This is a contributor’s blogpost …
The stereotypical office has bad connotations for a lot of people. Tiny cubicles that shut you off from the rest of the world and immerse you in your screen. Sitting for hours on end in an uncomfortable chair and typing away until your hands cramp up. The silence bearing down on you as the clock ticks away. This picture of the drudgery of office life has become a feature of so many people’s lives.
Surely there must be a better way to work than this? Well, perhaps there is. In the last few years, some trailblazers have started to rethink the way we organize our office space. Everybody has their own working preferences and so the traditional office setup doesn’t work for all of us. A new age of office work is starting to emerge, headed by companies like Google, who have thrown out the old rules and replaced them with a much more free environment. Employees are given more choice about how, where and when they do their work, with plenty of provisions made for downtime. Maybe the sleep pods and ping pong tables aren’t the best way of encouraging hard work, but a revamp of the boring office can definitely help us to get the most out of our employees. If you feel like your office is stagnating, here are a few ways you could update it.
Photo Courtesy of Martin Varsavsky via flickr
A company evolves and improves through the creative ideas of its employees. A stuffy, unimaginative office space can squash any semblance of creativity that people might have. Creating an office that breeds creativity is the key to moving forward. Being creative cannot always be forced and a change of environment can often help to inspire ideas. It’s a good idea to give your employees much more control over where they work. Instead of confining them to one desk or cubicle, create lots of varied spaces that they can work in if they want to. You should also let people express their creative side by customizing their working areas. A lot of traditional offices have strict regulations on how you can decorate your space. This is very restrictive and will dampen creativity.
Being uncomfortable at work can have a huge negative effect on efficiency. Making your employees feel at home allows them to focus all of their energies on their work. Getting good quality pieces from places like direct office furniture and ensuring that it is all adjustable means that employees can create the ideal working space for them. You also need a good space for them to relax during breaks, otherwise they won’t feel like they’ve taken proper time out of work.
One of the worst things about the old style of office space is that it shuts everybody off from one another and discourages collaboration between people. Nobody can do everything on their own, and having the input of your peers can improve your work no end. Take down all of those walls, or replace them with glass, so people can interact face to face rather than through email, and they have easy access to one another should they need to ask something. Also, make sure that you have dedicated spaces for team meetings and brainstorming sessions.