Stack ’em high….

gap

What makes an office space ‘fab’?

A few weeks ago I took a call from a woman wanting a space of just 60 – 70 sqm. After asking a few more questions I established we were looking for space for 7 people! As usual I didn’t hold back in offering here the benefit of my vast experience and knowledge on the subject (surely we are looking for 150 sqm at least being 15 – 20 m2 per head etc.). Apart from anything else surely so many bodies in close proximity would be a bit whiffy ( I described it as a teenager’s sock). Of course my caller ignored my advice, she ended up staying in the same spot of 55 m2. Perhaps it was a budgetary constraint or perhaps it was payback for staff she didn’t like?

A piece in the a Sunday paper caught my eye about an Auckland design company Spaceworks who have done some really interesting work polling employees about work place characteristics, while none of the findings are surprising I think they bear out the need to consider the office space as a key element in worker satisfaction and productivity. Some 8 out of 10 believed the physical workspace and provision of natural light had an impact on their wellbeing. In addition the interior layout has a substantial impact on recruitment and retention.

Some modern work practices like hot-desking may not be the greatest thing in the real world with 91% of respondents wanting their own personal desk space and room for personal items. Design elements like colour and meeting spaces add greatly to satisfaction ad opportunities for collaberation and creativity.

Stacking workers into desk farms in the cheapest space you can find is a short sighted strategy, most people require a pleasant and comfortable environment to keep them productive and coming back to the job. Get advice from a good designer to turn your drab office into fab!

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