What can be done in order to encourage our employees to come willingly to the office? Can the office space occupied by our company support productivity as well as creativity, and have a positive impact on employee well- being? In this article I will describe several factors that should be considered by every company when looking for office space.
3Ls? Not only
In the past it was commonly said that the most important factors when selecting a new office were the “3Ls” – location, location, location. This is still one of the most important criteria. However, in the age of great opportunities (there is currently over 8.6 million sq m of modern office space in Poland), there are now other factors that are coming into play. These factors include being easily reachable by car, and being well-served by public transport. Other important aspects include the office's surroundings, the proximity of restaurants, entertainment venue, services and being located in the vicinity of universities.
A very important element when selecting a new office consists of the building’s standard and quality of space. The building’s high standard is confirmed by its architecture, interior arrangement, elegant reception / lobby, and the quality of its communal spaces. Other things to look for are the parking facilities for both cars and bicycles, lifts, high quality installations, modern Building Management Systems, structured cabling for computers and the professional property management of the building. More and more companies are also focusing on amenities within the building (ATMs, drugstore, canteen, cafeteria, fitness centre, kindergarten, and shower cubicles for cyclists). Furthermore, many also check whether the building has been awarded an environmental certificate (as this usually has influence on operational costs and the quality of working environment).
Working in places with plenty of natural daylight allows us to be more work-motivated and gives us more energy. Modern office buildings usually have windows running from the floor to the ceiling and, therefore, provide a great deal of natural daylight. Furthermore, a beautiful view from the office can be of great importance to tenants. Apart from natural daylight, a good office should also provide modern lighting solutions such as LED systems and fluorescent lamps fitted with high frequency ballasts - which become more popular.
Regardless of the applied air-conditioning system – be it either fan coil systems, cooling beams or the newest VRF solutions – it should always be modern, efficient and quiet. Furthermore, it should also be highly effective and be easy to re-arrange. High air supply volume is of particular importance to open space-type offices.
A well thought-out and well-designed office space is no longer just a fashion statement, but a factor that attracts and maintains employees. A work place should be arranged with a focus on employees, the type of work they do and their needs. Motivated, effective and creative employees who feel integrated with both their team and their company are the dream of every organization. Currently, nearly every company employs several generations of specialists. An office space divided into zones for different functions cope well with such dynamic, social and market environments. One of the trends for space arrangement is the aim to achieve a friendly place that would resemble a home (well-equipped kitchen, places for relaxation with comfortable furniture) or a calming landscape (beautiful views, greenery, nature). It is always worth asking employees about their opinion, conduct questionnaires and consult with them at every stage of the office arrangement works. As a result, employees feel engaged and satisfied as they know that their needs are taken into consideration and then implemented.
Ergonomic work stations might come in handy for every employee regardless of age, experience or responsibilities. A comfortable chair, an office desk with adjustable height as well as amenities for people working on laptops are of crucial importance. Current trends in office space arrangement are moving away from the perception of office desks being assigned to specific employees. Today, a work station is a part of the office that supports the team in conducting projects. An employee, in accordance to their needs, has the freedom to decide whether to work at an office desk, in a smaller, separate room or as part of a bigger group in a larger room.
New technologies are a necessity in the mobile world, influencing the working styles and equipment used by employees. Greater work flexibility allows for an increased use of smartphones for communication, and notebooks for office work. Modern offices are equipped with a wireless Wi-Fi network while technological solutions allow employees to work from just about anywhere in the office. Owners of office buildings more often focus on the comfort of their tenants and develop special smartphone applications which gives tenants the opportunity to control a range of activities from the allocation of spaces in the office parking lot to their work in the office. These applications can also provide the employees with any necessary information about the building, amenities and services, and allow them to do online shopping with orders being delivered to designated rooms within the office.
Every company that is looking for office space ought to consider and decide which solution will be best for its employees and organization. Office space is a living working environment that should focus on people not equipment. It is of the utmost importance to find out what our employees need. Each of us requires good access to work, light, air and a comfortable work station, regardless of the industry, age or work specification.