What do employees actually want from their workspace design? So much has happened since the covid-19 pandemic, the way we use a workspace has changed, our priorities and needs have changed, the set up of the working week has changed, so naturally employees’ expectations and requirements of the workplace have also changed. So in 20222, what do employees actually want from a workspace?
Working from home highlighted to people how important being in nature was. By having the ability to take a walk outdoors or work from the garden surrounded by plants and natural light, employees became custom to having access to nature in their working day. As a result, employees now need the same from their workspace design. Whether that be in the form of natural lighting, fresh air flow, outdoor workspaces, plants among other options, nature has become very important to attract employees back to the workspace.
There is no one size fits all approach. How one employee may prefer to work will be vastly different to another. Some employees may prefer a more informal workspace design like coffee lounges and informal soft seating where as others may prefer to work in groups in collaboration spaces. The new workspace needs to be able to provide workspace options for employees to choose from based on their preferred working style and the task that they have at hand. Many find that for creative tasks they want to be in a bustling environment but for long tasks that required concentration, they prefer solo working areas. By providing a variety of spaces and empowering your employees to choose where they can work, they will not only be happier and more satisfied but also more productive and efficient.
Personalise when possible
Have you ever been too hot at work but unable to turn down the temperature because everyone else is happy with it? Office temperature matters to most people and can lead to many disagreements within the workspace. Not only that, but being too hot or too cold can affect people’s physical and mental wellbeing, it can cause headaches and lowers concentration among other issues. There is no one size fits all solution so by providing personalisation features for temperature, desk heights and lighting, employees are able to customise their workspace accordingly.
Workspace design should take into consideration employee wellness in order to meet the needs of employees. By taking into consideration the physical, mental and environmental wellbeing of your employees, they will feel happier, safer and more empowered to produce better results within the work setting. Incentives such as mental health days, healthy food options, fitness challenges combined with providing facilities that give access to nature will be really beneficial for employees.
Sociability and connection
Working from home during the pandemic made many employees feel isolated and out of the loop from the working environment. As a result, employees are now looking to reconnect and engage with other people in the workplace and workspace design needs to be able to facilitate this. Creating areas such as coffee lounges, kitchenette breakout spaces and informal soft seating spaces all encourage socialising and collaboration reconnecting employees.