Most workers spend their days staring at a laptop screen, only briefly taking their eyes away from the screen to take a quick break. Careful planning can improve the aesthetics of the workspace, and improve the employee’s ability to engage with coworkers when it is time to break from the virtual world.
Design spaces to help people connect
When designing or renovating a new office, identifying how the space will be used by employees and what activities need to be considered is essential for promoting a company’s workforce goals. A well designed workplace creates spaces for group collaboration and individual work, in both open and private places. How the space flows is important to facilitate interaction among people throughout the workplace. Interior design leader Scott Delano with Wright Heerema Architects, of Chicago explains in a recent article for NAIOP (http://blog.naiop.org) that mapping out these opportunities to connect creates a greater sense of community.
Design common areas to make people feel welcome
Design teams of new office buildings often include individuals who have designed hotels, restaurants and residential buildings. The hospitality industry has mastered the concept of making people feel welcome and comfortable in their spaces. Common areas should encourage employees, clients and visitors to engage with one another in a comfortable setting.
Companies are doing a major facelift on their eating areas, and providing more healthy options, gourmet food, and appealing areas to linger and socialize. Studies have shown that business benefits when employees understand the companies mission and purpose. Workers actively interacting with one another, have a better understanding of a company’s goals. This interaction helps workers to be more committed to their work and to be more productive. How the workplace is designed can facilitate this type of communication and better understanding of the company’s purpose.
Mr. Delano says that “a brand can be infused throughout a space with color palettes, finishes and graphic treatments that reinforce messages and the organization’s identity.” A company can create spaces encouraging innovation and collaboration among employees and design infrastructure that provides opportunities for more activity and movement during the workday.
All these considerations in the design of a workspace promote the overall well-being of the employee says Mr. Delano. “A workplace should provide employees place to look another person in the eyes, feel connected and share an experience-and that’s something that can’t be replicated in the digital world.”
Source: NAIOP, “Designing Richer Workplaces-for Humans, of all People,” by Scott Delano, Wright Heerema Architects, March 20, 2017
Carolina Services, Inc. (CSI) is Charleston’s premier commercial space planning and improvement company. Contact CSI to see how we can help design, manage and implement innovative and cost effective solutions for your commercial space.