What exactly do workers want in the office? Well, what they don’t want is a bland, uniform workspace that’s boring and uninspiring – and the last thing they need is to be tied to their desk eight hours a day, five days a week.  

In fact, in a 2017 Steelcase global study, it was discovered that although 77 percent of office workers have their own assigned workstations, 87 percent spend two to four hours every day working somewhere else.

While it's unclear what the workplace looks like in the post COVID world, it's still important to understand what employees need and how you can provide them with a workspace that supports the different types of work they do every day.  

Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we continue to stay ahead of all the latest office design trends that helps clients create a workspace that inspires their employees.  

In this article, we'll examine what employees are looking for, the different modes of work and the five zones you need to create a workplace where people leave feeling happier and healthier than when they arrived

What are Employees Looking for at the Office? 

Just as people have basic needs in life, they also have different needs at work. Workers need an ecosystem of spaces to support the work they do  – places where they can collaborate, focus, learn, socialize and rejuvenate.  

To accommodate these needs, organizations should provide technology, a diverse range of spaces to support different types of work and permission to use these spaces, especially if they want their employees to thrive. 

By creating a workplace that brings people, place and technology together, organizations can give their employees control over how and where they work, bringing you one step closer to higher engagement and satisfaction. 

People 

Today’s workplace can be intense, especially when employees have a lot of work on their plate. To support the cognitive, emotional and physical wellbeing of your workers, you need a range of spaces that provide: 

  • Ergonomic support and comfort
  • Eliminations of distractions so people can focus and collaborate without interruptions
  • Inspiration and rejuvenation to help people feel better when they leave than when they arrived at work

Place 

People should have control over how and where they work, which is why the workplace should be designed as an ecosystem of interconnected zones that support all five modes of work. In addition, they also need:  

  • Support for a diverse range of postures and privacy options
  • Spaces that give remote colleagues a great experience so they can fee and act as if they are present in the room
  • Spaces that help co-located team members remain present and focused

Technology 

To ensure your employees stay productive, they need technology that's smart, easy-to-use and connected so they can easily share information from anywhere. You should also consider:  

  • Gathering data to understand the spaces that support their people and refine their workplace accordingly
  • Giving people access to data so they can find colleagues and rooms quickly
  • Providing spaces designed so technology can be used effectively and technology enhances the space

What are the four Different Modes of Work? 

Regardless of the industry you work in, innovation is key. To inspire creativity and productivity in your employees,  your office should be able to support the four essential modes of work. 

Focus

Every worker need uninterrupted time to concentrate and complete specific tasks such as thinking, studying, contemplating, strategizing, processing and other work that requires focus. 

To achieve deep work mode, your employees need access to an environment that allows them to focus for extended periods of time. They also need to be able to avoid unnecessary interruptions. 

If you want to reduce interruptions, you can outfit your office with smaller workspaces that double as study rooms and zones intended for focused work and privacy. 

Collaboration

Collaboration is working with one or more people to achieve a specific goal, whether it be creating content or brainstorming. While some people think it's cheesy to be a team player, it's necessary to build a successful company. 

By creating a work environment that fosters authentic collaboration, you can solidify your company culture and even reduce turnover. However, you should never force collaboration with large conference rooms or meetings. 

Instead, you should create smaller private conference rooms with data and technology in the tables and desks, and informal meeting spaces that accommodate groups of three to five people. 

Learning

Learning is about building knowledge. Whether in a classroom or a conversation with colleagues, learning is an integral part of your organizational culture. 

To encourage learning, you need space for your employees to learn and develop their professional skills. You also need versatile spaces for both formal and informal training sessions. 

Socializing

For knowledge to be fully internalized and useful, it needs to be socialized. When people socialize and work with others, they can learn, build trust and generate new ideas. 

To improve your social climate, you need a variety of spaces, including an  lounge that caters to different sized groups and a reception area that's designed for guests and employees. 

What are the Five Different Zones You need in your office?

Ecosystem of Zones

Now that we've discussed what your employees want, how do you create a workspace that integrates people, place and technology, as well as the different modes of work? 

People need an ecosystem of spaces to support the work they do every day. When working with your office furniture provider to design your floor plan, you should incorporate a combination of five spatial zones into your space.  

These zones are intended to accommodate and anticipate the changing needs of your employees and organization. Each zone’s size, ratio and adjacency should be individually tailored to your business goals. 

Resident Zone

Resident Zone

The Resident Zone is made up of assigned spaces for employees to complete everyday tasks. It's designed to support individual-focused work and collaboration and provides amenities like storage and unique worktools.

Meeting Zone

Meeting Zone

The Meeting Zone is a variety of settings that support different forms of collaboration. It offers a wide range of connective technologies for team communication, whether employees are in the office or working remotely.

Nomadic Zone

Nomadic Zone

The Nomadic Zone is a shared, quiet space for employees to collaborate with co-workers or find space to focus on their own work. This area supports a wide range of interactions with quick and easy access to data and power.   

Social Zone

Social Zone

The Social Zone is a comfortable area for employees to socialize, rejuvenate, collaborate, focus and seek nourishment. They can connect with co-workers or work alone, with or without the company of others.  

Resource Zone

Resource Zone

The Resource Zone provides workers with amenities for their day-to-day needs. Ranging from tools and technology to hosting and hospitality, these resources can be found in a convenient location that's available to everyone.

How Can You Achieve an Ecosystem of Zones in Your Office?  

In today’s workplace, people want flexibility. They want spaces that are designed for focus, socialization and collaboration, so they can access everything they need to work without being tied to their desk.

To compete, you have to adapt to the needs of your employees and create an ecosystem of spaces that supports the different types of work they do. Otherwise, they'll struggle to perform, or they'll go work somewhere else.   

When looking for an office furniture provider, you should chose someone that can help you create a resilient and cost-effective workplace that addresses the issue of employee engagement

They should be able to design a workplace that supports the holistic wellbeing of your people, and include a broad ecosystem of spaces that give individuals a range of options to choose how and where they work. 

By considering the wellbeing of your employees before anything else, you can create a powerful work environment that not only results in highly satisfied and engaged workers, but also in an innovative workplace.   

Ready to Take the Next Steps? 

Want to learn more about the benefits of a resilient workplace and how we can help you achieve it? Whatever you need, your partners at Egyptian are here to help.  

As industry experts with years of experience, our team will lead you through every step of the process and work with you to design a workplace that integrates people, place and technology.

To learn more about Egyptian and our single-vendor approach to interior furnishings, connect with a Workspace Partner today! 

Connect with a Workspace Partner

Caitlin Schauster

Written by Caitlin Schauster