Most of the young entrepreneurs today have practically grown up in the digital age, and that has given them the opportunity to turn their ideas into successful startups. Nevertheless, the success of your business doesn’t depend only on the quality of its online space – your tangible surroundings are equally important. Developing your idea into a successful business requires much more than finding the right lender and various means of promotion. Without a good office space atmosphere, you won’t be able to properly use your biggest tools for growth – your employees.
Working inside a cubicle might seem to encourage worker’s independence by freeing them from distractions, but it actually prevents them from seeing anything but their computer screens. So it’s natural that this office design has quickly become a symbol of oppressive corporate culture, its primary purpose being to cram as many employees per square foot as possible. In these conditions, motivation and happiness quickly wither away. On the other hand, an open office truly can produce some pretty annoying distractions.
It is clear that your office design goes much further than simply shaping the place of work – it also shapes employees’ job satisfaction and, motivation. We are always in search of environments that are able to satisfy our basic human needs, and work situations are not an exception. Your goals should be to attract and retain talents, increase collaboration and grow overall productivity, and you can achieve this only if those needs are fully met. And we’re not referring only to physical ones – psychological needs are even more important because they are responsible for the well-being of your workforce. So you’ll be dealing with two Ps.
Extensions of Brand
Your workplace interior design needs to be engaging and interesting. A most common misconception is that a productive work environment needs to be neutral – this quickly leads to dreary and dull. The point is to create the personality with design, so you need to stay away from generic spaces. The increasing popularity of the office fitout in Sydney is due to a complete design service – from strategic space planning to the signage and graphics solutions, furniture procurements, and the selection of materials. This is the best kind of approach because it enables you to create unique and exciting premises as extensions of your brand’s identity. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the psychological needs of your employees you need to follow during this process.
One Moment, Please
Of course, there are some tasks for which your employees will require privacy. But that doesn’t mean they need to be shut inside their cubicles. Not all the tasks during the day require that privacy – these are just the moments of the day when they need to make a private phone call or to gather up additional concentration, so all you have to do is to provide them with activity-based work (ABW) spaces. These will provide them with private and quiet surroundings for focus work, small-group private talks, and private phone conversations.
You mustn’t assign your employees to one workstation they’re not allowed to change. One of the strongest psychological needs is the one of free choice, which demands flexibility. This doesn’t only mean flexible hours – they also must be able to choose their environment. If you’ve created ABW spaces mentioned above that the only thing left to do is to give them the permission to move around during the day. They need to be able to choose the type of workspace based on the task at hand.
Show Them The Way
Although your employees want their freedom of movement, they also desire some predictability, meaning they need the comfort of being in control when it comes to their environment. So it’s natural that many of them will be worried about losing that predictability of their familiar cubicle and desk. That’s why it’s important to provide them with tools that will retain their control over the workplace, such as wayfinding systems. That way they’ll be able to locate a coworker and find the perfect place to work quickly and easily.
Ditch The Hierarchy
It is normal that there’s hierarchy in work positions depending on skills and experience, but there must be none when it comes to the working environment. Your employees must feel equally valuable and they won’t be able to feel that way if the size of the windows and square footage depends on power and status. One of the simplest ways to break a bond between the status and the workplace is to make a design without assigned seating – this will also encourage more interaction between employees at different levels.
Following the previous paragraph, you’ll fulfill one of the most important basic human needs – connecting with others. The interaction between your employees shouldn’t come down to small teams – all of them should be encouraged to mingle. If people move around several times a day and sit in different spots their opportunity to interact – meaning share and learn – increases. This is where safety comes from. Maybe in these digital times, the main worry is how to stay safe online, but safety in the physical environment is mandatory for every employee in order to feel productive. Building cohesive and strong team relationships will make workers feel comfortable to express opinions, share ideas, and offer feedback.
This might seem like an obvious one, but comfort goes far more than functioning HVAC systems, good lighting, and ergonomic furniture. There is also an emotional comfort which demands inspiring views, natural light, and implementation of greens spaces. Without both, the creativity and productivity of your employees won’t be complete.
The key is to keep in mind that there’s not only the physical aspect of the space but also psychological. Your employees need to have their moments of privacy, freedom of movement, equal value, and they need to feel safe. Your design needs to show them the way how to satisfy these needs while retaining the voice of your brand.