The best office layouts for productivity
As the return to the office gathers pace, we look at the best office layouts for productivity. With 46% of professionals claiming their workspace directly impacts performance, the working environment needs to meet returning workers' needs for comfort, creativity and productivity.
Anyone WFH during lockdown is used to the familiarity and connectivity of their own gadgets and the ability to seamlessly work from anywhere. Tech-centric layouts need to accommodate remote and hybrid work patterns while providing the same ease of use and efficiency that employees crave.
From multimedia rooms with interactive boards and microphones to long tables with tablets to encourage employees to jot and sketch ideas, a tech-centred layout encourages streamlined connectivity and productivity.
Creating a homely and comfortable feel in the office has been identified as a critical magnet when returning to work. The collision of commercial and residential design - resimercial - balances texture, lighting, plants and homestyle accessories like plants with a more comfortable and cosy use of space.
This type of environment is capable of adapting to a range of uses throughout the day and can accommodate an employee's changing needs. The sense of comfort, familiarity and warmth can inspire your teams to greater collaboration, creativity and productivity.
Layouts that encourage movement and mobility throughout the day have also been found to encourage productivity. Encouraging workers to move around as they take quick breaks can help to refocus and re-energise, gaining new perspectives on challenging tasks.
Studies have shown that breaking up the workday with shorter rest periods promotes employee health and wellbeing. And productivity has been linked to short bursts of movement, so move the printer to its own dedicated area or install sit-stand desks designed to help employees refocus and enhance productivity.
Keeping employees inspired means creating a workspace with multiple innovative and stimulating environments. Creating a dynamic and inspiring space can help to cut through the brain fog and lack of productivity that employees experience when they sit at the same desk day after day.
Switching up the scenery can shift the brain and help it refocus, so provide a range of spaces including breakout rooms, a coffee bar, quiet space pods and lobbies to maximise creativity and productivity. For example, include areas that can be customised with screens or dividers to create anything from collaborative meeting rooms to thinking spaces for employees who require peace and quiet.
Sustainability may not be an obvious driver for workplace layout and design, but if the materials you choose and the fit out you manage isn't sustainable you risk alienating the best talent. Forty per cent of millennials consider their prospective employees approach to sustainability and the environment when applying for a job
Workplace design and layout needs to align with those values, so pay attention when choosing lighting flooring and water fittings and make sure they all achieve sustainability standards compatible with your policies. Taking sustainability seriously gives you employees a clear signal that you're aware of your environmental responsibilities and they'll repay you with greater productivity.