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Want to see a boost in creativity and productivity at the office? While many factors may influence just how productive your team is, the layout of your office can actually also have a lot to say for how well they work – and it’s such a quick fix to ensure the best kind of work environment. It is at least a lot quicker than hawking over each employee to make sure everybody is pulling their load.
Here is a guide to the kind of office layout that may boost your team’s efficiency. Keep in mind that all businesses are their cultures are different, though, so pick the one that might work for your specific situation.
What is innovative office design?
We’re not just pulling out any feng shui and running with it here; studies have proven that workplace performance is, in fact, directly linked to the level of innovate office design. So what is considered an innovative design, in any way?
It’s actually about more than just having the fanciest technology and the latest coffee machines available – and no, you don’t have to install a basketball court in the middle of the office to be considered innovative.
The idea is that everything in the office needs to be thought-through, from the comfort of each employee’s desk to how well the lounge is laid out to encourage conversations between the team members.
Think about the four key work modes
There are, as you may well know, four key work modes that are essential to reach the kind of processes in the workplace that you are looking for: focus, collaboration, learning and socialising.
This needs to be the red line throughout your office design and you should think about how easy it is for your employees to do exactly this; focus on their own work, engage in collaboration with other employees, learn while they’re on the job, and socialise with the rest of the team.
Without these four elements, you simply won’t be able to be as productive and creative as you could have been – and each element needs to be given its fair share of weight to ensure the best kind of work environment.
A workplace where the employees are confined to their separate cubicles will, in other words, mean that they can’t collaborate and socialise as well – while a completely open office landscape might make it difficult for the individual members to focus.
Remember that clutter kills productivity
Sure, some clutter may, in fact, make it easier to be creative but it will at the same time make it harder for your employees to focus on the task ahead of them.
Allow them to work in neat and tidy surroundings and encourage creativity through team meetings and other forms of socialisation – it is especially important if you have an open office landscape where it’s usually a bit harder to focus.
Get all those wires in order, treat the office to polished concrete flooring to improve its look and make it easier to keep the floor clean, and make sure the office is reasonably quiet to accommodate for focused work.
This includes ensuring that their computers and emails are in order, so remind your employees to keep their desks as well as their desktops clean – while you don’t want to parent them, it really is for their own good.
Give them opportunities for learning
Give them opportunities for learning as well, through a small media lab in the lounge or coffee bar, for example. Equip it with headphones, suggestions for webinars they might be interested in, and remember to follow up on any employee who mentions a skill they would like to improve in case they’re not able to come up with a plan of action on their own.
It’s so important that you, as their boss, encourage this and help them to find a way to actually improve the skills they have in mind – so get that media lab installed and you’ll be well on your way to be seen as ‘the best boss ever.’
It will be so much more fulfilling for your employees to show up for work every morning – and they certainly won’t jump ships when they have an office like this.