Forget “bring your dog to work day” and a concierge who can pick up your dry cleaning. Start analyzing the very layout of your work space for ways to improve the performance of your team. Let’s look at office amenities that affect productivity and morale. We’ll outline what the best design features are and how they improve the morale or even the productivity of your team.
Breakout areas are not conference rooms. However, they facilitate small groups meeting to discuss issues. They also foster informal discussions that are great for brainstorming. Breakout areas can also serve as workspace for road warriors who are hot desking, but you’re giving them a place to sit where they can naturally connect with others in the office. These areas can also serve as a private place for a phone conversation, so your team members don’t turn bathroom stalls into impromptu phone booths. Every modern office should have at least one breakout area with several chairs and at least one table.
Fully Stocked Break Rooms
You don’t have to have a cafeteria on site. However, you need to have a fully stocked break room. This is an area where people can eat their lunch alone or with team members. Ideally, it includes vending machines full of healthy snacks and meal alternatives if you don’t provide free items. This reduces their need to go offsite to eat, so they are less likely to spend more than an hour getting to and from lunch. It eliminates the tendency of eating at one’s desk and the risk of spilling soup on your keyboard. It eliminates the problem of people taking over a break room to serve as a private cafeteria. That can leave messes behind that interfere in the productivity of the next group to use the conference room.
Coworking spaces should not refer to a massive warehouse turned into office space. Instead, it should refer to a large space where several people work. Each person should have their own work station and space. This style balances privacy and productivity, since people can interact with each other. You could have each team or department in their own coworking space. Group people who should be interacting with each other together.
Note that you should not try to combine hot-desking and coworking, unless you have a free desk for the freelancers and outside consultants you bring in from time to time. Telling people to find a desk every morning and set up each day wastes their time. It also implies that you don’t consider them a permanent employee relative to those who have their own desk, much less an office.
A full service office like those offered by Halkin invest in the talent and resources needed to support your team. It means every new hire or department relocated to a building arrives to find work stations ready for them when they walk in the door. They don’t have to waste days submitting requisitions for computers, desks, chairs and other essentials. It means having full wifi coverage, so that no one is forced to find good service or sees jittery video conferencing because too many people are using the local LAN. And your team can tap into administrative talent or lean on security as required.
While not one specific thing it is important to understand the office space as a whole can promote productivity. Giving people space, room to move and work, chat, meet and be creative is so important. It may be worth thinking about a full office refit and create spaces like mezzanines and use partitioning to create new spaces without having to look at a new location. Companies like Space Link can help with this kind of thing. Trying to plan an office as a business owner may not always be the best way, outside experts could be the answer.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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