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        Involve employees in office design decisions

        Involve employees in office design decisions

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          For growth-focused businesses, maximising employee productivity is an absolute must.

          Front-line staff provide the consumer face for most organisations, and it is they who are responsible for delivering output on a daily basis.

          As such, employers should be doing all they can to ensure they are happy at work and motivated to perform to their potential.

          According to Kevin Friery, clinical director at Right Management Workplace Wellness, the psychology of office design is a complex area, but not one that should be ignored.

          “Getting it wrong can have a significant negative effect on performance, while getting it right can create a positive work environment,” he stated.

          “Decisions about whether or not to create cubicles, pods or individual desks are important, as too is team layout.”

          Mr Friery said designing an office layout where people with a functional relationship are working close together is often the ideal, but this may not always be the case.

          For instance, if one step of a process is noisy, there may be potential to distract other workers in shared office space.

          “Deciding how best to create work-flows is a key step in creating office layout,” the expert claimed.

          He said that for many companies, engaging with employees on workplace design – whether serviced office space or otherwise – can make a difference.

          “Consult and engage should be the golden rule,” Mr Friery suggested. “Consultation while managing people’s expectations about the final decisions is crucial.

          “When it comes to staff opinions, unanimity is hard to come by and perhaps nowhere more so than in the sense of aesthetics; on the other hand, staff need to be involved in decisions about their working environment.”

          Last month, a Finnish company came to the conclusion that the typical office workday needs to be redesigned in order to make it more productive.

          The Idealist Group undertook a 12-month study to look at the working practices of a number of the country’s major firms, as flexible and mobile working changes the way people work.

          According to Smart Planet, the company advocated staging fewer meetings, but ensuring those which do take place are more focused.

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