Every employee in your business has their own personality, style of working, preferences – and character flaws! But did you know that your office has its own personality, too?
At a time where hybrid and flexible work is changing the demands on the office environment, some offices are proving to be better suited to evolving needs than others. What the right environment looks like will depend on the nature of the business and its workforce, but in many cases, changes will need to be made so that a flexible working model can operate successfully.
It’s likely that your office fits into one of the following six personality types. In this blog, we’ll explore each of them in turn, and if you recognize one of them as resembling your office, we’ll suggest solutions you can explore to make it better suited to a new world of work:
The Traditional Office
Description: this is what would have been regarded as a ‘normal’ office pre-pandemic. It’s full of individual offices that are closed off from each other, and suffers from an old-fashioned design that compartmentalizes individual employees away from each other.
Solution: an office like this will need radical change to attract a new generation of employees. Younger employees in particular will be unwilling to commute to an office where they feel isolated all day, when they can do the same thing at home. For these offices, a ground-up rethink is required.
Description: these are the kind of offices where work is done in silence, apart from the occasional phone call. It’s great for employees who want to get their head down, but they are devoid of any organic conversation or off-the-cuff collaboration.
Solution: these offices need more collaborative and social spaces – especially informal ones like breakout zones – to encourage interaction and create a more lively atmosphere. Clever positioning of these should mean a balance can be struck between lively interaction and peaceful, focused work.
Description: the Wild West of offices, where there is little or no structure regarding workspace availability. Meeting room demand generally outstrips supply, leading to disputes and friction, and it’s pretty much pot luck whether a desired workstation will be free or not when an employee needs it.
Solution: an office like this, even if it has the right workspace design, desperately needs some order to be brought to the chaos. This can be achieved through workspace booking software that gives clarity and transparency to workspace reservations, and makes securing a desired workspace stress-free.
The Culture Club
Description: this office is great for collaboration, socializing and team-building – in fact, it’s almost too great. The atmosphere can be too noisy and overwhelming at times, meaning it’s difficult for those who need peace and quiet to focus on their work
Solution: while these offices are benefiting from a collaborative atmosphere, it’s vital to introduce some quiet spaces for people to get away from the general buzz. This could be a designated ‘quiet floor’ of workstations, or the installation of ‘work pods’ where individual employees can shut themselves away.
The Melting Pot
Description: this is the kind of office that exists as a hub for creativity. It’s the source of good ideas and is primarily a place for collaboration, but it lacks a clear structure of which workspaces exist for which reasons.
Solution: the key to these offices is to ensure the right people are working from the right office spaces at the right time. Booking and meeting room software can ensure that employees can work from appropriate spaces for individual work, informal collaboration and formal meetings.
The Three Bears’ House
Description: these offices aren’t too quiet and aren’t too lively: they’re just right. In fact, they’re beautifully balanced for hybrid work, with a combination of hot desks, meeting space, quiet areas, easy building and workspace check-in, and more. It’s likely that a booking system for desks and meeting spaces is already in place to support this ecosystem for employees and visitors alike.
Solution: if this is your office, then feel free to sit back and relax, because you’ve achieved the gold standard. No changes are needed for now, but it’s worth monitoring usage trends over time, so that you can respond to shifting demands and keep your office environment fine-tuned in the future.