The Importance Of Office Design For Productivity
I will openly admit that my office often resembles that of a dumping ground and I’m pretty sure I have a desk, but sometimes you want to try finding it. I’ve always been a messy desk person but recently I discovered that it’s because I’m one of those highly intellectual creative types that can happily live and work in a total bomb site and still produce the goods. Well, that’s my excuse anyway and I’m sticking to it.
But not everyone is like me. Actually, a huge percentage of the working public that works in offices aren’t. Most people prefer a nice, tidy and well laid out office to work in. Why on earth is that?
Ok, so I will admit that when my office does start to resemble a car boot sale my productivity does drop. Plus I am very easily distracted and I’m the world’s greatest ever procrastinator. Therefore, on the days when I do decide to tidy up the office and give my desk a good clean, I do feel much better sitting at my desk and getting some work done. Suddenly I become quite productive!
So perhaps there is a link between a well designed and clutter free office and productivity?
Poor Office Design
It’s a fact that we spend far too much of our lives working, therefore, it’s key that our surroundings are not only fit for purpose but support the needs of workers. I can tell you plenty of stories about some really horrible offices I’ve worked in. The one that was so cold I had to use hand warmers just to be able to type an email. Then there was the one that was in a really damp basement which meant I always had a cough and the carpet was invested with something which meant I always had bites around my ankles. Then there was the one which was actually invested with paper mites. The one that had a wonky desk as the owner bought all the office furniture in junk clearance store places and mine was missing a leg or two and propped up with books!
I’ve lost count of the uncomfortable chairs and don’t get me started on the bad lighting, poor ventilation and severe heating issues.
None of those places I ever worked in for very long. Never would I encourage anyone to want to work there. If it was TripAdvisor, they wouldn’t even get one star. Oh and I nearly forgot about the dreadful place I once went to for an interview and the guy gave me the ‘grand tour’. It was like something from Steptoe and Son! I declined the offer of employment.
None of those places had good office morale. Actually, most people hated working there.
Clever Office Design
Last year I visited San Francisco and had the pleasure of visiting a couple of tech companies offices. OMG!!! They were quite a world away from Steptoe. Bright, spacious, great furniture, plenty of amenities. One even had a fully functioning kitchen slap bang in the middle of the open plan office. Oh, just remembered, I even once worked in an office that had no facilities at all. By that I mean toilets, running water, kettle, fridge etc. Probably totally illegal but somehow they were still open. Granted they went bust about two months after I left.
Anyway. Yes, the kitchen in the office. And sofas, lots of sofas to sit on and lounge on, or work if that’s what you’re there for. And big spacious desks with fancy chairs. Little meeting pod type areas if you needed to go and have a quiet word with someone or a Skype call or just a good old bitch minus the water cooler. It had huge windows that let in loads of light and it was just airy and nice. It made me want to work there. Not specifically for that company as I doubted they would be around for long given their lack of monetisation (I was right, they’ve gone bang since I visited), but just in that office.
But imagine if I’d been there to interview for a position and I liked the company. Or was desperate for a job? I would have begged, literally begged, to have worked there. Even if it was just to use the slide rather than the staircase to exit the building!
And that’s the point. A well-designed office can actually make people want to work for you! Like staff, that want to work! How novel!
Great Office Design
A truly great office design could see your company transformed from meek, mild and somewhat ordinary to super sleek, highly productive and a place your employees truly love working in. I asked my friends over at Penketh Group who specialise in office design how they helped their customers achieve their business goals. They told me how they work really hard to understand organisations and how they work, where they work and what their people need. By understanding all of this they are able to create the perfect working environment.
Having looked at some of the amazing offices Penketh Group has designed I can understand now how they can help businesses achieve their goals by providing their staff with the best possible working environment. Happy staff equals happy customers equals happy management! Quite simple really.
Take a look at their website and see more of their great work, research and the family values they have built their own business on over the past 40 years.
I may just have inspired myself to give my desk a bit of a clean now. All the images within this post are of work undertaken by Penketh Group.
All images are (c) Penketh Group
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*This post is sponsored by Penketh Group, however all views are my own