The days of boring offices are over. With plans to make hybrid work underway, the ‘where’ of the day job has become less important than the ‘why’, and the onus is now on businesses to create a workplace worth leaving home for.
The right office design can support the way that you actually use your space day-to-day, boosting productivity and adding value to the business beyond the perks and annual leave listed in the job description.
It’s time to stop counting desks and instead focus on creating a unique environment that works for your team.
Canvas for values
With the great resignation (or reshuffle) still impacting businesses and their teams, the office has a role to foster a sense of belonging and reconnect people with their colleagues after two years spent apart.
Using your workspace as a canvas to showcase company values is a great way to make your team feel part of the wider mission. For example, agencies looking to facilitate creativity may focus less on desk numbers and instead look to build collaborative spaces where team members can come together and generate ideas.
At Kitt, we have a large collaborative area where everyone can get together and eat lunch on the days that we’re all in the office. This is one example of how space can encompass values and drive meaningful connections, but it will look different for every company because it’s unique to each brand and each team.
Many industries have, over time, become incredibly brand-driven. Where in the past decisions may have been based on products and price points alone, businesses (with the help of social media) are now working harder to build trust and connection between consumers and their brand.
Intentionally-designed office space can be the magic wand that enhances that client experience. Whether this is creating a space to showcase your products, rooftop meeting areas or a mural to add a pop of colour, highlighting your company values and bringing your brand to life can set you apart from the competition.
Oatly are one of many companies that are putting this into practice. They wanted a hub that reflected the brand with a coffee-shop inspired design & bold product feature wall. They also included a diverse range of work zones and opted for a rooftop terrace to help bring their team together on the days spent in the office.
Design with intentionality
It’s important to understand that the office is no longer simply a place for employees to sit at a desk. Having the freedom to curate a team wishlist built with your employees in mind that encapsulates the brand and incorporates the company values can aid in attracting new talent and maintaining employee retention. This way you can opt for a dynamic design reflective of where they could utilise the space with intention whilst keeping your team at the centre.
One of the most imperative steps in building out such a space is to first communicate with your team. A growing company with employees that have a range of different roles/skillsets will ultimately have varying needs and requirements, so the space you create must take this into account.
Communicating with your team to find out what they would like to get out of the space can help you curate your office in a way that provides a hub for everyone to work collaboratively and comfortably; this is something that a generic office space simply cannot achieve.
From our recent survey of over 1,500 people, one-quarter of respondents stated that they wanted to sit away from desks when they’re in the office (soft seating), indicating that the ever-growing workforce are actively moving away from antiquated ideals of what the workplace used to be and looking for an environment with a little more freedom - and, dare we say it, comfort!
The new role of the office
A quarter of Gen Z respondents from our survey consider the aesthetic of their workspace important and want a more ‘instagrammable’ office; signalling that style and composition play an integral part in attracting new talent and promoting the company.
Employees want to feel proud of the work they do and the space they do it in, so it’s important that this is taken into consideration when mapping out your office space. What does your workspace offer that others don’t? How is it unique to your mission and values?
These are the questions you need to answer when thinking about the design of your space. Flexible work is now an expectation for many, so the office has now become a much bigger factor in the war for talent.