When we think of employee engagement, many aspects rush to mind, such as our reward systems, workplace relationship management, performance management, career development, work and life balance and much more. One element that many companies in this region, especially small to medium size, stop at putting needed emphasis on is the workplace environment design itself. Our environment says a lot about us, as research has proven time and again that our corporate culture breathes and narrates itself through the physical manifestation that engulf us.
Many companies understand the importance of the aesthetics of their physical space on their corporate identity, effectively emulating and branding their environment from a marketing standpoint, however they fail to analyse the design from an employee’s performance, work relationship dynamics and productivity angle.
While the aesthetics of the work environment has a strong effect on employment branding and attracting the best talent, when it comes to performance management, and retaining the same talent, much more thought must be given to the functionality, flexibility and comfort of the employee.
The work environment, and office space design has gone through major evolution globally, as we have moved from the traditional industrial worker of the 19th century to today’s technology savvy knowledge worker of the 21st century. In the computer age of instant information, Social Media, telecommuting and global expected standards, where time and space no longer dictate output and performance expectations, flexibility in both space and time is a major element seasoned interior designers of commercial spaces take into consideration. Furthermore, with the new fast paced lifestyles, normal office hours of the past feel exceptionally long and tedious for the new age employee leading to fatigue, high absenteeism and ebb in performance levels. Therefore, designing environments that stimulate the senses, provide comfort, and entertain are essential characteristics that organizations must give importance to.Analyzing the employees’ nature of work, how they meet, interact, socialize and produce should not be luxuries limited to multinational behemoths with budgets of multi-millions to create an engaging and functional environment. Even if you’re a small start-up or a medium size company, with limited budget, you can still design highly productive spaces by taking some important design elements in mind that will fit your organizational culture as well as your employee’s comfort.
In a series of blog posts, we will tackle these design elements and principles, such as optimal lighting, ergonomics, space allocation, recreational space design, flexible design, technology, effects of hues and textures on learning and productivity, socio-cultural needs and much more… Watch this space!