In 2017, workspace utilization will be a top priority for every company. Whether you’re a small business or a multinational company, there are advantages to using every square inch of your office to its fullest. Below, we’re sharing 7 ways to reap these benefits and make the most of your workspace.
1. Layout, Layout, Layout!
Creating the optimal layout is all about knowing the potential of your workspace. To design an effective office, you must first know what is required of the employees. Private offices and open floor plans aren’t new concepts, but it’s how they’re being implemented that makes all the difference. The placement of walls, large furniture, and partitions increase independent work, block off the space and can prevent collaboration. The use of lounges, group seating, and staircases increase creativity, open the space up and can encourage collaboration.
2. Break the “One Person, One Desk” Rule
Once upon a time, people went to work at 9:00 am, were seated at their desks most of the day, and clocked out at 5:00 pm. Today, most of us work irregular hours, remotely, or travel frequently. Occupancy Sensors help businesses determine how much space they need for desks and how much space can be repurposed. On average, only 35% of desks are used daily. That means almost two thirds of the office can be used for hot desks or collaborative spaces like meeting rooms and breakout rooms.
3. Peace and Quiet
Sometimes you just need to focus! While open floor plans have plenty of perks, such as nurturing organic collaboration and fostering stronger work relationships, they don’t offer much privacy. Make sure to include private workspaces for individuals to use when they are concentrating on a project or are under a deadline.
4. Connect Your Tech
Interconnected technology makes office life easier for everyone. Whether your company uses integrated programs or a single operating system, seamless transitioning from laptops to desktops to projector screens improves efficiency. Instead of wasting time with multiple programs, applications, and incompatible connections, if technology is standardized, every employee can utilize everything the workspace has to offer.
5. Video Killed the Conference Call
In recent years, there’s been a steady growth in the use of video conferencing in the workplace. Video conferencing offers the advantages of face-to-face communication, stronger ties to remote employees, and a reduction in travel costs. As reported by Gartner, Inc. in their March 2016 research study, The Rebirth of Office Space: What Every CIO Needs to Know and Do1, “Since everyone cannot always be in the office, experiences need to also support remote participants. For IT, this means continued investment in technologies like unified communications and collaboration (UCC) and group video to support collaborative workspaces and facilitate collaboration with third-party partners and vendors.”
6. Little Things Make a BIG Difference
Sometimes the smallest or least expensive improvements can make the biggest difference for your employees. Things like plants, natural light, a pleasant lunch room, drinks and snacks, or a game room can improve employee engagement. Much like the saying: “Happy wife, happy life,” a happy staff means a better performing staff!
7. Have Some Ground Rules
It is important to make sure your company fosters an environment of respect and responsibility. While this may seem intuitive, respecting each other and sharing the workspace can come to a head – people hog conference rooms, don’t clean up after themselves, speak loudly on the phone. To avoid any unnecessary conflict, lay some ground rules. They can be the as specific as you want them to be, but try to limit your list. For example, create “The 10 Commandments of [Your Company]” or “5 Rules for a Happy [Your Company] Staff.” Get creative! Just don’t get too passive aggressive…
These are just a few of the ways you can make the most of your workspace. From desk utilization to streamlined video conferencing, strategic changes can help businesses make the most of their workspace, all while cutting costs and improving employee engagement.
1 P. Miller and C. Rozwell. “The Rebirth of Office Space: What Every CIO Needs to Know and Do.” Gartner, Inc. March 2, 2016.