Optimising Your Workspace

Posted 30/07/14 by YourStudio

Workspace is changing. In the last decade Google has filled baths with foam to create breakout areas, Red Bull has put slides between floors to replace stairs, but overall, aside from the ‘fun’ areas, researchers have proved that there needs to be a lot more subtlety in workspace to make it work better. As staff is a company’s largest asset, workspace becomes the key to ensuring a happy and productive working environment. In this summary of our YourStudio trend report ‘Future Workspace’ we look at some of the features that contribute to optimising your workspace:

Workspace 1Workspace 2
Research in recent years has pointed at some predominantly influential factors that contribute to how well people perform and how well your business does. In this guide, we explore the top five tried-and-tested ways for you to optimise and improve workspace.

1. Let There Be Light

Balanced light is an incredibly important aspect of the workspace. Vary light around the desk should do the trick but avoid the creation of unevenness and contrasting variation, as this can increase tiredness. Providing vistas of light for workers to see when they look up from their desks helps restoring vitality.

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Workspace 4 2. Face to Face Contact

The issue: Human resources are one of the most valuable assets of any business. Pigeon-holing everyone in personal enclaves does not work and studies have shown that by encouraging staff to move around and “bump into each other” has a huge impact on productivity; cutting down on wasted time and duplication, as well as easing the channels of communication.

The solution: Reduce ‘cubicle’ effect by lowering partitions between staff on group desks – surprisingly, people self-regulate their noise levels better when they are more open and visible by colleagues.

Create communal facilities that aid encounters between different team members – making use of items such as communal bin not only enables more interaction but also encourages people to get up from their desks, improving circulation and helping with productivity.

Small tea and coffee points.

Break-out areas – a couple of chairs or small table space encourage team members to get together more.

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Workspace 6 3. Varying The Desk Landscape

The issue: Whilst the trend is to embrace open place, studies in the workplace have proven that it does not entirely work. What does work is providing a landscape of different working spaces, from private secluded ‘enclaves’ to more collaborative social working spaces.

The solution: Google have ski lifts as meeting rooms. Innocent Drinks have picnic benches for break-out areas. What could you inject into your workspace to add a bit of pep to the working day? Not only does this greatly improve staff morale, it becomes an advert for your brand to the outside world and helps imminently in today’s competitive world to ensure you recruit the most talented employees of the future.

Workspace 7 Workspace 8 4. Activity Leading Design

The issue: Making sure it’s not the tail wagging the dog, your company will notice great improvements in productivity, management and profitability according to the efficiency of the way you use your space. Leesman’s workspace report has found that productivity and feelings of job satisfaction can be increased greatly simply by providing people with spaces close to their desks to organise and lay out papers on.

The solution: Blueprints for some of the world’s leading tech companies from Apple to Netflix were created by looking at internal processes and breaking them down as a means to feed into the design and layout of team departments and the flow within the building.
Workspace 9 Workspace 10 5. Privacy VS. Collaboration

The issue: It has been proven recently that by having a mix of shared collaborative working spaces as well as small personal enclaves for one person concentration, you will get the best results from your workforce.

The solution: Acoustic panels will avoid aggravation within shared space. Thus encouraging productive social workspaces rather than noisy, distracting ones. More and more workspaces are employing flexible, informal meeting spaces. Consider elements like curtains that can be drawn across a table to increase privacy but reduce formality. For collaboration spaces – high speed wi-fi, multiple plug points are an obvious must. However, consider features like international plug points and phone charging plates so that international clients and visitors can maximise their visit to your workspace.  
Workspace 11 Workspace 12For more information about YourStudio’s research on the latest workspace trends or if you would like us to help design your office space, please don't hestitate to get in touch with us.

Tagged:Workspace Design, YourStudio

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