What can people’s homes teach us about office design?

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What lessons can we learn from home design in the offices of the future?

28 February 2023
INSIGHTS

There are proven benefits to providing those extra creature comforts in your workplace to help make your teams feel at home.

Providing additional amenities in the workplace can enhance the overall work environment and make employees feel more comfortable, similar to being at home. The office is a prevalent place for people to spend their time, but traditional office designs often lack personalization and can feel imposing. With an increasing number of people opting for remote work and rejecting open-plan office designs, it’s important to consider how to make the office space more inviting.

While working from home can improve productivity and employee satisfaction, it can also hinder collaboration and idea sharing. In light of the recent shift towards remote work due to the pandemic, it’s worth examining how to make the office feel more like home to improve the overall work experience.

Use the Space

Creating designated areas for different activities is crucial for a functional and efficient work environment, similar to how a home is divided into specific spaces for different activities. Just as one wouldn’t cook dinner in a bedroom or sleep in a bathroom, the office should have dedicated areas for individual work, group collaboration, and breaks. Additionally, not everyone prefers working at a desk, some individuals may prefer a more comfortable seating option like a couch. This “Activity-Based Working” approach offers a range of workspaces, allowing individuals to select the environment that best fits their task or mood, resulting in increased productivity. Giving employees autonomy over their work environment also leads to increased job satisfaction and engagement.

 

Make Light work

The benefits of natural light in the workplace are undeniable, both in terms of work performance and employee well-being. Natural light is a fundamental aspect of home design and is highly valued by people. Similarly, the workplace should have access to natural light, and shouldn’t be any different from a typical British home in terms of importance and accessibility.

 

Food for thought

The kitchen is often considered the central gathering place in a home and the same holds true for the workplace. With a communal space for preparing and eating food, employees can come together and foster relationships, collaboration, and chance encounters. This can lead to the generation of new ideas and innovations, which are valuable assets in the modern business world. The kitchen also serves as an alternative workspace and a place to take a break and recharge. It’s important to remember that taking time to rest and recharge the mind can lead to improved concentration and creativity.

 

Softly softly now

Designing an office goes beyond just allocating desk space and floor plans. There is an increasing trend towards creating a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere in the workplace. Breakout areas are now being equipped with comfortable seating, stylish rugs, cushions, and soft lighting. This creates an environment that resembles the comfort of being at home, while also encouraging employees to come into the office.

False economy or great investment

The two largest expenses for any business are human resources and property. Attracting and retaining top talent is crucial for overall success and office spaces are increasingly being used as a means of achieving this. A desirable work environment with the necessary tools improves employee satisfaction and productivity, ultimately leading to less recruitment costs, decreased absenteeism, and a positive reputation as an employer. This can make it easier to attract and retain quality talent in the future.

 

The home can provide valuable lessons for office design, but the most important one being the concept of choice. When individuals have the ability to choose their living space and surroundings, they tend to be more content and willing to spend time there. The same applies to the workplace. By offering employees the flexibility to work in a comfortable and personalized environment, it leads to a positive and productive work atmosphere for all.

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