Ideally, our office environment should be as comfortable as possible, given the amount of time we stay there during the day. Unfortunately, some workplace designers don’t always include “employee comfort and satisfaction” in a building’s design and aesthetics, which is why ‘cube farms’ are a thing at some locations, where employees are corralled in mazes of gray interchangeable modular pieces.
This trend toward unexciting, uniform design of the modern office environment is part of the reason bigger tech giants like Apple and Google have worked hard to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. Their headquarters and satellite locations are known for wide open spaces, different types of lines and curves in the architecture, and different arrangements in group work areas, from no walls to beanbags instead of chairs.
With the exception of Apple’s glass doors, which people seem to keep walking into, these locations do show that the physical office environment can be a significant part of whether you enjoy or dread coming in each day.
Gensler, a popular workplace consulting firm, suggests that the ideal workplaces need four distinct spaces to be optimally productive: places to focus, to learn, to collaborate and to socialize.
Most of us have been in workplaces where something felt off, such as locations where employees were encouraged to stay in their cubicles whenever possible, or a small, cramped break room that was more of an afterthought than an actual place for relaxation and socialization. Some of us have seen the opposite, where there was adequate space for all four areas, such as an actual lunchroom, a classroom for training, conference rooms of different sizes, and employee relaxation areas.
This office environment approach goes beyond simple types of room design, and focuses on how and where people do their best types of work that not only makes them productive but excited to be there contributing.
It does require some extra effort from supervisors, who should always be evaluating where and how people work the best.
Companies considering ways to improve their surroundings can visit Skybridge Capital Group for financing solutions.