July 28th, 2021

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Designing an office isn’t a one-time event. Spaces are meant to be fluid. Today’s office spaces have to be fluid. With today’s modern workforce, plus the continual changes in technology, frequent updates have to be commonplace in your office space planning strategy if you want an office design that keeps your workforce motivated and productive.

5 signs it's time to redesign for better office space utilization

Here’s when you know your office design needs a refresh, and the office design ideas you can use to give the space an effective makeover.

1. Focus and productivity are low

Have you noticed more and more projects aren’t getting completed on time? Or  you star-employees who used to hammer out a task in an hour now take three hours to finish the same task?

These are all signs it’s time to minimize distractions to improve office space utilization, maybe update your current color schemes and bring in some natural light.

If you currently have an open-office layout, consider getting desk partitions or building small breakout meeting spaces so employees can focus and get their heads-down work done distraction-free. And the color of your walls and office artwork might seem like something minimal, but color has been proven to impact and potentially improve focus and productivity. Paint and decorate your office in blue, green, and yellow shades to boost focus, productivity and creativity. You should also add in green plants, as they’ve been found to increase productivity by 15%, according to studies.

Lighting is another area that can have a positive or negative effect on office space utilization and productivity. Poorly-lit offices cause eye strain, headaches, drowsiness and boredom — none of which are ideal for your employees or workplace performance. The solution is natural light. As a study found that people who work in environments with this lighting sleep better at night and therefore show up to work better rested and ready to be productive.

2. You want happier, healthier employees

Employees who sit at the same desk, surrounded by the same bland white walls, 40+ hours a week can driven to the madhouse really quick.

Again, color is an easy office space facelift that can really boost office space utilization. Bring in blues and greens for happier, more effective employees, and yellow since its hues represent optimism. Natural sunlight also improves people’s health, so by adding a few windows or moving work zones near windows will ‘brighten up’ their day and ensure some strong bones with the extra Vitamin D throughout their workdays.

The other ways to have happier, healthier employees incorporating things they’ll enjoy: rooftop gardens, individual pods for gaming, climbing wall at on-site gym, bowling alley or even just a simple a break room ping pong and foosball to get away from their desk and quickly recharge.

And if your office still keeps your employees stuck in cubicles, knock down those walls or, at least, have clear dividers to encourage socialization and collaboration. As you return to the office, remember to keep everyone's workstation safely physically distanced if you haven't already planned your post-pandemic office layout.

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balanced work environment that offers ways to work as well as have a little fun and socialize helps workers be more relaxed and happy, which ultimately ramps up innovation and productivity.

3. Teams or departments need more space flexibility

Having a total open-office layout may not be your answer here. Creating more flexible work spaces might be as simple as rearranging furniture or putting in a few adjustable walls. Maybe creating floor neighborhoods for each team that are tailored to how each needs to work and collaborate would be a, or perhaps desk hoteling, is the answer to your office space utilization and space flexibility needs.

When employees have the flexibility and freedom to move as their day or current task calls for it, employees will perform better, be more satisfied and better motivated in the jobs, according to a workplace survey.

4. You’re experiencing growth

Business is booming, and you’ve recently had an influx of new hires. But your old office design isn’t going to improve office space utilization hold your employees or allow them to effectively work. This is where the workplace design trends of desk hoteling or activity-based working come into play.

Desk hoteling is good for improving office space utilization alongside company growth. It allows you to let employees work remotely and cut down on any unused office space and furniture, while maintaining growth and the right working spaces for employees who choose to come into the office. Activity-based working is similar to desk hoteling in that there aren’t any assigned desks or workstations, but you have a variety of workstations (i.e. standing desks, couches, open tables, conference rooms, etc.) so employees can come into the office and work how, where, and when they want to.

Effective office space utilization for your growing workforce means providing a range of work environments that facilitate all the different working styles of your different employees. If current furniture is taking up too much space, get rid of it. If your second floor is lined with cubicles, get rid of them and repurpose the area to include areas that cater to different tasks or teams. But key to maintaining a frictionless workplace — because friction makes nobody happy — make sure to incorporate the right tools to avoid friction between employees

5. You want to attract new talent

Millennials-tech-in-modern-workplace-3A company’s reputation matters in recruitment, but so does office design. One study found that a company’s workplace design has a bigger impact on attracting employees than salary. Another study showed that 59% of millennials expect a best-in-class tech stack in the workplace.

Look around your office. If you were a new, younger job seeker, would you want to work here? If your answer was no or you’re unsure, it’s time to make some design changes.

It might be time to consider offering additional physical amenities, like an in-house gym, yoga studio or childcare services. Make your office more modern by updating to the latest tech gadgets and adding colors, textures, and furniture that creates a modern environment while encouraging engagement. And like has been said earlier, provide a workspace that gives employees options to work how they best can. The General Services Administration found that flexible workspaces help companies hire and retain talented workforces, and that’s exactly what you need to do to continue being a successful company.

Improving office space utilization with an office redesign

If any of these hints sound familiar, it's probably time to start looking into managing office space utilization with office space utilization software. That way you'll be able to track and monitor office space utilization metrics as you make changes to the office space,  so you can measure the improvements made.

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