World FM Day 2017 on 17 May is themed on 'Enabling Positive Experiences’ and this highlights the important role that Facilities Mangers play in delivering excellent staff and client experiences every day. One integral part of being a Facilities Manager is to ensure that staff are happy and able to perform at their optimum levels. Lots of different factors can affect staff productivity, comfort and stress levels. We share some of our tips for retaining staff and looking after employee wellbeing at work through your office design.
Energising the workplace with colours and natural elements can help to create specific zones that help guide staff behaviours. Creating these relaxing, stress-free zones allows staff to change their physical environments and recharge away from their desks.
In a report created by Kingston University, they highlighted the Human Spaces report which states that exposure to greenery and sunlight leads to 15% increase in well-being and creativity and a 6% increase in productivity. This research shows that biophilic design and natural light are also important things to consider to freshen and uplift the workspace, as they have benefits to staff.
As well as managing staff stress levels, using the office environment to create a more active, smart workplace you can improve communication and cross department integration.
Creating an activity based or agile working office allows staff to easily move throughout the office and be more flexible in choosing where they work, and who they work with. Creating these spaces, like the Kantar TNS office gives staff an option to work collaboratively when they need to, but also enjoy more quiet, private working when required.
Even if you aren’t committing to an entire shift to activity based working, introducing choice and flexibility into the office with more types of office furniture and technology will help staff to move around the space and improve productivity and reduce stress.
Studies have shown that employees prefer to work in an open office environment and these types of environments are typically more transparent, promoting open communication and visual connections between staff.
Using glass partitions instead of solid partitions promotes the flow of natural light and just allows a greater sense of openness and freedom. Another way to promote a more open, shared community is to move members of senior management out of their offices for certain periods and encourage them to sit in the open plan to create a sense of accessibility and positive communication with the decision makers in the business.
The workplace should play a part in promoting socialisation between staff and creating a community. Open plan offices encourage collaboration and socialisation and reduce the number of physical barriers in the workplace. By creating a large centralised kitchen space or coffee area helps with building this sense of community and belonging. These social hubs allow for those moments of increased communication and allows employees to trust each other more and feel valued, which in turn can increase their motivation and happiness at work.
There are lots of ways that workplace design can positively impact employee experiences at work. Your office design should be a destination for staff that enables them to communicate and integrate with staff. The workplace should also offer a retreat to keep stress levels low and encourage a healthy lifestyle to keep staff active.
If you need more advice on how to use your workplace design to optimise your staff’s experience, then get in touch with one of our team to learn more about improving your office design and making your space do more for your staff.
Read our blog on 6 seriously cool meeting spaces for inspiration on how to rejuvenate your meeting spaces
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