New Year, New Office: What to consider in a new office design
“Greenery isn’t just an air freshener that’s pleasant to look at, it can actually significantly boost employee well-being, reduce stress, enhance innovative potential, and boost a sense of connection. Yet most of us don’t spend much time in nature…Adding a little wilderness to your corporate offices may just be the smartest move you can do this year.” –Harvard Business Review, June 2017
As employee wellness becomes more of a focus for leading companies around the globe, office design is playing an increasingly important role. Experts have repeatedly shown that the atmosphere in an office can greatly increase productivity and reduce absenteeism – results you’ll see in the bottom line. So where does your office stand?
Studies in the United Kingdom estimate that poor working environments cost businesses $1.2 billion per year. Though employee wellbeing can be attributed to many different elements, research has brought a key driver to the top: workplace environment. Investing in employee wellbeing can provide many benefits for your business such as reduced turnover and absenteeism, increased retention, and more.
At Ambius, we have award-winning design consultants and industry-leading horticultural experts to help you unlock the potential of your office. We work with you to create an innovative design solution that both realize your vision and facilitates a thriving workplace environment.
Need a new office design?
Employee satisfaction is not just about contentment in one’s role. The office atmosphere plays a big part in employees’ workplace wellness. At the start of the new year, everyone is always focused on improving their health and wellbeing, but there’s more to that too. Eating your fruits and vegetables and going to the gym will only get you so far.
Wellness is a culmination of many different aspects of life, and working within an environment that fosters healthy productivity contributes to this overall state of being.
Once you have an idea of what workplace wellbeing initiatives you’d like to pursue, Ambius is here to help you get the ball rolling. Our Smarter, Healthier Spaces Guide presents simple and thought-provoking exercises that will get everyone on the same page for a successful office design.
When making decisions as important as a new office design, it is important to develop a cross-functional team that can work together to develop a strategy that benefits all sectors. There are a number of office decision-makers that you may want to include in this collaborative team.
- Human Resources Manager
- It is in the nature of this role to ensure employee satisfaction and retention, so the person that holds it often has her/his finger on the pulse of employee concerns and may have insights on what should be addressed within the work environment.
- Financial Officer
- No matter the scale of your office design plan, it will require a monetary investment, and undoubtedly the approval of the financial officer. Make sure to communicate the benefits and cost savings that will come from the new design. A large expenditure is much easier to justify with the help of an anticipated positive return.
- Office or Operations Manager
- Productivity and efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to the Operations Manager. An improvement in that arena is likely going to be a product of the re-design, so this person may offer valuable insight. Additionally, s/he can coordinate and schedule the project to prevent extraneous disruption to the office’s daily activities.
- Facility Manager/Maintenance
- In the technical side of the conversation, the facility manager will be a vital contributor. An understanding of the building’s electrical, plumbing, and structural systems will help to craft a feasible re-design.
- Sustainability Officer
- A large portion of the office design discussion is the implementation of “green” initiatives. Not only will the sustainability officer have valuable knowledge of the subject matter to contribute, but will also be an ally in the deliberation over the proposed change.
- In the case of smaller businesses especially, the owner should be kept in the loop.
- Your Employees
- If one of your goals is to increase employee satisfaction, who better to include in the discussion than the employees themselves? These are the people that are using the space, so they will have a firsthand view of how the space measures up. Consider holding focus groups to learn more about their thoughts.
After the decision-making team has been assembled, you must determine your goals for the office design. Your action items will be affected by the focus of your goals.
- People-Oriented Goals
- In the wellness space, people-oriented goals are often primary. A new office design can be instrumental in boosting employee morale and well-being. Findings from a myriad of studies on well-being in the workplace support arguments for a new office design oriented toward the people.
- Function-Oriented Goals
- These goals could arguably coincide with people-oriented goals, as people will likely benefit from the added value created by functional goals. Examples of such goals are increased lighting and privacy and reduced noise and odors.
- Brand-Oriented Goals
- A brand-oriented design project puts perception at the forefront. These goals are centered around strengthening brand identity to impress clients and stand out from the competition.
- Green-Oriented Goals
- The goals aim to create a positive environmental impact with the new office design.
The design experts at Ambius are here to help with all of your office design needs. Contact us today to discuss options for your space.
Want to learn more about Biophilia? Check out our other blogs “Why Biophilia Matters” and “The New Natural Habitat: How Biophilia and WELL are Changing the Way We Work.”