With more employees back in the office on a regular weekly cadence, the office is once again alive. Employees are coming back to the office for many reasons. From head down focused work to rebuilding relationships in person with colleagues, creating spaces that support them is more important than ever. How do you set up spaces that matter? To get the most out of your workforce, you’ll need to cultivate a physical space that supports your employees, inspires their creativity and contributes to their productivity.
But where do you begin? Start with your workplace layout. Your workplace should be thoughtfully designed to support employees and the type of work they’re doing that day. It’s crucial to meet the needs of your people. Giving employees spaces where they feel seen, and sometimes not heard, will make everyone more productive and happy.
Design spaces for employees to focus on work and collaborate together
When you’re considering your office layout, it’s important to design an environment that has a space for all the ways your employees work. Whether you support an open office, cubicles, or private rooms, here are five office additions to give your employees more ways to work.
1. Private phone booths: These small, one-person booths offer employees a private space to take a call or do focus work. These can be crucial to supporting employees who work in an open office. Many companies face conference room shortages as meeting spaces are often overbooked. Adding phone booths is an efficient way to provide employees with just enough space to answer a personal call, take a meeting, or provide quiet solace for loud office surroundings.
- Provide a layer of privacy
- Support an office with more quiet spaces
- Give employees solo-space to focus
2. Comfy soft seating: Think outside the conference room box and create an inviting living room like-environment in your office. Add moveable whiteboards to capture the free flow of ideas for brainstorming sessions. Create a working space outside of a traditional conference room. Employees can be comfortable spitballing new ideas and project plans by adding a comfortable space that feels more like a casual living room with a sofa and chairs. These open spaces can also be great for morning coffee catch-ups or mid-afternoon 1:1s that are not deemed sensitive. Give your employees a unique space to work away from their desk to combat the afternoon lag.
- Reduce conference room fatigue when shared spaces can be leveraged for non-sensitive meetings
- Encourage collaboration when other employees can join the brainstorming session
- Create a comfortable space where employees feel at home
3. Social spaces: A great benefit to offer employees is a space to eat, grab coffee, and catch up with colleagues. Setting up an open area with tables near a coffee bar or kitchenette provides a space for employees to eat breakfast or lunch together. At other times of the day, it offers a great space to have 1:1s, impromptu meetings, or decompress with your work colleagues at the end of the day. Make it advantageous for employees to come to work and enjoy the social benefits as well.
- Support work culture where people mingle with their colleagues
- Build a community at work
- Draw people into the office with social activities
4. Creative conference rooms: Not all conference rooms are created equal. Choosing the right conference room requires some advanced planning. What amenities will you need? How many people will be attending in person? Take stock of your current layout and consider adding more conference rooms that support meetings of different types and sizes. Provide your employees with room amenities that fit their different meeting needs. For example, add a room with whiteboards on every wall for team brainstorms. Set up a studio with a ring light and a green screen for high profile online presentations. Create a space to demo your products for partners, press and vendors. Design conference room spaces that support your employees needs and watch those spaces grow with usage week over week.
- Encourage employees to meet in person when room amenities are available
- Add purpose to each of your spaces
- Create a methodology for booking rooms based on meeting types
5. Easy hot desks: Create an office space that empowers employees to take charge of their workplace days. Whether they are motivated by dual monitors, corner desks, or proximity to the window, hot desking enables employees to reserve the best desk for their needs. Remember to build around flexibility. Pay particular attention to how many available desks there are on your busiest office days and plan accordingly. When you add spaces for hot desks, ask yourself how will this space look filled on the busiest and slowest of days? It’s important to spend the time to lay out your desk configuration in advance.
- Empower employees on a flexible work schedule to choose a desk for themselves
- Design a space that flexes where you need it by adding desks when more employees are working in the office
- Encourage a new perspective by allowing employees to switch their desks daily
Optimizing your workplace for purpose breeds productivity.
Your workplace is the homebase for many different types of employees. Someone might arrive at work and start talking in the kitchen to everyone around them. Another employee immediately sits at their desk, puts on their noise-canceling headphones and starts working. It can be taxing for a workplace administrator to solve every workplace need.
To get the most of out of your workforce, you’ll need to cultivate a physical space that supports your employees, fosters their creativity and empowers their productivity. By creating spaces that employees feel comfortable using often, they will feel seen, and sometimes not heard. A boon for everyone in the office.
By configuring your layout with creative workspace designs, you’re actively welcoming employees back by supporting their needs. We all know that employees work in different ways. By offering them options that support their office working styles – collaboration, focus time and socialization – you’re cultivating a workplace people want to come to. Make office days your employees favorite days.
Support your bustling office with space management software from Envoy. Learn more about our solutions and how we can help you flex your space to work for you.