1 What kind of employee behavior do you want to encourage?
Your design can incorporate elements that will help you achieve certain results. If you want to encourage recycling, for example, you can install recycling stations throughout the office, providing easy access and clear instructions. Do you want more mingling between employees in different departments? Create a centralized coffee bar or printing station that will entice them to leave their immediate work area and share their thoughts with co-workers from another group.
2 Do I want to encourage transparency and camaraderie?
More companies are knocking down walls and cubicles to create more open space. Now, top executives and managers may even sit in open areas with other employees. Feltoon recalls an office he designed for an investment bank, where he used glass instead of solid walls and provided open space for “impromptu get-togethers.” The owner of the firm wanted people out in the open to convey an image of transparency to clients. An open design also can encourage team spirit.
3 Do I have comfortable places for employees to socialize and relax?
Popular spaces are cafes, pantries and other spots where people naturally congregate. Some businesses offer more elaborate amenities, such as fitness rooms, acupuncture/message therapy centers, dry cleaning drop-off points, and wellness rooms for everyone from nursing mothers to employees who don’t feel well. “Creating spaces that allow employees to socialize and get some exercise or rest is important to create a sense of balance and well-being,” Polucci says.
4 How do I make the space as green as possible?
Thinking in terms of sustainability is becoming the norm in office design, Polucci says. “We’re designing every project with a sustainable focus, from mechanical and electric to lighting to recycled, renewable and reused materials. And we’re to a point where many of the sustainable choices add no cost.” For example, some overhead lighting will automatically grow dimmer as more natural light enters the space. Such a system can pay for itself in reduced energy bills within three years, Polucci says. Many “green” offices also use carpeting made of recycled content and wood harvested from sustainable forests.
There are many more considerations when redesigning your office. Cotswold Business Interiors are experts in office interiors, and could help tackle these challenges.