Tuesday 1st May 2018

Trying to identify ways to encourage, empower and motivate employees into a state of peak performance can be incredibly challenging. The truth is, that people are not machines, and the average workplace comes with its own set of unique challenges, from office politics getting in the way of work, to lowered rates of productivity during times of stress. It’s a universal issue, but there isn’t necessarily one single approach to better the situation.

Peak performance culture is a concept that has slowly been gaining attention in the world of HR and as a 2018 workplace trends frontrunner. For any business or organisation, there is inevitably a culture that runs through the workspace’s DNA; one that can be harmed or helped by the immediate surroundings, and how they influence employees’ work and interactions with each other.

Traditionally, it has been workspace design that has informed workplace culture.

For example, if desks are far apart and have visual markers between them, employees may find themselves naturally more isolated, and less likely to talk and collaborate in a casual sense.

By using design to help reach peak performance culture, we turn this situation in its head. Redesigning working areas to help achieve a more productive and harmonious workforce seems like a no-brainer, however, it isn’t as simple as moving a few desks around! According to Chris McGoff of The Clearing, speaking at WORKTECH Toronto in November 2017, there are seven principles to master, in order to create a peak performance culture within the workplace:

  • Interconnectedness – the state of being connected with each other
  • Keeping the ‘main thing’ as the main thing
  • Giving up on the ‘something is wrong’ mentality
  • Alignment of key people on critical activities
  • Assignment of decision rights
  • Conversing for learning and growth
  • Standing on principle for as long as it takes

These principles are open to interpretation, particularly when it comes to workspace design.

Allowing for workspace design to dictate office culture, and the rate of productivity, is going to be a exploration and a journey of trial and possible error for most businesses.

However, by keeping these principles in mind, and by focusing on the end result, big changes can be made, with very little environmental impact. 

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