Mar 6 2018

People-Centric Workplace Design

Workplace design:  Healthy, inspiring people-centric office spaces

Office space design and fitouts have undergone a transformation in recent times. Designing an office space has become so much more than working out how many desks you can get away with fitting into the available floor space.

This isn’t surprising given that office layout and design can make a huge impact on employee satisfaction and productivity

Rigid, sterile work places are becoming a thing of the past. Designers are favouring free-flowing work spaces that are people-centric and reflect a company’s culture.

A space that reflects company culture

Increasingly in office space planning, the design will complement company culture and values. For example, an open layout with carefully chosen office furniture will promote openness, encourage communication and collaboration with high visibility.

An authentic physical environment will tell a story and can be designed to give the first glimpse of a company’s personality to visitors.

Modern v traditional workplace design

Traditionally, office floor plans have incorporated uninspiring banks of desks with individual workstations. The desks were often split into areas by department.

Modern designs have a trusting approach that give people a choice of areas in which to work. A more open eco-system can offer collaborative spaces for those wanting to work together and private settings for focused work without distractions.

Today’s designs transition away from an authoritarian approach and promote interchange amongst co-workers. They break down barriers between hierarchies and departments.

There are still many practical considerations to take into account, such as physical restrictions imposed by the building or floor space, accessibility, lighting and acoustics.

These factors will all be considered by a furniture, fittings and equipment (FFE) specialist when working with designers and fitout companies.

People-centric designs with collaborative, communal spaces

Stimulating innovative, entrepreneurial thought processes can be achieved through open-minded office design.

Sterile meeting rooms are being passed up in favour of more varied options. From solo work pods to open plan break-out areas to themed rooms, a lot more thought is going into meeting spaces than how big the table needs to be.

It is well known that taking regular time out during the working day can increase productivity and stamina. Creating comfortable, inviting time-out zones can encourage staff to take a break and stimulate creativity.

A functional yet inviting communal area will be well used by employees and result in the recharge needed for mental stimulation.

These social hubs also encourage collaboration between employees. Going a step further and introducing entertainment to break areas has the benefit of encouraging activity, essential after long periods of sitting.

Choosing the right office furniture for collaborative or communal spaces needs to be done with the company’s people and purpose in mind to ensure that the right solutions are arrived at.