Workplace design is a vital, but often overlooked part of the employee experience. In dozens of minute ways, the environment your employees find themselves in shapes how happy, healthy and productive they will be at work. In a similar way, clients and customers visiting your office will find their experience shaped to some degree by the space that your interactions take place in. It is therefore worth looking at ways of ensuring that everyone has the best experience of the space possible.
One set of businesses that use office design well to create environments conducive to highly productive work is the tech industry. The most obvious and famous example of this is Google. Google has its head office in the Googleplex
in Mountain View, California. The exterior is dark glass and steel, to best deal with the California environment, with comprehensive solar panel coverage of the roofs to provide energy.
The interiors of Google’s office spaces are known for a radical colour scheme of primary colours. They also contain large rubber balls for employees to sit on as an alternative to regular chairs, a piano that can be played, a meditative space, and 18 canteens offering a variety of food. There are also nap pods available so that people can sleep at work if they need to rejuvenate themselves. Napping pods and multiple gourmet canteens are, of course, not a practical option for most businesses though. However, a sense of choice and some control of the space can make employees far happier.
Ensuring that there is a decent break room and a space available in which it is possible for people on breaks to have a sense of privacy should they want it, to look for a new approach, can provide huge benefits to employee happiness and mental wellbeing. Spending on small changes like this can be made up for fast in regained productivity from a more positive, engaged workforce.
What can we learn?
Besides ensuring mental well-being, an office which takes advantage of space and is designed ergonomically around people’s needs can feel empowering and give a good impression to visiting customers and clients. Companies such as Maris provide luxury office design
to ensure that businesses instil their employees with a good mixture of confidence and security. Trusting in open-plan offices and remembering to keep spaces feeling open and bright can have surprising effects.
However, it is good to also offer a space where your employees can have a quiet moment to themselves if need be.
Google is, of course, a special case, with a very particular company culture and with a huge budget that can be spent ensuring every luxury for employees. But any business can learn lessons from the approach to worker treatment. The use of solar panels, for example, may seem unlikely to be cost effective away from the California sun. However, solar energy can be an efficient source of energy and lower your business’ energy bills substantially. A dramatically effective option is to change to energy efficient LED lightbulbs. These can wrack up an incredible saving very quickly.