8 Ways Shared Office Spaces Design Can Engage Employee

By Shantanu Mohan

September 29, 2017

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24% of employees work remotely at least part of the time.

Over just the last decade, companies have slashed commercial office space by 50 square feet. Thirty years ago, the per-employee allotment was five times what it is today.

Online freelancers are now 35% of the workforce.

As business leaders and office designers, we’re getting smarter about how we think of the workplace. We’re looking for more modern ways to engage employees and maximize productivity.

Office design contributes greatly to our meeting of those objectives. Let’s explore how.

1. Meeting Communication Needs

Whether you’re running a mailroom or a customer contact center, communication among employees is key to the success of your business.

Employees want to know what’s going on in the company, within management, and within other teams and departments. This information helps to drive:

  • Employee engagement
  • Employee loyalty
  • Employee productivity
  • Employee self-worth
  • Employee retention

When we take employees and teams out of their silos, they can see the whole picture and work more effectively. Office design, both digital and real-world, that promotes communication will help you engage employees.

2. Meeting Human Connection Needs

Regardless of whether they label themselves an introvert or extrovert, all humans need connection.

Without human connection, it’s hard for an employee to see their job as anything other than a paycheck.

As you design your office, work to create and utilize spaces that encourage interaction among employees and provide that needed environment to communicate and collaborate.

3. Making All Employees Feel Included

If you manage remote employees, you know the truth of this statement: It’s difficult to help remote employees feel included.

Out of sight, out of mind, they seem to be the last to know what’s happening in the office. They don’t make it to the office potlucks, onsite training, or other real-world team-building activities.

But new times call for new management strategies when it comes to helping all employees feel like a part of the team.

As you design your office for inclusion, consider how you will promote togetherness in the digital age.

4. Inspiring Pride in Your Brand

It’s no secret that people are impacted by their surroundings. When people are in a clean, inviting and well-designed workspace, they feel better about themselves, their co-workers and the company.

Spurring interest in your employee brand drives down recruitment costs and increases productivity and job satisfaction.

As you look for the best office designs to engage employees, choose spaces that promote this pride.

5. Inspiring Creativity

Creativity may seem to come from the inside. We like to say that certain people are naturally creative. But the environment has a lot to do with generating creative thoughts.

This environment may include:

  • An inspirational space
  • Co-workers off which to bounce ideas
  • Tools that stimulate brainstorming

Your office design is the garden in which creativity grows.

6. Supporting Employee-Centrism

You aren’t living in the early 1900s. You know that your employees are more than cogs in a piece of machinery. They’re people who contribute to the success of your company.

When you treat them like the valuable people they are, you can engage employees more effectively.

When looking for office space, consider what that space communicates to your employees. Does it demonstrate that you value them? Or, does it suggest that you just did the bare minimum?

7. Making Collaborating Easy

In order to engage employees, office design must be functional. If they spend all their time complaining about tools and software that don’t work right or office space that seems dark and dreary, you’re engaging them in the wrong way.

The more seamless you can make this collaboration through office design, the more efficiently team members will be able to work together to meet company goals.

8. Improving the Feedback Loop

You know how important the feedback loop is to your success.

When employees aren’t interacting with management and other team members, they can waste a lot of time moving in the wrong direction with a project.

There might be tasks that they could do faster and better if they only knew about a little trick that someone else knows.

Most of the feedback loop is impromptu and casual. This is when employees and management are most receptive to critiques and input.

If a space is isolating and otherwise poorly designed, then the feedback doesn’t happen. No one learns and grows. Things continue happening in the same old broken way.

When evaluating office design ideas, both digital and real-world, consider how the feedback loop will take place and how you can continue to provide employees and management with this invaluable support.

9. Optimizing for Flexibility

Employees today want options. For some, it’s about work-life balance. For others, they’re looking for ways to avoid that daily commute.

Sometimes employees need more interaction with others, either online or in person. Sometimes working in a quiet home office allows them to be more productive.

Office design doesn’t have to be just one way. It can provide a variety of options so that employees and management always have the choices to work in the most effective way to engage employees and maximize productivity.

Office Design Can Engage Employees in All the Right Ways

Engaged employees are more connected employees.

They’re more productive. They’re more creative. They’re more committed.

The design of an office space, whether digital or real-world, contributes greatly to how employees work together to meet company goals.

Flexibility in office design allows you to maximize employee efforts.

To learn more about how we can help you design the ideal office space, contact us today!

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