It’s official – cubicles are out. More and more companies are converting their space to an open office plan, allowing for increased flexibility and comfort for their employees.
But with less structure, how can you be sure that your office will still be a high-performance work environment? Here’s where to start:
Define the Vision
Your first step in creating a successful open office workspace is to decide on a vision that works best for the needs of your company.
Take the time to speak with your employees about what makes them comfortable when creating a vision for your space first.
In general, open floor plan offices rely on varied, flexible desks and office stations. Desks that can easily be moved or re-configured are ideal – especially ones that easily can fit together.
For example, replacing paneled cubicles with modular desks in groups of two to four can encourage collaboration and conversation between employees by opening up their workspace.
Offer your employees a choice in their desk station, if possible, allowing them to choose between a sitting or standing desk.
Provide a Home Base
When organizing your desk stations, be sure to give your employees their own “home base” area. Without specific offices or cubicles, each of your employees will be looking for an individual place that’s just for them.
This could be a workstation, a chair, or even a locker. Providing this space gives your employees more freedom to roam in your open office space while knowing they can always return to their home base.
Vary It Up
Once you’ve established a centralized area of desk stations, it’s time to designate space for collaboration. Collaborative areas in an open office can range in size, style, and comfort level. Here are some examples of collaborative spaces:
- Brainstorming rooms. This could be a group of cozy chairs, a set of modular desks, or even a round table where everyone has a place. They should have ample space for big ideas and collaboration, making them a great place for a whiteboard wall.
- Huddle rooms. These are smaller spaces, fitting anywhere from 2-5 people. They’re a place for quick discussions and catching up away from the hustle and bustle of an open office.
- Project and video conference rooms. These should fit the whole team. This provides space where you can set up the technology you need to call or video chat clients or give presentations.
When creating a vision for your collaborative spaces, consider adding casual, comfortable areas for individual work station options. This could include large tables or adjustable, modular couches.
Establishing smaller places for private working nooks can also be a welcome relief for employees who need a space to concentrate.
Find Your “Place Identity”
In a study from the Harvard Business Review, they found that “success with open offices may have as much to do with how people feel about the space — something called place identity — as with the space itself.”
Your employees will look for a sense of ownership and belonging in your space, and if they can’t find it their performance may suffer. Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re creating your “place identity.”
- Adapt your space to your company’s needs. If you have a team that prefers desk stations and private nooks, reconsider having too many large, couch-filled spaces. What type of set up is going to be ideal for the workstations your employees want?
- Cultivate a home-away-from-home vibe. Encourage your employees to personalize their desks and decorate your office space as you would your home. Choose artwork, furnishings, and accessories that are inviting and comforting. Take inspiration from the commercial interior design trends for 2019.
- Don’t forget your walls and ceilings! Wall color can easily make or break a creative environment. Breathe life in your collaboration rooms with blue walls to inspire communication, or green to create a sense of balance. Wallcoverings and texturing can also add to your space by providing eye catching textures and conversation starting elements.
- Ask your employees to get involved. By including your employees in decisions such as the color selections for your walls, you allow them to help create a space that they will thrive in. Input on murals and wallcoverings allow employees to homey feel that enhances their productivity.
- Pay attention to the details. While they may seem like a small detail, choosing the correct trim, crown moulding, and baseboards can help add a level of sophistication to your walls.
Keep an Open Mind
Creating a high-performance open office space depends on offering flexible environments that meet the needs and working styles of your employees.
By setting up a space that encompasses comfort and collaboration, you’ll have an office that’s the optimal place for productivity and success.
Are you ready to commit to a high-performance workplace? Don’t sabotage your success by only half committing to creating a high-performance space. Define your vision, stay flexible, provide a home base, and provide a place identity – complete with the perfect finishes for your rooms with colors, textures or wallcoverings to inspire creativity, communication, and balance.
Need help implementing your vision for your high performance open office without disturbing your day-to-day business? Contact Independence Paint Co. today. We can help bring your office to life, without disturbing the productive environment you’re working hard to create. From a cleanly job site to using products that won’t cause your office to smell, we work hard to get the job done without interrupting yours.