Adapted from: Forbes
Office space productivity matters to employee. But finding the right balance to meet varying employee needs is often easier said than done.
Office space productivity can be improved by providing employees with options for both privacy and interaction.
Space is important to employees. If your business has an open floor plan, provide spaces where employees can get away when they need to do heads-down work. People value “a place to call their own,” says Chris Denny, founder of Attention to Detail, a productivity consulting firm. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but flexibility and creativity can be key to achieving office space productivity.
Workers are varied and their needs and preferences of workspaces are too. The best option may be to design workspaces with flexibility in mind. Employees shouldn’t necessarily be relegated to just a single workspace or area. Employees with a private office space may, at times, want to work collaboratively with others. Shared spaces can provide the opportunity to be flexible depending on the type of work and the preferences of the individuals involved. Businesses should design spaces to play to the strengths of their employees — building flexibility in from the outset. For instance, instead of having fixed walls, organizations can use movable barriers or dividers to allow different types of configurations. As business needs change, these types of flexible and movable space options can change with the business as well.
Not all employers have the ability to physically provide private space, natural light or other amenities for employees. Still, much can be done to improve the environment. Sometimes little things really make a difference to staff, such as the ability to look out a window that offers natural light and a welcome distraction from cubicles and workspace. Or, the ability to step outside for a walk instead of holding a meeting in a conference room. Employees might also appreciate the flexibility to decorate their workspaces with items from home including artwork, plants or family photos.
By being flexible and listening to input from your staff members, you can find the right focus on office space productivity to meet employee and organizational needs and budgets. Whether your organization has the budget or wherewithal to make major changes to workspace layouts, there are clearly a number of things that can be done to help find the right balance between private and open work areas to meet the individual preferences of employees.