Office Space Should Be Reflective of Your Work

That’s why office space is called work space. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

If you haven’t seen it, Inc. Magazine recently published a list of the World’s Coolest Office Spaces. There are some very eye-catching designs, so be sure to check it out. Office spaces are important. We want office spaces that make employees feel comfortable so they can do their best work.

That being said, not everyone works the same way, so office spaces need to be able to accommodate different working styles. For example, open office spaces are very popular right now. But they do have their drawbacks – to me the biggest being that no one has a door.

I’m not an advocate of people working behind a closed door all the time but realistically, at some point, people may need doors. They might not need them every day, but they will need one. I once worked for a company that built their office space with no doors to symbolize that everyone had an open door policy.

It didn’t go well.

Here’s what happened. One person on the team was assigned a super top secret project. All of a sudden, that person needs a door. So, the minute they go searching for office space with a door, everyone wants to know why. Because the person can’t say why they need a door, the others think they are keeping secrets. Trust and working relationships are impacted.

It doesn’t matter if the top secret project is an exciting new product or a layoff. The situation can easily get blown out of proportion.

But I digress, the point is we need to keep up on the latest trends where office space is concerned.

Co-working is a shared office space, often with a community vibe. Not only used inside organizations, but great for freelancers or solopreneurs. If you need people to chat with or ambient noise when you work, this could be a great option.

Hot-desking (which is the new term for hoteling) is when you have fewer desks than employees. For example, 100 desks for 250 employees. Where do the other employees work? From home, on the road, etc. Employees can schedule time to be in the office and to sit near people they need to collaborate with.

Ultimately, I think the best office spaces are ones that offer variety. There are days we want the open co-working space. And moments when we need to shut the door, focus and get a project done. Giving employees the freedom of hot-desking puts them in charge of their work, which is a good thing.

If we want employees to do their best work, then office spaces should reflect such. No one works exactly the same way, so office spaces should not be uniform. It also means we need to get employees involved in the office space design process and support the way each person wants to accomplish their work.

Image courtesy of Sharlyn Lauby

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