Business development · 4 October 2019

Business success by design

Designing an office space

The way businesses approach office space is changing. What was once a simple question of price, size and location, has now evolved into a question of deft design that facilitates communication, happiness, wellbeing and productivity.

I’ll outline how the functionality and features of a building can promote a resident company’s business success…

Location

Small business rate relief

Location can play a surprisingly significant part in workplace wellbeing and employee retention. A recent survey commissioned by Office Space in Town (OSiT), found that 75% of people take the potential commute into consideration when making employment decisions. The survey also revealed that 36% of respondents claim their commute is having a detrimental effect on their lifestyle.

How to attract and retain talent

Businesses can attract and retain talent by providing workplaces that are easily accessed. Selecting offices which are situated close to major transport hubs and commuter links can be a significant draw for talent, as can buildings that are situated close to areas with strong leisure and social amenities.

To mitigate the negative impact of commuting and make employees feel valued, businesses can also offer flexible work practices or organise season-ticket loans and cycle-to-work schemes. Technology Workplaces are beginning to evolve and adapt, liberated by digital innovations that promote productivity.

Things to think about

Applications range from materials used in the fabric of the building such as Dynamic Glass which responds to shifts in natural light, maximising it whilst minimising glare, to in-built connectivity and future 5G access. Poor temperature control and soundproofing have a surprisingly negative impact on the day-to-day functionality of an office environment and rank among the top office complaints.

Companies should look for offices in buildings where they have the ability to control their own office environment, rather than being subjected to blanket settings applied across whole office floors – or even buildings, leaving some spaces too hot and some too cold.

What makes a good office environment?

Plants are important when designing an office space

A good office environment is thoughtfully designed, tech-enabled with customisable air-conditioning and minimal light glare. Interactive spaces How an office space is laid out can influence the flow of footfall and dictate natural communications points.

Clear pathways not only ensure health and safety compliance, but they also create natural collusion points which encourage positive interaction and communication.

A recent report by the Jo Cox Commission revealed that nine million people in the UK are affected by loneliness at work. Introducing spaces which stimulate social interaction can alleviate the pressures associated with isolation, making for a more comfortable, confident and creative workforce.

Functional aesthetics

The average person will spend 13 years and two months of their life at work. Designing a working environment that encourages an enjoyable working atmosphere is therefore important for developing a positive culture.

Thoughtful design

Thoughtful office design can play a pivotal role in establishing a sense of community, influencing staff productivity and turnover whilst combatting workplace loneliness.

Redesigning space so that it can facilitate all types of work, formal and informal, collaborative or solo, encourages a relaxed atmosphere that can make for happy, motivated workers.

From splashes of colour that can affect a person’s mood, to carefully designed aesthetics, businesses can encourage positivity and therefore productivity in their workforce by investing in workplace design. Colour, artwork and graphics can enliven spaces, making staff feel uplifted.

Office Space in Town’s offices are all designed around bespoke themes, from luxury yachts at our Monument centre to Alice in Wonderland at Waterloo.

In our latest project, at Blackfriars, we have worked hard to create a working environment that incorporates practicality with innovative design features that address the needs of the modern worker. Our experience has found that above everything, the needs of the people that inhabit them matter the most.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Eastlake is the Developments Director at Office Space in Town. He is responsible for the design and build process, following on with the initial set up of the new centre, recruitment and most importantly, the pre- and post-opening sales. So far, he has opened 5 buildings and is hoping to open another 2/3 buildings a year within the capital. Office Space in Town is growing month on month and now has 7 successful London-based centres.

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