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The Future Of Office Workspaces

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In the last few years, there has been a distinct change in the appearance of the office workspace. The use of traditional cell-style offices and an open plan layout are on the decrease, largely because of dwindling productivity rates and a re-focus on employee well-being.

A new breed of workspace is in the ascendancy, and, inspired by the success of the tech giants, SME's are beginning to take notice. If you think that an office redesign could help your business, read on to discover the key factors you need to address.

Communal Work Areas

When it comes to the modern office, flexibility is king. No longer are staff being forced to sit in the same place throughout their employment. Rather than being dictated to, there should be a range of work areas for them to choose. Communal work tables are popular, as are soft seating areas, and the ability to stand up and work if desired.

This variety of choice has a number of advantages. Productivity is enhanced through increased employee interactions, and the collaboration of ideas. The ability to move work areas means that any staff conflicts can be avoided (they are no longer forced to sit next to people they do not agree with).

This obviously has further benefits on reduced staff absence and improved employee morale. In short, flexible workspaces create an environment where employee happiness and company productivity are paramount. No longer are the two treated as separate subjects – if an employee is happy and creative, then error rates reduce and better business performance is sure to follow – research shows that an effective workplace can improve productivity by 3.5%.

Office Infrastructure

If you are serious about making your office a hub of creativity, then it is crucial that much of the current design is evaluated. Ergonomic furniture should be used to ensure that sitting or standing at the workstation can be achieved. Once installed, be sure to gather staff feedback on the new products - are they suitable for their needs?

Poorly ventilated buildings have been shown to lower employee productivity, as have offices with carpeting. Fixing the air conditioning, or allowing window ventilation should therefore be a priority! 21 degrees is the optimum temperature for staff performance, so consider this alongside the ventilation needs. Carpets must be regularly washed, or ideally replaced with hard flooring.

Finally, assess the current lighting system. Could natural light be maximised and adjustable lighting be installed?

Employee Well-being

Once the office infrastructure is thoroughly renovated, the workspace will thankfully be a much healthier and productive environment (50% of workers are currently unhappy with the cleanliness of their offices!)

Alongside a workplace that is primed for performance, make sure that company policies also reflect the new culture that is being created. Regular breaks help to reduce stress and improve employee creativity, so resist the temptation to ask too much of your employees - it will affect your business eventually.

Also remember that companies with welcoming, innovative offices and a reputation for good employment practices tend to attract the best workers. This is obviously a major advantage for encouraging future growth.

When it comes to the modern office, flexibility is king. No longer are staff being forced to sit in the same place throughout their employment. Rather than being dictated to, there should be a range of work areas for them to choose. Communal work tables are popular, as are soft seating areas, and the ability to stand up and work if desired.

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