Whether you’re a startup or run a well-established company, it goes without saying that your employees are one of your biggest and most important assets. This is why it’s always important to put measures in place to ensure they work in a safe and comfortable environment where they also feel appreciated and satisfied. Most importantly, how your employees engage and coordinate can make or break success in any business. Healthy employee engagement will go a long way in ensuring communication and work process flow smoothly. It also allows your employees to work efficiently as a team in attaining the various organizational goals and objectives.
Unbeknownst to many entrepreneurs, HR, and procurement departments, however, office design can have a huge impact on employee engagement. Factors such as the kind of furniture you have in the office, how organized it is, spacing, and privacy can all affect employee engagement, either positively or negatively. This is also because a good office design can also improve employee safety, health, communication, concentration levels, and ultimately, workplace experience. Here’s a brief account of why office design matters and some things you can do to improve it for the betterment of employee engagement.
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Why Office Design Matters
- It affects comfort – The lack of comfort may undermine engagement and teamwork
- It affects employee health and safety – Employee engagement is nearly impossible in unhealthy workplaces
- It has an impact on employee morale – Employees may feel demotivated and demoralized in crowded or poorly lit workspaces
- Affects communication – Ambient noise, the lack of privacy, and distractions may affect the communication flow
- It impacts concentration and mental well-being – This may, in turn, affect engagement
Improving Employee Engagement
1. Invest in ergonomic furniture
Ergonomic furniture is simply furniture designed to offer the utmost flexibility, support, and comfort while allowing the user to maintain the healthiest sitting or standing postures. It is designed to minimize musculoskeletal injuries that are especially common among employees who sit at the desk working for extended hours each day. The furniture pros from Marvable Furniture say that when thinking about office design, furniture pieces such as desks and chairs are one of the first things you should think about. Apart from ergonomics, the best furniture for your office should fit your office space so that everyone feels comfortable and the office space doesn’t feel overcrowded. There should be enough space for your employees to comfortably move around and interact about office matters whenever they need to. Healthy workstations should be sturdily built, seats well-padded, flexible, and height-adjustable to allow the user to work from the most comfortable position and adjust accordingly.
2. Consider worker privacy
A little privacy in the workplace goes a long way in boosting employee satisfaction. While most companies go with open office plans to maximize employee interaction, entirely open workspaces can also be a cause of distraction for some employees. Depending on the type of your business, you may want to provide some if not all of your employees with limited privacy, especially those playing managerial and supervisory roles. If you’re a bit short on budget, you can consider getting low-cost screening dividers for each employee to give them some level of personal territory. This promotes healthy engagement and curbs unnecessary interaction, making your workforce even more efficient and productive as a team as well as individually.
3. Embrace Technology
There’s a big chance you have a dedicated meeting room for your office. To improve engagement, consider upgrading the meeting room with tech tools such as IP video conferencing systems, interactive whiteboards, and audio recorders in addition to the conventional screen and projector. These will go a long way in maximizing employee communication and engagement, especially if included early when designing your office.
4. Lounge Room
It’s during coffee breaks, lunch breaks, and take-5s that employees get to interact on a personal level with their peers and bosses. While they are mostly designed to bring a social touch into the workplace, lounge spaces also improve work-related communication amongst employees. Consider designing a well-lit lounge space with comfortable couches and perhaps some plant life in there and you’ll take employee engagement to the next level in your office.
Nothing maximizes employee engagement in the workplace than a well-designed office. Remember, it’s all about making employees comfortable and satisfied with their surroundings while adding elements that encourage staff interaction and teamwork. At the end of the day, all these elements have a huge effect on your bottom-line so be sure to utilize the few tips above to make your office space more staff-friendly.