How do you feel when you walk into a workplace where everything looks the same? When all of the furniture – the desks, tables and chairs — look identical. It doesn’t matter where you sit: every seat is exactly the same! Does it inspire productivity, or does it make you want to fall asleep?
Office environments matter, and this becomes more apparent when you’re forced to use a bad one. An environment must be engaging to be effective. This means utilizing a variety of seating types. Arranging tables in groups of three or four, while also including soft seating options for those who prefer them.
A Significant Evolution
The landscape of office spaces seems to constantly be undergoing significant transformations. While there are many aspects to consider when designing a highly functional, modern workplace, we think there’s one stand out concept that businesses should be employing in their designs: more choice.
Giving employees more choice is an instant recipe for higher engagement. People become more invested in their work once they’re allowed some choices on their own. In the words of Dan Pink, best-selling author of Drive, autonomy is a main driver of human motivation: “Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.”
But choice does more than increase engagement, it also increases inclusivity as well. Something as simple as having multiple seating styles to choose from can accommodate different preferences — and it helps employees feel more welcome.
How Can Workplace Design Improve?
Put simply: optimize for choice. It will increase employee engagement and productivity. Giving your employees more options will make responsible decision-making an option, and build confidence and trust!
Designing more dynamic workspaces can give employees a higher sense of ownership in their work. Choice and agency sends a clear signal to employees that they’re empowered to take ownership of their work – instead of waiting for someone to supply them with answers, employees are encouraged to think, investigate and solve problems for themselves.