A lot has happened in the past decade. The world's economy emerged from a financial crisis, the Internet of Things exploded, mobile apps took over and a global pandemic completely changed the way we work and live.
As people return to the workplace in a post-COVID world, organizations have ramped up a drive for growth. They realize the post-pandemic economy introduced a season of survival for companies and that it's time to establish new priorities, rally around a vision and set the stage for organizational growth.
Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we believe space and office design are critical to growth. We're here to help you change the way you think about space, so your company can move the needle on real innovation and growth.
In this article, we'll help you understand exactly what growth is, and how you can design a workspace that not only inspires your employees to grow, but drives and propels your organization to grow.
6 Design Tips to Drive Business Growth In the Workplace
1. Use Big Data to Build a Better Workplace
Organizations are organic. As their business needs and people evolve, business leaders should be able to fine-tune their spaces in real time so they can respond to shifting conditions, compete and grow.
For this reason, companies are looking for data-driven solutions to accurately determine facility usage and make decisions regarding future real estate utilization. When leaders have access to this type of information, they can build a resilient workplace that grows over time.
Occupancy data is frequently gathered by people taking unreliable notes or casually walking by certain spaces. Unfortunately, these forms of measurement can be inaccurate, inconclusive and labor-intensive.
Instead, companies should opt for sensor-based technology that accurately measures and reports real estate usage. This real-time reporting can reveal what spaces are being used and what spaces aren't being used to help organizations finetune the workplace to better support their people (and potential growth).
- Use space management sensors like Steelcase Workplace Advisor to see where, when and how often spaces are being used and to drive future design decisions
2. Shift from Fixed to Fluid with Flexible Furniture Solutions
When designing for a fast-growing business, agility and flexibility should be your number one priority. After all, the nature of work is unpredictable, especially a post-COVID world where companies are adopting hybrid work-from-home strategies.
Teams the flexibility to adapt their space on demand and work better in a matter of minutes. They should be able to rearrange tables and whiteboards to create dynamic neighborhoods, or even divide a space into smaller breakout areas to brainstorm or focus.
As an example, flexible workplace solutions are absolutely perfect for agile teams. From mobile power to markerboards and storage to screens, these pieces work well on their own, but just like teams, they work better together.
In addition, these spaces should support high-performing teams that follow agile methodologies. They should also incorporate integrated technologies like large-scale collaboration devices and videoconferencing solutions to help distributed teams collaborate better, feel equal and build trust.
- Incorporate modular furniture solutions like Steelcase Flex, so you can easily and quickly rearrange desks, tables, carts and markerboards on sort notice
- Opt for modular walls that give you the flexibility to reconfigure your workspace and adapt to changing needs
- Choose a conferencing solution like CrestronFlex with touch-screen capabilities and the ability to collaborate on any platform for seamless collaboration
- Use similar tools and technology controls in all spaces, both on-site and at home, to help distributed teams collaborate and communicate effectively
- Install videoconferencing solutions and collaboration tools onto all employee desktops, laptops and mobile devices
- Consider camera and microphone placements carefully, so all users can be clearly audible and stay on-camera without disrupting the flow of information
- Provide co-creation tools, such as large-scale collaboration devices, that make ideas visible and allow everyone to contribute to and interact with content
3. Create Spaces that Inspire Innovation and Creativity
Creativity isn't a linear process. It's not even a predictable process. It has a rhythm of different activities and requires time for both collaboration and privacy. However, no single type of work environment can provide the right balance between the two.
The best way to support people is to give them the ability to move between individual time and collaborative time, having that rhythm between coming together to think about a problem and then finding a private space to let those ideas settle.
For this reason, people need a wide range of spaces to support all the diverse stages of creative work. They need an immersive ecosystem that brings together place and technology to help people generate new ideas, inspire innovation and keep moving forward.
When people have access to these types of spaces (an ecosystem of interrelated zones and settings), they can draw inspiration and energy by collaborating with others, as well as be restored by the calm of privacy.
- Build a welcoming environment with authentic design elements, artifacts and materials that inspire creativity
- Design for physical and emotional comfort through posture options and comfortable proximity to other people and objects
- Create spaces that encourage people to engage with integrated technology and offer interactive ways to form ideas together
- Provide collaboration tools, like large-scale computing devices, so everyone can contribute to and interact with content
4. Design for Wellbeing in the Workplace
In today's business world, companies are invested in driving greater innovation and growth. They're betting they can reap results with a more engaged, productive workforce, which is why they're choosing to focus on employee wellbeing.
That being said, employee wellbeing is about more than providing on-site fitness centers or healthy food options. It's about focusing on your people's physical, cognitive and emotional needs to not only amplify team and individual performance, but also company growth.
To foster wellbeing, employees need an ecosystem of interrelated zones and settings that support their various modes of work. When they have more choice over when, where and how they work, people have a sense of control that helps them feel more empowered, engaged and less stressed.
These spaces should also offer a range of solutions that encourage people to sit, stand or move throughout the day. Plus, they should accommodate different mixed presence experiences (both virtual and physical) to augment human interaction.
- Offer a variety of settings to help employees feel supported in their work
- Incorporate separate spaces or zones for individual, team and organizational needs
- Provide easily adjustable furniture to fit a range of sizes, needs and preferences to promote movement throughout the day
- Ensure seamless creativity between spaces to support the exchange of information and experiences from tools-to-tools and space-to-space
- Include natural elements and materials throughout the space
- Install glass wall partitions to increase the amount of natural light within your office
5. BUild a Better Workplace Brand and Culture
As a business, you'll always have to compete with big players in your industry to attract the best talent. For many candidates, an energizing workplace with amenities is important in their decision about where they want to pursue their careers and grow.
By leveraging key trends, you can renovate your office to attract and retain talent, and showcase the advantages of working at a growing, entrepreneurial company. To do this, you need an office space that's a clear reflection of your brand and culture.
From the colors to the wall decorations, your company's brand and culture should be at the core of everything you create. If you build a space that's reflective of your culture, you'll naturally attract the right talent for your organization and they'll better understand your values.
For example, Steelcase's WorkCafé is a welcoming space that connects people with their colleagues, their work and the company culture. Employees also have access to a wide range of refreshments and workplace amenities, including power, presentation devices and Wi-Fi.
- Incorporate digital signage and video walls to engage your audience and draw attention to employee achievements, company news, upcoming events, company values and more
- Provide welcoming areas for guests with appropriate views into the space and work in progress
- Make nourishment available during and outside of meal hours to support varied and extended work schedules
- Provide informal settings where users can unwind at work to promote a positive sense of wellbeing
6. ProVide Space for Personal Growth and Development
Regardless of their specific skillset, all employees can benefit from continued learning and development opportunities. Their roles and responsibilities are constantly changing, which is why they need opportunities to grow their expertise, hone their strengths and seek ways to continue learning.
When employee development is a central part of your organization, you'll reap the benefits in more ways than one. In fact, you'll likely benefit just as much as the employee, if not more, because you're investing in producing greatness and continued company growth.
By offering a plethora of development opportunities (as well as space for employees to take advantage of this time), your people will be empowered to produce better results and meet their goals throughout the year.
Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to encourage continued learning and development in the workplace. For instance, a private space with basic space can help people schedule time for self-discovery and personal development into their workday.
- Support day-to-day technology needs
- Offer shared materials and worktools
- Provide storage that allows the host to support different experiences
How To Drive Business Growth Through Workplace Design
Every business outcome starts with your employees. As your employees grow, they need a workspace that grows with them. Why? So they can continue to solve problems and generate new ideas that lead to organizational growth.
Of course, cultivating a business-oriented growth mindset is easier said than done. It requires a lot of time and effort, as well as feedback from your team. But, as long as you're willing to listen, think and learn, you can create a workplace that propels company growth for years to come.