The modern office has transformed significantly in the past decade.
With the advent of continued growth in the jobs market (low unemployment) and a culture change within the so called ‘Generation Z’, younger employees expect more than a heated and lit space with desks. Office design and the culture of ‘The Office’ has become one of the key drivers to both attract and retain the best staff, also to enhance productivity and job satisfaction.
The tech industry has been at the forefront of this transformation, likely because young companies are unhindered by the bureaucratic barriers that large, established companies have traditionally faced. The ‘Google’ office may be a cliche however, do not doubt the rationale behind the spend on design & fit out.
Notably, tech companies are known to use their office space to maximize employee engagement, many using the techniques outlined below. The case for focusing on engagement is a strong one—by Gallup shows companies with an engaged staff earn 147 percent more per share than their peers.
The study found that there is a strong correlation between high workplace satisfaction and high employee engagement, with employees who have greater control over their physical workplace – including access to private spaces – also reporting the highest engagement levels. The findings show that employers could be missing a trick when it comes to planning their employee engagement strategies.
This is because, consistently, the most engaged workers were those who had more control over their work experience, including the ability to concentrate easily and work in teams without being interrupted. Workers who have the ability to choose where they want to work in the office based on the task at hand are much more engaged in the work they do.
In addition to increasing engagement, these adjustments also help companies put their best foot forward when recruiting. A well planned and designed work space gets prospective employees excited about the chance to work for a company that focuses on the well-being of its staff. Even in some of the most expensive markets in the world like New York, London & San Francisco; small businesses are investing in their office space to attract and retain the best talent.
You don’t have to be a tech company to adopt some of the meaningful tactics that have been proven to drive engagement, wellness and thus job satisfaction.
Here’s a list of practical changes businesses of all sizes can implement to make to the office somewhere employees want to work—and it doesn’t have to mean swapping out your chairs for bean bags or having IPA on tap!
Strike a balance between openness and privacy
- Two common complaints about modern office spaces (especially those with open-floor plans) are that they often lack privacy and are rife with distractions. While openness is important for fostering a collaborative culture, it’s just as crucial that employees are able to have areas for quiet concentration
Make sure your office has a few zones specifically for collaborative working, as well semi-private spaces where employees can go for interruption-free work.
Image above of quiet rooms, a scheme designed by Adrian Taylor & Chris Britton and fitted out by Select Interiors Ltd for Rapport People’s Agency
2. To mitigate the negative effects of an open office, install acoustic privacy panels between desks. This reduces both acoustic and visual distractions when employees want to concentrate and get things done, but also easily allows for discussion when desired. The space crated by screens often become personalised with photos and notes and helps foster a sense of belonging.
Image of fit out of acoustic panels at tech giant, Access Pay in City Tower, Manchester.
Boost productivity and savings through sustainability
- Diminish the unpleasant intensity of fluorescent lights or the other end of the scale dim (again florescent) lighting with energy-efficient, LED panels that mimic daylight. This will entail replacing fluorescent units altogether, if this it too great an investment an alternative is simply placing floor lamps or desk mounted LED lamps around the office. This will enhance your office’s lighting both in terms of visually interesting effects (ambiance) as well as task lighting
4. Put indoor plants around the office. A bit of greenery around the office can improve focus and creativity, as well as the air quality
Recent office fit out by Select Interiors designed by Uth Studios, where planting has been used to great effect. Fit out, install of lighting, furniture, upholstery and curtains by Select Interiors Ltd
Recent office design & fit out by Select Interiors where planting has been incorporated as an integral element of the interior scheme for London based award-winning Architects Levitt Bernstein. Designed by the dynamic Levitt team of crack Architects, fitted out by Select Interiors Ltd
- Invest in ergonomic furniture that maximizes comfort—it’s hard to be content and productive when suffering from neck or back pain because of a bad chair
- Always keep a reasonable temperature in the office —there is no legal maximum or minimum in the UK, but guidelines suggest between 20 – 23 degrees is comfortable for most people
- The supply and demand of flexible office space has been driven by the tech industry, which has proven the value of being able to react quickly to change. When searching for a new office space, it’s important to keep flexibility in mind. You want to be ready to respond to any organisational changes that may arise, especially if you don’t have a clear snapshot of what the business will look like next year.
The typical commercial lease ranges from 5-15 years—a long time for small-to-medium business that don’t have a clear projection of growth and expenses. While the upfront cost may be higher, research shorter-term lease options to better adapt to your changing headcount needs.
8. Invest in quality workstations & furniture — whoever oversees your next office move will thank you as these items can move with you and are tax deductible as ‘fixture & fittings’. Cheaper options tend to deteriorate and fall apart when moved as we have discovered when undertaking dilapidation works.
With ‘culture’ and retention becoming key issues for businesses today, designing a company’s work space has now become a critical step to defining company brand
‘’I hope our top tips for revitalising your office space will help you develop a strong culture, attract top talent, and keep employees happy’’
Select Interiors Ltd
Select Interiors have been invited to tender for a fit out for old friends Dept, an existing client. Dept are an international digital agency with over a 1000 experienced thinkers and makers. They are at the forefront the digital revolution and merge creativity, technology, and data. With offices worldwide and teams of experts in creative, digital, marketing and commerce. We at Select Interiors Ltd are grateful not only to have worked for them over the last 2 years but are overjoyed at the opportunity of being asked to tender for their exciting new head office, Design as a collaboration between Dept’s uber cool design director Tom and Charlie Powell of leading Manchester agent Edwards & Co
Select Interiors are currently designing a new Call Centre for the rapidly expanding Miller Vanguard in Bury
The brief to create a dynamic new call centre for 45 staff, the client used the term ‘with screens like NASA’’ which we at Select loved. See above excepts from 2 & 3 D layout and mood board images. Select Interiors have developed the brief incorporating an acoustic cantilevered ceiling with 900mm radial dimmable LED luminaries, mechanical / ventilation and full fit out
We are just completing a redesign a group of Property Companies for international Property Developer and Property Management company owned by the young dynamic Vincent Cheng. The first project is on Manchester and the design will be rolled out to Birmingham & London
Please see above 3D model of the project by Select Interiors Ltd
Scope of works include electrical, data, glazed & retractable partitions, flooring, decoration, graphics & furniture
Please click the link for further images of Select Interiors projects https://selectinteriors.pixieset.com/
The team at Select Interiors would like thank all the clients above for their valued orders and would welcome new enquiries.
For your next office re-design and refurbishment project call 0161 445 40404 for enquiries or email to email@example.com