Office design for the diversified business
Businesses today are more diversified than ever. They recognise that a diverse range of skills and personalities helps to compete in a world full of diverse buyers. This presents a challenge to office designers because employees will have different work preferences. Before you embark on your next office fit-out or refurbishment, read Evoke Projects’ tips for designing your office to cater for this modern workforce.
1. Embrace activity based working to provide diverse work areas
Activity based working means that staff move to an area that best suits the type of activity they are working on at that time.
In a diverse workplace, not only will there be a whole range of tasks and activities, but there will also be different personalities and work style preferences. Clever office interior design will deliver choices to suit everybody and every task: quiet work areas, private offices, home-style office lounges, stand-up desks, collaboration space and creative breakout areas.
Moving around provides variety during the day, which stimulates fresh thinking. To maximise the benefits of activity based working, let your staff decide when to work in each place. Evoke Projects can help you map out activity based work zones for your next office refurbishment or fit-out.
2. Become a more flexible workplace
Flexibility supports diverse work styles. This is particularly important for workplaces with a mix of young and old workers, who have grown up in very different eras.
Young people are more likely to change jobs as part of their career progression, rather than staying with the same employer. If you have talent you wish to retain, offer flexibility and variety to appeal to the younger cohort.
Consider home based work days, flexible and part-time work hours. Utilise mobile technology to help your team be more responsive during their flexible work patterns.
3. Consult staff about office refurbishment and fit-out plans
You will never make everybody happy all of the time. That is the nature of a diverse workplace. The trick is to provide the variety of spaces that cater for different needs and bring your team along on the office fit-out journey. People who are consulted are more likely to be satisfied with the result. Your staff will also have many of the best ideas for increasing productivity through a new office design.
Also remember that implementing a new office fit-out can be stressful for staff. Their day-to-day routines and personal spaces are often compromised. Involving team members helps to share ownership of the office refurbishment process and promote tolerance.
Create a Thriving Workspace
For further inspiration, the Evoke team enjoyed reading Anetta Pizag’s book Create a Thriving Workspace. She writes about seven office design principles for high-performance work environments, one of which is the creation of ‘space for a diversified business’.
For businesses that have limited space, Pizag’s observation about multi-use rooms is useful. She advises fitting out an office room with changeable features (e.g. lighting, furniture, props and decoration), so that teams can use the same office space for different activities by changing the ambience to suit their work.
That said, she also counsels against using the same space for contradictory activities. For example, don’t expect people to be creative in a space that they usually associate with meetings about rules and responsibilities.
Pizag’s book also covers the impact of office design elements on mood and thinking. For example, shiny surfaces are invigorating, horizontal lines are naturally calming and rooms with low ceilings support concentration and attention to detail. The book includes a great deal of detail on colours, surfaces, lines, shapes, office design complexity, ceiling height, lighting, sound and temperature. These elements are all important considerations for any office fit-out or refurbishment.
Please call Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692 to find out more about office design and office refurbishment to suit the diversified business.