office or leisure center?

Yesterday, I attended a panel discussion on blended space, and what the impact was on the workplace. Buildings are now designed to provide increasingly flexible uses as we see a change in lifestyles and what employees expect of their employers (like having coffee shops, nurseries, yoga classes etc… on the premises).

One topic that came up again and again is the shift towards clean desk open space offices, with many companies adopting these more flexible and cost effective office layouts. What is often misunderstood though is the stress that these environments can cause to their employees.

We are all different, and whereby some people prefer tidy paperless desks, others like to have a plant, a picture of their pet and a few cartoons around them. The physical stuff can have a big impact on how we feel, and therefore how productive we will be in the workplace.

As with all projects involving change, user engagement is a key element to adoption and success. So if you are planning an office revamp, do take the time to consult your staff and get them on board with your vision. It will be worth it in the long run!