5 Commercial Space Pain Points that can be Solved with Remarcable Interior Design
Breaking down some common employee pain points at the office and how good design can overcome these to ensure a healthier and more productive workforce.
6 minute read
22nd July, 2021 | Remarcable
We definitely all know by now after spending much time indoors over the last year that our environment has a major impact on our wellbeing, productivity, and performance. This goes for the office environment as well, with multiple studies evidently showing a strong correlation between productivity, creativity, and even profitability with employee working conditions, such as light, air, noise, health, culture, design, movement, and quality of furniture. Being a direct reflection of our environment shows that a healthy environment means healthy people. A report conducted by Wellness Together highlights the amount of staff working while unwell is costing the UK twice as much as absenteeism. From our own experience and conducted research we have shortlisted 5 major pain points that we frequently come across and how we overcome these through the use of well-thought-out office and healthcare design.
Do you have piles of papers on your desk purely for the fact that there is not enough safe storage for you to utilise in your office space? Do you find yourself distracted by just looking at it, always catching your eye in your peripheral vision? Getting frustrated by the mess but not knowing what to do with it because if you place it in one of the communal storage cupboards it may get lost?
Having a build up of piled paperwork on your desk creates clutter, which unconsciously bombards your mind with excessive stimuli, causing your senses to work overtime unnecessarily.. Studies show the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing concentration and creative thinking. According to data by the International Data Corporation lost documents equates to businesses losing around £2.5 million in lack of productivity.
Designing bespoke storage solutions to tailored dimensions which will maximise the total use of your space. Designing in-built desk storage for maintaining a clear space and encouraging organisation. Or even better adopt a paperless office, reducing waste and paper costs and ultimately helping the environment!
Space Navigation & Space Planning
Does sitting next to the staff break out area in an open-plan office space causing you to feel distracted and lack focus on your tasks at hand? Is your desk right next to the entrance of the office where every time someone walks in or out you find yourself stopping what you are doing (even for just a second)? Is there a relevant room that requires frequent access for your tasks but you have to go through the reception area each time where you frequently bump into colleagues that are asking you questions which in turn results in poor time efficiency, distraction and de-prioritisation due to unavoidable office layout plan?
A substandard office layout brings along with it a lot of distractions that affect the employee?s concentration levels and hinders optimum discharge of abilities. This leaves them with a taste of discontentment in their own work output. Research reported by Mace Group reveals that 1 in 5 UK workers have around 2.4 unproductive hours every week caused by the poor or inadequate office and work environments using Office of National Statistics value of time data translates to a cost of £4bn a year in lost output to the UK economy.
Our smart design planning is backed with employee research that also takes into consideration the future growth of the business. The questions that need to be address include:
Which people work together most often? To ensure that you can design the space according to department seating people who do related work in the same area to accomplish their tasks efficiently.
Who makes frequent trips to the mailroom or different departments? Make sure space is designed conveniently for workers to get to their most frequent destinations with minimal distraction along the way.
Do your employees spend a lot of time on the phone and need a quiet space? Providing and placing workers in proximity to the tools they need to be fully productive and work at their best where they can concentrate.
Health & Safety
Are you unsure of returning to the workplace whilst in the midst of a pandemic in fear of uncleanliness and lack of accessible hygiene facilities? Does returning to work make you anxious because of the lack of social distancing due to open-plan office space and close workspace proximity to colleagues? Sitting incorrectly for hours because of insufficient office equipment and furniture causing you strain and other injuries? Is the temperature in your office irregulated, sometimes too cold or too hot making it an uncomfortable space to work in?
A failure to install adequate health and safety procedures can result in injuries or fatalities. A work-related illness or injury can not only put an employee out of work costing the company financially but also impact on their quality of life, damaging your business's productivity and reputation. On top of physical injury, there is still a lot of work to be done on prioritising health & wellbeing in the workplace with worker's stress, depression, and anxiety resulting in costing the UK economy £30 billion in 2019.
As an employer it is your responsibility to ensure that your workplace meets all the necessary health and safety requirements, enabling staff to work in a hygienic, habitable space that is free from risk and hazards. There are multiple factors that require consideration from a design point of view including maintaining a reasonable temperature in the office, providing facilities for drinking water and eating meals, and having a good ventilation system to provide fresh, clean air throughout the day. Lighting plays a major role in our health and wellbeing ensuring to design the office space so that the major light source is natural lighting through windows and utilising circadian rhythm bulbs.
Engagement & Collaboration
Is your workspace just built for practicality lacking inspiration? Does sending emails back and forth to colleagues in different departments lack expressiveness to bounce ideas around? Does having open team meetings in your workspace distract you from your tasks? Do you wish there were specifically designed spaces dedicated to creative collaboration and team engagement?
By not having specific spaces for staff to congregate, collaborate and engage in a more secluded space away from the direct working environment can cause a disturbance, distraction, and lack of focus. A lack of privacy having open plan meetings that can be overheard by all employees causing added stresses and potential risk of interruption and time-wasting which over time adds up, resulting in reduced productive working time.
Spaces designed specifically for collaboration and engagement are vitally important. They help to drive a cross-pollination of ideas, employee engagement and foster a sense of community, which can serve to strengthen a company?s culture. When creating effective collaborative spaces there are a few factors to consider: they should offer a ?casual feel? and relaxed sensibility, sparking creativity and imagination. The space may also need to accommodate a wide range of activities and therefore needs to have flexibility in the design, furniture layout and include a range of tools (such as IT connections, interactive surfaces, etc). The space, therefore, needs to be able to flex and adapt to meet the user?s needs to be successful.
Rest & Replenish
Are you struggling with work-life balance at the workplace? Can you only rest & replenish outside of the office because there is not designed space to offer this need? Are you on your feet all day and need a space that even for just 5 minutes allows you to put your feet up, really giving yourself time to relax and replenish your energy before returning back to work?
Having no breakout spaces or areas designed for comfort and relaxation in an office space can result in employee burnout and demoralisation. A survey conducted by Management Today stated that 97% of staff said that they thought their workplace was a symbol of whether or not they were valued by their company. This includes understanding the human needs for rest and replenishment by creating the right spaces that offer this.
Providing nice breakout spaces away from the stress and noise of the main office is a must so that employees have the ability to switch off, reflect on tasks and think clearly. Breakout spaces should be designed to encourage relaxation and social interaction by incorporating comfortable furnishings such as poufs and sofas. Very often just having a space to provide a different perspective, being in a less formal atmosphere can help drive the creative process and enable the exchange of ideas.
In conclusion, the ability to understand the needs of each individual employer can determine the success of creating a good design that ensures its users will benefit from in every way possible; Their own personal wellbeing and work at their best, efficiently and productively - the two go hand in hand.