Office design has evolved beyond being a space where work happens to occur, now it’s another asset that helps businesses achieve their goals. Today there is more of an emphasis on strategic office design and balancing personal and social needs by creating a diversity of spaces. Great offices are far less uniform than they were 20 years ago, and this diversity is making it easier to keep up with the speed of change in office design.
Does your current workspace support your organizational goals? Here are some of the ways you can leverage your office to help meet your business goals:
Look for multipurpose opportunities
More companies are creating multi-use spaces in their workspace design because of the advantages of adaptability. Multi-use spaces not only benefit employees – either by providing social/collaboration areas or giving them more control over how they use their workspace, but they offer benefits to companies as well.
The most obvious benefit of multi-use spaces is saving space, which is great for those working without a lot of square footage. A spacious kitchen, for instance, can also serve has a meeting or collaboration space. A large conference-size table can be used for lunch breaks and meetings.
But saving money by serving multiple needs isn’t the only benefit of multi-use spaces, they also make it easy to reassign or redesign. Having flexible spaces means less downtime when office configurations need to be done, whether due to an increase or shrinking workforce, or when layouts need to be improved. Companies are designing spaces that can be repurposed at any time at little to no cost, making it easy for the company to grow and change their needs within the same space.
Obviously, when designing multi-use spaces compatibility of the different activities have to be considered if they’re performed at the same time. In practice, a flexible workspace replaces rigid cubicles with transformative spaces. You need designs that cater to daily movement, various workflows, and collaboration.
Connecting design layout to business objects
In your office design, think about how you can optimize each area to help with the tasks that are taking place. Though open spaces look great, there are also advantages of being in close proximity to team members and resources. Research on the benefits of density show that space constraints can be an asset as long as the design is connected to your business objectives.
Some examples would be:
- Setting up meeting rooms that are video conference enabled, with whiteboards, and everything you use to hold productive group work sessions.
- Using technology and creative design that increases engagement anywhere and at any time.
- Is your objective to boost sales, inspire creativity, or produce great accuracy? Consider how your office design is supporting those different goals.
Because of the shift towards adaptability, many buildings have stopped being designed for specific tenants. Instead, buildings are built in a certain style and hope for future tenancy. You could say, that there’s more of a focus on a building’s ability to be repurposed.
Thankfully, there’s a lot that can be done with office design to to help align a space with the purpose of the business. Whether it’s to support a commercial strategy, to accommodate innovative work processes, or communicating a particular set of business values, aligning your design to your purpose will naturally help you meet your business goals.
One of many examples why things have changed is the famous ‘The Gherkin’ building in London. It was a high-cost building made for insurance company Swiss Re, but then their needs changed, and it became extremely expensive to convert the building for use by other tenants. Today, a better building would maximize purpose and performance rather than the corporation.