How smart is your workplace?
A smart workplace is one in which team members are provided with the tools, environment and flexibility to achieve their best. Lots of people working to their optimum ability means higher creativity, productivity and, at the end of the day, profits for your business. Evoke Projects examines how you can create a smarter workplace.
Create a smart office design with your next office fit-out or refurbishment
A smart office can be achieved efficiently with the right office design. In Anetta Pizag’s book Create a Thriving Workspace,1 she examines seven design principles for high-performance work environments and one of these principles is the creation of ‘space for a smart business’.
Before looking at some of her office design strategies, it is worthwhile reflecting on why you need a smarter office now more than ever before.
Technology is setting the pace
In this century, our changing workplaces are driven by technology. Sometimes, technology creates unbelievable potential that motivates businesses to change. In other cases, companies are forced to keep up.
Mobile technologies and cloud based file sharing mean that office interior design has changed immeasurably. Smart businesses recognise the potential that this brings for productivity and motivation.
So, with technology driving workplace change, how can you optimise your office design and make your business smarter when you undertake your next office fit-out or refurbishment?
Office interior design strategies
1. Putting data in the right place
The paperless office is a common topic when the Evoke Projects team are discussing storage requirements with office refurbishment and fit-out clients.
Aneta Pizag makes a shrewd observation in her book that the paperless office only works when combined with smart data management systems. She suggests that putting data in the ‘right place’ is the key.
This is so true. Reducing paper usage is an admirable objective from both a cost and environmental viewpoint. Yet it should be viewed as part of the overall data storage strategy. Who needs what, how, where and when? Can cloud based systems reduce the need for storage? Can data be accessed from outside the office, allowing more mobile and flexible working?
Consider undertaking a storage audit before you get too far down the track with your office refurbishment or new fit-out plans—Evoke Projects can help you with this.
2. Creating work zones
Pizag refers to creating ‘a well-functioning floor layout’. If you are a regular reader of Evoke Projects’ blogs, you will have read about our zoning and activity based working suggestions. Zones help to create a well-functioning office layout.
Your office design should provide the optimal working conditions for the tasks that take place in each zone. Consider whether people require quiet, privacy, space to meet, space to make a noise, PC/laptops, video, downtime or thought time. We recommend including a mix of private spaces, collaborative zones, breakout areas and shared workstation/desk spaces during your next office refurbishment or fit-out.
Truly smart businesses will have work zones in their office design plans. These can be implemented in small offices as well as larger spaces.
3. Create neighbourhoods in the office design
This is a really interesting strategy put forward by Pizag. She discusses the potential downsides of flexible working. Lots of moving around to zones and different desks can leave people feeling that they don’t have a familiar ‘home’ space where they feel comfortable. It is natural as humans to want a place to return to.
To overcome this, Pizag suggests creating neighbourhoods within the office design. For example, dedicated team rooms or groups of workstations partially separated from each other. This gives team members a place to return to; a place where they feel they belong as part of a group.
Office interior design, office fit-outs and refurbishments for the smart business
Smart workplaces are an important factor in developing high performance businesses. Please call Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692 to find out more about smart office design and refurbishment.