enter your workplace? What’s around them.

How do you foster the right culture? Create a positive and inclusive workplace.

What’s the number one priority Millennials look for when choosing the next company to work for? The office environment.

These are just a few examples of the importance of good office design; as it has a direct impact on your people, your business, and your bottom line.

To future proof your business, your physical office should be a flexible space authentic to your brand, dynamic and people focussed. Here’s a deeper look at why good office design *really* matters… (BYO cuppa of course).

1. Your Place Is Your Physical Brand

Where you locate your office space, and what you do with it, speaks volumes about your company values and vision. Your physical space is a manifestation of your brand, and an easy way to showcase what you stand for to your people, clients, and partners.

Great culture doesn't just happen on its own; it has to be imagined, nurtured and supported. The design, appearance, and functionality of a workspace communicates a lot about company culture; and office design is a crucial vehicle for promoting the kind of culture you want to build to keep your people and engaged. Stale, and dull workplaces can be uninspiring for employees – and whether we want to admit it or not, perception is reality. Ask your staff for suggestions on the spatial features they’d like to allow them to do their best work, as seeking input on design can impact and help create the culture you are trying to support.

Clients have expectations too; you want your office space to live up to the promises you've made, so it’s imperative that your office aligns with that you’re telling them; and let’s not forget the client experience starts from the very first interaction, which most of the time is in your office.

Your office can also provide an impactful (and fitting) visual backdrop for relevant B2C + B2B content, and as content is often shared on external platforms, getting it right is more important than ever.

Every business has a story to tell, what’s yours?

Not so sure? That’s where we come in; we can carefully curate a purpose led solution taking into consideration the overall user experience; layout, furnishings, graphic design, colour palette and understanding the functionality to ensure (bang for your buck, and) you’re telling the world the right message, as in some cases you may only get one shot.

2. Your Office Impacts Your People

A human-centric approach places employee engagement and emotional connection as it’s foundation, and recently, Steelcase Research uncovered five overarching needs that will drive what people need from their office:

1. Safety first – air quality, cleanliness, and physical boundaries are top of the priority list

2. A sense of belonging – connection with colleagues, and an environment that allows employees to reconnect with their organisation and shared purpose is key

3. Productivity plus – the workplace of the future needs to support all modes of work, from collaboration to focused tasks, with access to tools and technology

4. Comfort is key – flexible work settings and a range of different environments to achieve a myriad of work tasks is the key to success (as I currently type from a lounge)

5. Greater control – people want a better experience in which they can easily shift between group or solo work in both physical and digital environments

For the last two years, people have felt more disengaged or disconnected from extended periods of working at home; so it's critical that the office provides a safe and inviting sanctuary. Moreover, the pandemic has forced people to stop and think about what they love and need in a workplace and culture to support their ambitions – what have your people shared with you?

3. Your Space Can Inspire

Unsurprisingly, a well-considered workspace can inspire creativity, and productivity, and enhance the employee experience. More than that, you can create a work environment that’s a welcoming destination and social gathering point for employees, where it's happy hour, every hour.

Here are some of the area’s workplace design can assist in inspiring your employees:

- Activity based and flexible spaces – meeting pods, chill out zones, and dedicated spaces for collaboration and focus work; gives your people choice, control, and the freedom to complete their work more effectively

- Health and well-being focussed – greenery, natural light, and fresh air can promote both productivity and wellness

- A sense of community – communal areas, healthy treats, yoga rooms, free coffees, a bar, and break rooms will allow your people to relax, unplug and connect

- Ambience all the way – branding, colour, and aesthetics provides visual stimulus and sure-fire way to enhance creativity thinking (and more)

If you want your people to the best version of themselves, you need to give them the best version of your office, as you’ll get less with anything less. If this feels a bit too hard, or expensive, we can come up with all sorts of solutions to your brief and budget, we’re ridiculously resourceful, just ask us.

STAR Commercial Construction Project

4. Your Office Design Can Attract Top Talent

According to one study, a third of millennials choose a job based on the office environment over salary; meaning the state of your office, and the experience you are offering is in fact, a massive deal breaker.

What this means is, the needs (and wants) of your current and future workforce should be the priority when designing your office space, as your physical office experience can assist in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Once you’ve had your office designed, invest in professional shots and a solid PR plan to position your office as the drawcard, as it clearly matters! If your current office space isn’t quite up to scratch, we can chat workplace design to support your needs – give us a shout, here.

5. You Can Save You Money – Yes, Money!

The cost of property is one of the highest overheads for a business. So, the answer is simple – make smarter use of your space.

An easy money saver is reducing your electricity bills. We can recommend suitable lighting solutions (that include positioning and bulb options) to minimise your electrical output that will save you on your utility fees (and the environment – a win-win for everyone).

Proper spatial planning can also save, or make you money. Our Interior Designer can work with you to free up some space that will create rental return or maximise your current space (aka fit more in) to save you money by avoiding an unnecessary move.

You can also save money on recruitment fees. Providing a well-functioning and positive environment means you’ll be hiring less frequently as research has proven that happy employees stick around for longer = more money for your back pocket.

So, if you’ve thought the process of a new design and build could be a costly one, think about the long-term savings (and benefits, of course) #kerching.

In Summary...

With benefits aplenty, office design does in fact matter. The bottom line is, people judge a book by its cover, so make sure yours matches what's inside. You may not need a slippery dip at your reception (not the worst idea I’ve had), but you do need to think about how you want to be perceived, what messages you want to convey and how you want your staff to feel when they're at work. When you get your space right, the investment will pay off.

Sell time (wink, wink)… not sure where to start, could use a helping hand to better support your people, or you’d like to look at ways to maximise your current space? Well, you have come to the right place. We love what we do, have been doing it for a long time, and get a kick out of creating impactful spaces that make a difference… to you. Give us a call today, coffee is on us.

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