As your business wraps up this year’s final quarter, it’s only too easy to reflect on how your business performed—not how your business space performed. Yet it’s critical to evaluate how your facilities support your company goals, employee satisfaction, and overall productivity.

1. Maximizing Office Space the Right Way

As the price per square foot for office space rises across the country, only 40% of American workers spend their 9-to-5 hours in their own private office. Getting the most from your floor plan doesn’t necessarily mean cramming every mid-level employee or new hire into a 4×6 box—especially when 93% of cubicle-dwellers hate their workspaces and deem them to be a stressful drain on productivity. (Yahoo Finance) While the open-plan layout isn’t going away, forward-thinking workplaces are repurposing wasted or dormant space by creating designated “zones” for different purposes like brainstorming, taking phone calls, employee training, or quiet reflection.

2. Keeping Employees Engaged

Perhaps it’s a side effect of start-up culture and casual workplaces, but employees now expect a level of control and autonomy in the office. This can be a challenge when their wants and needs don’t align with the direction or purpose of the company. However, numerous studies show that listening to employees can boost engagement, productivity and happiness. At more and more companies, individual teams or departments design their own floor plan based on their purpose and how those team members best interact with each other. Rows of cubicles become pods of 3 or 4 desks to encourage collaboration and information-sharing. Changes can be cosmetic, too. Coffee tables and couches replace conference tables. Edison light bulbs replace overhead fluorescence. Retro-style mini fridges give employees space to store lunch closer to their desk than one in the larger communal kitchen. In this new reality, the facilities manager collaborates with employees, and retains control over the purchasing process . . . while still keeping an eye on the budget and building codes.

3. Meeting the Demand for Creative Space

A-list companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple have set the precedent for corporate campuses: efficient, attractive creative office spaces that anticipate both the life and work needs for employees. Granted, most companies cannot offer dry cleaners, yoga studios, day care, and 24/7 meals. They instead design vibrant offices that encourage the productivity and creativity of coworkers—whether they’re onsite every day, telecommuting a few days a week, or job sharing. From themed conference rooms, 50s-style diner kitchens, and barista-staffed coffee bars to built-out patios and roof decks suitable for meetings or company celebrations, employers are providing stimulating environments appropriate to their corporate culture where employees can thrive.

4. Minimizing Excess, Maximizing Organization

One by-product of open-space plans is that clutter and those spare orphaned office chairs literally have no place to hide. While this is bad news for the disorganized or those who proclaim “clutter equals genius,” it’s a boon for a company’s image productivity, and efficiency. Though the paperless office may still be a myth for many businesses, the reality of digital archiving and warehouse storage can turn any office into a model workplace. A streamlined office free of clutter is safer, more attractive to clients and vendors, and allows employees to be more productive, focusing on their work instead of where to find it among the piles of stuff.

5. Furniture That Works for Individual Space

These days, comfortable, quality furniture and personal workspaces are just as much an onsite necessity as free sodas or coffee. They keep employees motivated, working consistently at their desks, and free from chronic pain or injury—also a boon for a company’s bottom line. Businesses who consider employees their most important asset are investing in furniture solutions such as benching systems, standing or treadmill desks, ergonomic accessories, comfortable seating and translucent panels for open-plan workstations.
The world of work is always changing—and with all your daily responsibilities, it can be hard to keep up. Don’t hesitate to call on the workspace professionals at Corovan to help you make sense of current trends and how to prepare for them.