By Elizabeth Dukes
Is your space the most useful it could possibly be? If not, modify. This process begins by understanding how each aspect of your workspace is being used. Traditionally, offices dedicate the most space to individual offices or workstations with the rest being collaborative space. But times are changing, and the new trend is to move to a more balanced environment with only 50% of space dedicated to private workstations.
Then, be sure that workstation assignments are dynamic, meaning they can be dedicated to more than one employee. This gives employees freedom to be mobile within the workspace, a big priority for millennials. They can then touch down in quiet areas or team-based areas if they feel the need. This freedom will allow them to discover their most productive location for each task.
Speaking of being mobile, this also pertains to technological mobility within the workspace. Enhance the ways your staff can work by allowing them access to work resources, which includes both data and their co-workers through technology. They should be able to easily connect and engage from anywhere through platforms such as audio/video conferencing, online meeting forums, and secure WIFI connections.
In order to give employees access to resources and services immediately, try Self-Service Technology in the workforce. This way, they won’t have to fill out a form or make a phone call to get what they need. Instead, they’ll use an app on their phone from both inside the office space or in the field. This empowers your staff to easily request services, locate equipment or other employees, and reserve space, which will give them greater control and enhances productivity not only for each member of the staff, but also for the team managing the workspace. Make sure the facilities team can receive and respond to requests real-time.
Once your staff can access all work-related resources easily, it’s time to focus on the whole person, including their health and wellbeing—a quickly rising trend in the workforce. Try to create spaces that force workers to get up and move to engage other employees, access amenities, and socialize. This will result in healthier, and thus, more productive, employees.
Taking this concept one step further, the workspace should offer ergonomically designed spaces and high, indoor air quality. Sustainability should also be a priority. Employees are more productive when they feel their environment is healthy and supports the community in which they live.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the way your workspace looks. Create pleasing aesthetics in a light and open office. Beige cubed-walls that reach the ceiling eliminate staff from being able to see each other, which results in low motivation.
Employees want to feel a since of pride and ownership in the association’s success. So promoting your organization’s brand is as important internally as it is externally. Try bringing your brand’s colors and imagery into the design of the workspace.
Fun isn’t forbidden. Every employee needs a break, especially since they’re spending more time at the office than ever before. In order to ensure workers are performing at their maximum, offer fun distractions. You don’t need to follow Google’s extreme model—with basketball courts, yoga classes and bowling alleys. Instead, start with a nice break room, with good snack food, and perhaps cable TV.
Lastly, all employees want to feel like they’re part of the reorganizing process, so it’s important to engage them while making decisions. As they embrace every new change within the workplace, you’ll see an increase in overall productivity.
Elizabeth Dukes is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of iOffice. She can be reached through its website at www.iofficecorp.com.