Your business includes a collection of individuals with their own set of unique inputs, each contributing to the overall output of your business in valuable ways. To forge ahead in pursuit of productivity in our current conditions, we have had to embrace the buzz word “flex”.
Flex – space, flex – hours, flex – schedules, even flex – parking.
Just like each person is trying to manage the uncertainty of heading back to the office, the structure of the office is trying to be welcoming and flexible for their return.
For each organization it will be different, just as it is for each individual. Your workspace will reflect the character and the community that you want to inject into the culture of your organization.
The office of today has to fulfill 5 main needs:
- Deep focused work
- Social connection
- Spontaneous interaction
- Equipment necessary to be productive
Incorporating these spaces into your current office might not be as simple as it sounds – but we can help.
So, What’s Your Style?
Your employees now desire the autonomy to determine where and how their own personal work style fits into the five main needs. Where one person may need a closed door and low lighting to be able to focus, another prefers café style seating with ear buds in.
How does this impact the fundamental purpose of the modern office? It has to fulfill the business needs required for productivity, while being flexible enough to accommodate individual determination and ensure employee success. Of course, all of this must have a decent return on investment for both the organization and the individual.
Return on Investment
Right now, does your space offer a healthy return on the cost to bring your employees into the office?
Your employees may have to risk the cost to their mental and physical health, the cost of transportation (and if it’s by public transport the risk is not insignificant), the cost of parking, the time to commute, and the cost of professional attire – not just from the waist up! What is the return on their investment? Has your space met the five requirements above so that when your employees return, it tips the scales to the offices’ advantage?
Creating a Space for Everyone
There are ways to ensure that your office space serves the needs of your employees, and the investment you make in their return is justified. Here are some tips to aid in the discussion:
- Think about your culture. How do you want your culture reflected in the space you occupy? Some organizations may want to think of the office as a theatre or convention centre, others may prefer a concentrated library style. This overarching direction will help to solidify the focus of your plan. The culture you project outside, begins with the space inside.
- Place your team within the space. Do certain teams demand quiet areas while others require lively open sales floors? Position your teams so that they can interact amongst themselves, with the most optimal configuration. Think of them as neighbourhoods. You wouldn’t build your neighbourhood with a residential area beside the freeway. Can teams overlap? One team occupies the same space on odd days, and another on even? Efficiencies can be found here. It’s not just about smaller space, it’s about smarter space.
- Communicate. On an individual employee level, consultation and communication are more important than ever. Where, when, and how employees are permitted to work must be clear and evident. Many new apps are being developed to allow for easy room reservation, and even to plan for work collaboration.
- Ask an expert! This is overwhelming for all of us, and there are resources to assist. From a small office, to a large multi-city organization, the questions and concerns are often the same. We are here to help!
With over 100 tenants in our portfolio, we’ve helped organizations flex, grow, contract, and reconfigure for the future. Wherever you are in the process, and when you are ready to move forward – we’re here to help define your style and create your space.