When they are planning their working environments, managers have to think about the current needs of their workers. After all, they do not want to be subject to furniture at work complaints. To help ensure they select the right products, many bosses now take advantage of furniture at work reviews.
However, it is not only the present that companies ought to consider when they are designing their offices. They must also cast their minds to the future. At least this is the claim of two experts from design, architecture, engineering and planning firm HOK. Speaking to the Houston Chronicle, Mike McKeown and Kim Hogan suggested that working environments need to be future-proofed.
In other words, these spaces must have built in flexibility for needs that may arise in the coming months or years.
This relates both to the technology used in offices and to their physical layout. For example, bosses need to think about whether they want a few large conference rooms or multiple ‘huddle rooms’ where workers can get together to share ideas.
Commenting on HOK’s approach to office design, Mr McKeown said: “We have to help companies understand and articulate where they see their business headed. People in general have a tendency to reference what’s right in front of us right now. We have to get companies thinking outside of that.”
Meanwhile, Ms Hogan noted that there is a growing link between worker wellbeing and performance, and firms must respond to this. For example, they should pay attention to the quality of the air within their offices and to their health and fitness facilities, she claimed.
Both Ms Hogan and Mr McKeown suggested that decisions about workplace design should not be made by managers and HR staff alone. Instead, it should be a group effort that involves input from people across different departments and age groups.
On this topic, Ms Hogan said: “It’s about getting multiple people in the room with multiple experience levels and age-grouping. Employees of different ages think differently, act differently and behave differently. So it’s important to have those conversations that bring in different levels and experiences in one room.”
Mr McKeown added that personnel are now more inclined to request information from their employers about these issues. He commented: “There is a lot more transparency within organisations now. Before, an employee might show up and use the workplace without really knowing much about it and wouldn’t even think to ask about things like air quality. But now, employees are asking for more access to that sort of information.”
The two experts also claimed that small touches can make a big difference to workspaces. For example, simply adding a splash of colour or installing new desks can boost the look and feel of offices.
By paying attention to the issue of office design, managers should be able to avoid furniture at work problems in the future. The good news for bosses is, it is now easier than ever to access all the products required to revamp offices. By heading online, people should be able to get everything they need in no time.