I’ve been working in corporate America for sometime and I have seen a lot of changes in office design. Now, I don’t want to age myself here but I remember my old cubicle. I was on the 4th row over and the 7th one down, it was a tight fit. My desk made the cubicles in the movie office space look spacious. Imagine trying to work and a co-worker coming back from break pushing your chair forward in order to have enough room to squeeze down the aisle.
Imagine my delight when this same office remodeled. It was this three desk cluster design, I tried to figure out how our new desks had so much more room and yet still seemed to fit everyone. The interesting thing that happened was I got to know my team in a whole new way. We worked together like clockwork, we had each others backs, and we had really good ideas for improvement and even got to see a few of them implemented.
More and more companies have adopted this open space mentality. It encourages team collaboration by blasting down the walls of yesterday’s cubicles and inspires creativity when companies also add fun design elements and splashes of color throughout the work space.
A really good example of this is Google. In Google’s words, they wanted to “Create an office for work and play”. Wow! Play? but how can your employees be effective if they are encouraged to “play” at work? In an article in the New York Times about their work space. Google’s employees stated they felt special to be a part of the team and enjoy being at work. Productivity for Google isn’t an issue, when employees love their environment, feel well treated, and are part of a team, they are motivated to work hard simply because they believe in the company’s vision.
Excuse me for just a moment as I finish up my Google application,..
Okay, where was I? Ah yes, office spaces. If you stumbled upon this blog because you are thinking about remodeling the office, here are three things to consider.
Space: Know what it is you are trying to accomplish in the space, while at the same time if you were your own employee would you feel like a trapped animal? On the flip side of that open space encourages team collaboration but be careful as too much collaboration can also lower productivity.
Color: Is used to create an emotion with employees and customers (Blue is popular as it is said to encourage trust).
Design Elements: Have you researched new desk designs? They have furniture pieces that can be a conference table and if you flip it over it’s also a game table. Get creative and see what’s out there!
Author: Heart T Rae