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Designing and choosing flexible workspaces to inspire and help focus.
Today, work is really more of a state of mind than a place you go to perform a task. More often, people need the flexibility to work anywhere—to be mobile and connected, to collaborate and be productive. It all comes down to preferred workspaces and work styles. In the office, an employee might choose to sit at an open desk area, or move to an enclosed team room, or a dedicated focus space. Or they might choose to work from home or a coffee shop. Whatever the choice, people are spending less time at a personal desk (close to 10% less time than they did four years ago1).
Teams are now dispersed around the world, working in different time zones, often calling in or joining a video conference. Though it may be difficult to physically optimize remote workspaces, companies can enhance their offices to improve acoustics for those calling in. For example, on-site meeting rooms can be designed to absorb sound and minimize echoes to help remote workers be more productive and feel more present in the room, letting them fully contribute to the work being done.
Spaces that are effectively built around the type of work that needs to be done can result in more satisfied and productive employees.
Carefully considered workspaces allow for clear communication. Consider creating areas where people can communicate, collaborate, concentrate and contemplate. Ironically, adding strategic noise to an office environment can help employees focus. White noise, pink noise, and innovative noise management solutions like waterfalls and noise absorbing tiles can block out unwanted noise and create a healthy workspace that fosters individual concentration, as well as encourage team conversations. Additionally, incorporating environmental cues like natural light and plants can boost productivity and lower stress. Ultimately, it’s about thinking of the workspace as an environment unto itself, where it’s easier to think, create, and deliver results.
Getting the noise factor right boosts employee satisfaction and drives business value.