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Can your office work harder?

01-04-2019

Saunders Associate Director, Annabel Lait, has been working with businesses to transform their offices into more than just a simple working space. This recent experience has enabled her to create a clear process for identifying a company’s needs. Read more here:

Back in the early 20th Century, modernist architects rejected walls and separation in favour of open plan work spaces which promoted equality and democracy. Open plan has dominated ever since, however, it is now proving to be a problematic format. We all know that our modern workforce favours a relaxed and flexible approach and with this in mind, the problems with open plan are clear. Lack of privacy is obvious but and business leaders now believe that open plan stymies creativity and teamwork. Ironically, open plan is anti-social because people feel they need to be quiet - critical telephone calls happen in the “privacy” of a corridor and meetings are held away from working desks.

I know that it is possible and desirable to create a dynamic, contemporary working environment that responds to the specific needs of your team because there are many business benefits for doing so. Existing staff will be motivated as you clearly understand their needs, and the best new talent will be attracted to your company. When your offices reflect your ethos and brand, visiting clients will clearly understand what it means to do business with you and are more likely to engage.

The way to create the perfect working space is by clearly defining exactly what every single staff member does and how they work together in sub teams. Alongside this, consider the environmental requirements of each role and the constraints and opportunities of your building. I usually find that a variety of workspaces are needed to satisfy the demands of team members at different times of the working week.

If you’re considering revising your office layout, I would counsel you to be aware of talking to any suppliers before you’ve taken the time to work out exactly what you need your space to do. It is imperative that you really understand the nature of your work, your brand, your team and the spaces required before developing any design proposals. It may be that you need to seek expert help to undertake an impartial review before drawing up a clear brief, and ultimately a creative, bespoke concept.

Taking this time to create an innovative yet practical workspace will generate numerous benefits for your business over and over again. I think you will be surprised with quite how much impact it will have.

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