When is the best time to refurbish my office...?
The office is no longer simply considered a place to work, it is a critical part of defining your brand and delivering high-quality work whilst maintaining a healthy working milieu. Any new solution must help you work more cohesively to produce better outcomes whilst resonating your brand and culture. Think of your office as a silent salesman. In the same way you can tell a lot about a person from their home, you can tell a lot about an organisation from their office. How your staff behave and feel, the type of clients you attract and your bottom line (yes, really!) will all be affected by how your office looks and feels.
The way we work has changed dramatically over time and will continue to change as technology and ideas evolve and progress. Technology has reduced the number of mundane tasks required of us say, a generation ago, leading to a working world today where many of our tasks are defined as knowledge work; requiring the following broad work modes:
Focus - quiet, concentration tasks; writing, planning or detailed work
Collaboration - noisy activities; meetings, discussions, workshops or huddles
Socialising - a large part of work is enjoying each other’s company (after all, you’re in this venture together)
Learning - essential in today's rapidly changing world
Environments that recognise these different work areas and provide varied facilities to support and separate these very different ways of working are outperforming those that don’t.
“Different types of work require different types of space.”
Whilst all four work modes must be catered for, focus is the most important. Ever tried writing a complex paper in an open-plan office and you’ll know what I mean. The distractions can leave you frustrated, annoyed, underachieved and much less likely to assist a colleague asking for help.
Enabling and encouraging people to move in and around your office space more freely promotes opportunities for collaboration and chance encounters where ideas and knowledge can be exchanged. A more immersive, less hierarchical space which encourages staff to mingle creates a buzz and a sense of activity in the building.
A rising trend is that of Office Commons - efficient and innovative non-territorial spaces. A cultural and natural resource accessible by all members of a community, managed for individual and collective benefit. Consider market squares, university quadrangles and hotel lounges, all these spaces provide an opportunity for knowledge and idea exchange.
"Knowledge and idea exchange = energy exchange."
Areas that can become semi-public lend themselves beautifully as spaces for temporary exhibitions, pop-ups or social events; think of these areas behaving like a stage set where people can interact. The background, the smells, the music, the general ambience can help set the tone of the building or organisation. All of which create a sense of awareness and excitement around your business whilst fostering a level of familiarity.
In a world where it’s recognised that humans are our greatest asset, failure to recognise this can lead to a plateau of business performance and inevitably decline. The world will keep progressing, you can’t afford to stand still.
If humans are your greatest asset they need to be nurtured, loved and supported in the same way any sensible factory owner would oil and service their machinery.
Designing your office to nurture your greatest asset and embody your principles, culture and ethos will be the greatest business decision you ever make. But how do you even start? Luckily, as experts in the field, PF+A can help. We have various support methods that will deliver a tailored programme helping you analyse, design and implement your Hoffice - offices for Happy, Healthy Humans. Leading to more money, more time and enhanced lives, not just for you but for all your staff and their families.
So, why is today the best time to refurbish your office? Because studies by the world’s largest architecture practice Gensler have shown that a better designed office can improve turnover by 20%. Think about it this way, if you haven’t designed your office to cater to the four work modes and mirror your business brand - you’re underperforming by 20%. How would your shareholders feel about that?