How to Create an Office Space that Employees Want

coworking space

This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Kristen Herhold.

Most employees (73%) enjoy spending at least part of their time working in an office rather than working remotely full-time, according to a recent study by Clutch.

Employers can encourage their staff to spend more time at the office by creating a healthy office environment that helps employees feel comfortable and work productively.

In this article, we demonstrate how businesses can offer the types of spaces employees need for productivity and well-being and their options for designing those spaces. 

Specifically, it references the choice businesses can make between: 

  • The process of building out an office space that fits employee preferences 
  • Working in a coworking space, many of which are fitted to contemporary employee expectations

You can use the information to adjust your office layout in a way that helps you retain employees and increase their effectiveness.

Provide a Combination of Private and Collaborative Spaces to Meet Employee Needs

Retaining employees, boosting productivity, and encouraging team collaboration requires a variety of office spaces.

Businesses should provide employees with an open-office layout with a variety of workspace options to maintain productivity and employee satisfaction.

people coworking together in an open office
Coworking in an open office at MELD Coworking

Providing employees with a variety of workspaces helps guarantee that your employees have what they need to work at a high level of productivity. 

A mixed-space office layout ensures that different personalities are comfortable and productive in an environment that suits their work habits.

Spaces included in a mixed space include: 

  • Private offices
  • Quiet spaces
  • Personal spaces
  • Collaborative spaces
  • Small and large meeting spaces

Coworking spaces, for example, usually follow this model: over half maintain an open floor plan. These spaces encourage collaboration between coworkers, and broadly, the community that shares the space. 

Recognize the Value of Private Space

While some people can get work done in a group environment, other personality types, as well as certain job functions, require a private space for improved concentration.

Mentally drained, stressed, or overtasked employees need an area to recharge if they’re expected to make the entire day productive.

Privacy is essential to many people’s ability to communicate and work effectively. Creating private offices for your employees ensures that each can work in a manner that suits them best.

private space to collaborate within an office

According to Clutch’s survey, nearly 70% of coworking spaces feature either private spaces or private offices. Many offer both. 

Without a quiet space to retreat, some employees lose drive and concentration halfway through the day, or after highly-demanding mental tasks such as meetings, customer interactions, and problem-solving.

Providing your employees with a noise-free zone allows them to diffuse and recharge their minds so they work at full potential.

Consider the Value of Personal Spaces for Employers

When employees don’t have private offices, it’s essential to provide them with personal spaces. 

Nearly three-quarters of offices have individual desks or offices for their employees, according to Clutch’s study on what employees want in an office space, and 98% have an assigned space at their office.

A space to call their own gives employees a sense of belonging, along with the confidence that, while they’re at the office, they can organize, concentrate, and create effectively.

How Large Meeting Rooms Help Employees

Large meeting rooms provide an area for employees to collaborate with other workers or clients, without distractions to their productivity.

people holding a meeting in a coworking space

Setting aside space for large meetings helps ensure that your team has the opportunity to listen to each other, collaborate, and solve problems.

Small collaborative spaces encourage employees to interact, brainstorm, and problem solve in small groups of 2 to 3 people.

Collaborative spaces encourage employees to speak with each other and help develop a culture of teamwork and collaboration.

Coworking spaces, for their part, facilitate collaboration between both coworkers and other members of the space. 

Small collaborative spaces are an excellent investment for businesses because they allow people to work together informally, yet privately, without needing to schedule a time in advance. This lets them problem-solve and brainstorm as often as needed.

Coworking or Sole Ownership, Your Business’s Office Space Can Produce Benefits for Employees

Regardless of whether your business owns its own building or works in a coworking space, you have the ability to create an office space that benefits your business. 

What’s important is that your business understands the sort of space that motivates employees to execute at a high level. 

Providing different types of office spaces helps encourage employees to work onsite and increases the productivity and effectiveness of your workforce.

Kristen Herhold is a Senior Content Developer for Clutch, the leading research, ratings, and reviews platform for business services and technology solutions providers. She leads the company’s real estate and office design research. You can connect with Kristen via LinkedIn or Twitter.

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