Is it possible to improve the productivity of your office without spending thousands of dollars with a custom designer or new furniture?
Perhaps you are designing your office space for the first time and are not sure which layout to implement. Maybe you’ve been operating for a while but, for some reason, your team is simply not as productive as it could be and are considering remodeling the office.
Whatever the reason, you can consider the activity-based working approach.
You might be wondering what activity-based work is. It basically means that the office is organized in such a way that it provides the employees with a flexible environment that has various settings that are intended for different working purposes.
This way, no employee has an assigned workstation and no office space is wasted. There are many benefits to this approach to office layout.
For example, it can increase productivity as workers will be doing their tasks in the best possible conditions for that line of work. Then, it can improve the wellness of the employees seeing as how they will be moving around the office a lot and strengthen their bond as they will have to learn to share and organize the spaces.
If you are considering activity-based work, listed below are the types of space you should consider for your office.
1. Shared Workspace Areas
An area that every office should have is one that is shared by all employees. Spaces such as these can be used by everyone in case they don’t have any specific tasks and don’t mind working surrounded by their coworkers.
For example, people who don’t come into work every day or go out on various assignments during the day can use this space as their default workstation. However, these areas can also be used when more people need to huddle up and work on a particular project together.
Once you’ve determined the purpose of this shared space, you will have an easier time deciding how to organize it.
You can have a few separate desks and chairs where people can work on their own or you can have group tables where a lot of people can sit and brainstorm ideas. Seeing as how some people prefer standing while working, you can even add a few stations with adjustable-height desks.
2. Brainstorming Zone
On the other hand, some teams work better in secluded spaces. Perhaps they are easily distracted by their coworkers and other office noises or they are working on a confidential project. Have a separate room where they can go to brainstorm and let their ideas flow.
Here, the employees might require tables and chairs or they might prefer the laidback approach that would require bean bag chairs and couches. Then, provide them with devices they can use to record all their ideas, whether in audio or written form.
What is more, you need to create an atmosphere that will inspire productivity and interesting ideas.
Make it light and airy, remove distractions, and consider putting up motivational quotes.
3. Quiet Areas
Certain tasks require a peaceful environment. For example, having a conference call with investors, conducting an online interview with a potential employee, or simply needing some quiet time to think about the next move of the company are all tasks that could be disturbed by a busy office.
If you’ve noticed that some of your employees are easily distracted and work better on their own, consider creating several areas that are quiet and allow them to focus on the assignment at hand.
While providing every employee with an office might not be possible due to space constrictions, you can come up with alternatives that will give them a productivity boost.
Regardless of whether they have to call someone important or focus in order to meet a deadline, installing a few soundproof pods in the office is a great move. They are becoming more and more popular as they are easy to add and provide companies with many benefits.
4. Meeting Rooms
Regardless of whether your business has many employees and you do daily briefings that everyone has to attend or you host your business partners and potential collaborators on a regular basis, you need meeting areas.
Depending on how big your company is and what types of meetings you tend to hold, you might need several rooms of different sizes. One should be able to seat up to twenty people while others can be smaller for those meetings of around five people.
When equipping it, you have to ensure you have a table, enough chairs for everyone, and the necessary technology. Perhaps you will need a projector, an interactive whiteboard, tablets for every attendee, and so on. Plus, think about soundproofing the room or putting it in a quiet corner of the premises so no to be interrupted during important meetings.
5. Lounge Room
Of course, your employees will need a break every once in a while. That is why you have to create a lounge area or a break room where they can go to take their mind off of work for a few minutes.
Whether they go there to chat with their coworkers without interfering with other people’s work or just to relax for a few minutes, it’s up to them.
Other than comfy sofas and armchairs, you can also consider some bean bag chairs or floor pillows. Besides that, a therapeutic massage chair can also have many benefits such as improving the mood and immunity of your employees, managing their lower back pain, and reducing stress and anxiety while also sparking creativity.
Some entertainment options are a good idea as well so consider some gaming consoles or at least a TV. Make the atmosphere pleasant by adding some scented candles and low-maintenance plants.
6. Kitchen/Cafeteria Area
In addition to the break room, you can also have a separate kitchen area. If you don’t have enough space, these two can be somewhat combined but keeping them apart also works as then you are not encouraging overeating while watching TV or playing games.
Then again, some people prefer to socialize while eating or having a cup of coffee and to be alone when relaxing, which is a possibility if you have two differentiated areas.
Get a fridge, microwave, plenty of storage, and utensils if you expect the employees to prepare their own food. If someone else will be making it or delivering it, then you only have to ensure you have enough tables and chairs to seat everyone.
7. Library/Resources Room
Finally, depending on what your business does, you might need some sort of library, storage, or resources room.
In addition to being another quiet place, people should go here if they need to find a solution to a problem they are having. For example, maybe they can find a book that would be useful or have to get some tech for their next project.
Therefore, this spot needs to be stocked up with relevant books, adequate supplies, and necessary office technology. Consider adding a few tables and chairs if you have enough space and make it versatile and inspirational.
Of course, seeing as how not every business is the same, you will have to adjust these spaces to your company’s operations.
Understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and look for the approach that will best suit your employees and their wellbeing and productivity.
Having an area designated to every activity will also reduce your carbon footprint, increase space utilization, and help with employee retention, so definitely look into this option.