When considering the value of office space, traditional methods take into account the initial investment companies make when building or renovating. Others view buildings as a cost of doing business. Why not value space in terms of the return on investment companies can realise if they plan and manage their spaces strategically?
Cost calculations could extend beyond the obvious costs of the initial lease and even operating costs. I’m a firm believer that organisations should think of their space as a tool for organisational change and help to change the way space is valued.
Redefining strategic assets
For many years, space was not seen as a strategic asset. However, businesses are now starting to see the impact of their office design on their performance and productivity. It goes way beyond just placing a desk where it fits best!
For example, when we plan space, we consider how much time is saved by having access to the right tools, worker satisfaction and improved productivity. This helps companies to see their space as a strategic asset and not just a drain on the balance sheet.
Back to basics
The first step is to assess how much space you actually require. Then determine if you are maximising that space or if you require a lot less (or more).
The next step is to assess a building and do a building evaluation from an interior architectural perspective. Look at items such as the air-conditioning systems, lighting and infrastructure – in other words the must haves. From there you can look at making the space conducive to a happy and efficient work environment.
Don’t allow yourself to see your office space as a cash drain only. It can be a real asset to your business if your employees are comfortable, but the space meets your needs and budget too.
Designing effective office spaces can give you a competitive edge, especially if proper research has been done. But, the right space starts with understanding how your organisation works. Take a step back, look at the office environment critically, and assess everyone’s needs.
Work enjoyment improves productivity
There is ample evidence that enjoying work and being emotionally involved and engaged with your work can positively influence productivity. Positive emotions at work reduce absenteeism and staff turnover. Today, one of a company’s biggest expenses is recruiting for staff, as it isn’t just the recruitment costs but also training staff up to the company’s values and standards. Taking this into account, it is more important to have an office that encourages people to want to come to work.
People need to be encouraged to leave a nice home to come to an office where they want to be. This is all affected by the interior architecture in a building. The air flow plays a huge role, as does lighting and acoustics. An office that is incredibly noisy may offend people.
Chaos to calm
Bear in mind that you want effective space, space that encourages wellbeing in an office. Knowledge workers today are plagued by stress, ailments, fatigue and illness. One wants to try and prevent burnout that impedes productivity and the day-to-day running of a business.
It is important for you as a business owner to support the office worker and to use the workplace effectively to achieve this goal. A well-designed office space will ease stress and nurture more productive, creative and healthy employees.