The workplace environment is a key factor in how a business operates and how it is seen by both employees and others from outside. Having a positive and well-designed working environment with a nurturing and uplifting office area has been proven to enhance and improve the effectiveness of businesses. Those businesses which make the effort to consider the well-being and positive mental attitude of the employees see this as a main reason to provide suitable surroundings for their employees. This improves the overall effectiveness and efficiency of a business ensuring it becomes more profitable and successful going forward.
The British Council for Offices (BCO) released a study in 2005 that included surveys and articles into the impacts that office design can have upon the performance of businesses. Their findings indicate a strong link between the state and condition of offices and the performance of businesses. Below are some highlights and summaries of their recommendations.
Office buildings that are constructed with their purpose in mind are able to best accommodate and support a business. In contrast, a business operating out of premises that are unsuitable or have become outdated, in need of modernisation and redecoration, or even demolition and replacement is an issue that in recent years has become a pressing point of interest to many businesses across the country. These forward looking businesses are keen to provide their employees with a working environment with a practical and fresh feel in order to cultivate a more positive and productive workforce. If workers are in an environment in which they are happy they are less likely to look elsewhere for employment. This saves on business costs as staff are less likely to decide they would rather work for a different company in a better working environment.
Over the last century the design and layout of offices and places of work have changed substantially. This is due to several reasons; changing fashions, changing technologies, changing work requirements to name a few. This has led to a transformation of our places of work. Furthermore, the changing economy has also had an impact on how our office spaces and other employment settings have changed. This has had both positive and negative effects both on people and the areas in which they live and work. This is where social science and the design of our surroundings and the impact the two have on each other are closely linked. For example, in the last 30-40 years the UK has become a powerful service economy whereas before the 1980s manufacturing was the focus of the economy. This change has meant a dramatic shift toward office environments and away from mines and shipyards. It has been claimed that much of the camaraderie and work ethic in those environments was not transferred to office based employment during the change of focus. In the last decade there has been a concerted effort to rectify that imbalance and make office spaces more appealing and promote greater productivity. The changing working environment has also seen new technology and equipment, such as computers and smart technology, arrive and dominate the work place. Although this technology has been present for some years, it is continuously developing and improving. Consequently, office space is often less able to adapt to such advancements. However, undertaking this updating and modernising can prove a very sound investment, demonstrating to employees the commitment of their employers.
This process of course requires the support and involvement of employers. It is becoming increasingly appealing to employers to renovate and refurbish their premises, to create a better work environment, thus inducing their workers to become more effective and efficient. At the same time, it demonstrates a more positive image of their business to others. The image and appearance of business is a hugely successful business device to promote the service on offer and to improve the reputation and clientele that businesses can expect to attract. This attention to the appearance of the working environment also extends to employees and reinforces positive behaviour and performance on behalf of the business. This approach not only attracts desirable clients but also employees, who will be similarly impressed with the environment and the service on show. They will want to be a part of it and want to benefit from it. Businesses don’t have to be new to look it. If a business has the means and the will to change, it can transform itself and its prospects with a small or large refurbishment. Obviously, factors include the requirements and finances of a business. Indeed, office refurbishments are so effective precisely because they are so flexible and can be varied to businesses, large and small, to meet their specific requirements.
The design of the office space is part of the integration of business performance and success. The business strategy, business priorities, and business performance are all linked to the office environment and how effectively it can support and enrich the business and its prospects. Open spaces and specific areas for different ways and needs of work have proven to be a popular feature in office developments and refurbishments in many cities and business parks/districts across the UK. Renovating and refurbishing offices can also be effective in improving the reliability and efficiency of office equipment and services. For instance, rewiring or investing in more capable broadband services, as well as computer and other technology, is a sensible long-term investment.
An office refurbishment to your office and business, large or small, expensive or not, will be sure to bring benefits. You should be rewarded with success and growth of the business, securing your future and the future of your colleagues. Creating a positive and productive working environment together will further potential and open up new prospects. After your work space has been given that often much-needed boost, it will have an immediate impact that will last in the years to come.