As we gain more and more understanding into the relationship between psychology and design in the workplace and research further and further into the effect that the workplace has on employees, it has become clear that the look and feel of an office space is of vital importance.
Business is constantly evolving, and this is due to a myriad of factors such as technological advancement, constantly evolving organisational structures and more demanding performance metrics. Because of these changes affecting employees, it is important that employers consider methods to help employees connect and engage more with their organisation. With this in mind, here are a few of the top workplace trends to watch:
1. We’re losing top talent
Many of our major nations for big business are facing talent shortages and declining growth rates. The repercussion of this is that it is more important than ever for workplaces to nail down employees who are the best for the job and the best fit for the company environment. Once these professionals are found, it is important that they feel supported to ensure they stick around.
Creating inspired and exciting office spaces is one great way to get prospective employees excited about working for your company. Not to mentioned that a vibrant office space gives existing employees pride in their work and in the company where they spend the majority of their time. Employers who are open to providing flexibility for how work is done will attract the best people and get the best out of them by catering to how they work best.
2. Engagement is important
It’s no surprise that engaged employees are the most profitable. The difference being that an engaged employee is invested in and focussed on the success of their organisation. However, studies concluded that those employees are few and far between.
So how can your workplace cultivate these qualities in your employees? The best solution for helping ensure your employees take ownership of their workspace is to involve them in design and refit plans. Collaboration is a great way to work so why not involve it in the evolution of your office? You may just end up with some amazing improvements and adaptations that you may never have thought of on your own.
3. Work is flexible and remote
Mobility and remoteness is the way of the future. People are becoming more efficient by working on the go due to the availability of technology and ease of resource sharing. Because of this, in the design of workplaces, specific, assigned office spaces will often go to waste. This means that an alternative needs to be considered. One to think about is zones that allow people to unload and plug in when necessary rather than the outdated closed office.
4. Activity-based workplaces
Rather than the idea of stagnant office and conference spaces within a workplace, a trend that is showing huge success is easily accessible and adaptable spaces that are designed to be available for all employees for a range of activities. These spaces need to be wi-fi enabled and functional for both work and social purposes and ideally be seen as a completely communal space to assist employees in collaboration.
5. Light and sound matter
These elements may seem like an afterthought, but lighting and acoustics of the workplace are hugely important. Studies have shown that the presence of natural light in addition to the opportunity for direct and indirect contact with the outside world has a positive impact on people’s happiness and wellbeing.
It is equally important for people to have a balanced space that enables them to seek out a quiet place for focused work while also having the ability to engage in spontaneous collaboration without the feeling of disturbing those around them.
To achieve optimum results for both of these areas, it is important for designers to consider the materials used and availability of natural light to ensure employees are most comfortable.
If you’ve written ‘get more done’ for your 2015 goals then why not try a productivity app? Many managers these days are turning to mobile apps for organising contacts, attending meetings and keeping in touch with team members. If you feel you and your team could benefit from a mobile app to make the most of your working day, then take a look at these for inspiration.