We happened to notice an article in the Business Am this morning on something that we've covered a few times in recent blog posts. The article, 'Why your office space really counts: How your workplace environment can impact your productivity' looks at four factors that can positively impact on workforce productivity, these being:
- Innovative design
- Space for creative thinking
- An on-site cafe
- Parties for collaboration
We wanted to pick up on the piece about creating space for innovative thinking, as although the concept is certainly not new, adoption within workplaces is sluggish. Many management teams when thinking about their new office design, still think within the terms of a traditional office. As an office fit out specialist, our job is to enact a clients brief to the tee, but we feel it is just as important to suggest ways in which an office design can be configured to reflect current thinking and workplace trends.
In the article, the space which we would call a collaborative space is referred to as a 'business lounge', where accidental interactions are possible and employees are given the space to free up their thoughts. We've also heard this kind of space referred to as cafe style which combines bench seating and cafe tables with traditional office chairs and desks.
We think the slow take-up partly lies with many people mistaking the collaborative space for an "open plan" office design which can be distracting and counterproductive. A collaborative space is different from an open plan because it's shielded from general office noise while promoting communication among the people using the space.
Dissatisfaction with traditional open plan offices and more awareness around employee health, coupled with advances in technology have brought about changes in how and where we work. It's the forward-looking companies that are adopting these changes but it won't be long before everyone starts to make their office design more reflective of the collaborative approach.
Will 2015 be the year that you finally re-think your workplace layout? Get in touch if you'd like a to arrange a free consultation with us to discuss some ideas.