Imagine a world where people love coming to work.
Now make it happen.
Ask people on the front lines how they feel about the office environment. Use different methods like surveys and interviews for both qualitative and quantitative data, and observe how they are actually using spaces. Develop insights and frame the problem. You should emerge from this phase with a data-driven list of the top issues to tackle, a specific, measurable definition of project success, and suggested opportunities to investigate.
Leverage the problem solving talents of your employees by hosting co-creation workshops. Encouraging the collaboration of people in different departments and from different backgrounds will yield the most creative ideas. Sketch out a rough draft of how the most promising solutions would work, and test them on a limited group for constructive feedback.
Design is an iterative process, so you will need to continue measuring the performance of your solution, making changes here and there, and none of the changes will be permanent. The workplace needs to be a living and breathing place that constantly evolves in order to keep your business competitive.
According to Leesman’s Next 250k report, noise levels are one of the most common challenges in an office environment, with an average satisfaction of 34%, despite being rated as important to 75% of employees. This evidence is corroborated by Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace, which notes that 75% of employees report hearing frequent noise while working.
Leesman’s data shows that only 30% of employees are satisfied with office temperature control, 40% are satisfied with air quality, and office lighting and wifi are not far behind on the list of high priority features that employers are under delivering on.
Make it your top priority to ensure that everyone in the office has:
(Source for specific measurements: The Elemental Workplace by Neil Usher)
Gensler’s research findings show that we spend about half of our days doing individual work and 93% of respondents to the Leesman Next 250k study said that individual, focused, desk-based activity was important to their work. However, only 46% agreed that their workplace properly supported this activity. Beyond noise levels, the biggest grievances were lack of good dividers and insufficient space between desks.
In The Elemental Workplace, workplace writer and practitioner Neil Usher recommends allocating between 10 and 15 square meters of space per person in your overall floor plan to maximize both office efficiency and effectiveness (this excludes things like toilets, stairs and elevators, but includes common and flexible work areas).
Equip each individual workstation with:
Once these individual stations have been set up for focused work, you’re ready to consider incorporating spaces for other types of activities including collaborative work. But don’t jump ahead until this phase is complete.