The Impact Of Your Workplace Environment24-09-2021
Last year proved that working from home can be feasible for some businesses. For others, it has had a big impact on teamwork and innovation.
Ease of communication has been something we all take for granted when working in the same workplace, but it is not to say that working from home has been a complete hindrance. Virtual meetings can be less stifling than a formal boardroom environment and remote working lends itself to longer uninterrupted work sessions.
However, whilst working from home can boost productivity, solo working can impede innovation. In a recent survey of 9,000 managers and employees across Europe (Boston Consulting Group and KRC Research, commissioned by Microsoft), 40% say the company’s innovation has declined because the workforce is dispersed.  This means that a dispersed workforce can lead to a loss of sense of purpose and creativity. Tim Oldman (Founder and CEO at Leesman) identified that the employees who want to come back to the office post-pandemic are those that had a ‘high experience’ workplace. The study also revealed that employees that were in a ‘low experience’ workplace would prefer not to return to the office at all. 
How can Office Profile help?
At Office Profile, we evaluate factors such as what the client and employees want from the workspace and what design layout is best for innovation and optimise it. We work with clients to help them understand what their employees want and the infrastructures they need to develop them in anticipation for their employee’s return. If you want employees back in the office, you need to invest into the design of the space because promoting innovation is harder than ensuring productivity.
With work patterns adapting, one of our research tools we use are questionnaires. Questions like the one pictured above, are simple but effective tools that can help clients and their teams understand what they want to achieve from their office space. This then impacts the layout of the office space and the size required. With most companies implementing agile working, businesses can inhabit smaller workplaces with a flexible rota system. This means that some staff who do not need to be in the office full time can hot desk or utilise the breakout areas instead of having a fixed desk area.
As part of our interactive design documents, we have recently implemented clear floor plans to demonstrate one-way systems and sanitiser stations. Our interactive diagrams distinguish the different areas of a workspace and simply communicate the safety requirements considered when space planning.
Overall, it is evident that the workplace environment has a great impact on the wellbeing and innovation of staff. Over time, maintaining a ‘team-like’ culture is difficult when working remotely as members can feel disconnected from each other, so businesses must promote inclusion in remote teams through personalised leadership and regular communication.
We have the right knowledge and skills to be able to design COVID-19-safe office spaces that meet your design and budget requirements. Contact our team today and see how we can help refurbish your office space.